Robin Bowley commenced as a full-time lecturer with the Faculty of Law in 2014, having previously taught on a sessional basis since 2009. His principal fields of teaching and research are in Corporate Law and Insurance Law. Robin’s current research projects focus on corporate and financial services regulation, the responsibilities of financial services intermediaries, and insurance responses to maritime security and terrorism risks.
From 2005 to 2011 he was a Lawyer with ASIC – where he was involved in numerous investigations into possible contraventions of the Corporations Act (2001) and related legislation – including continuous disclosure, insider trading, market manipulation, breaches of directors duties and insolvent trading.
Robin’s obtained his PhD in Law from the University of Wollongong in 2014. His thesis, which evaluated international legal responses to the risk of maritime terrorism, was ranked second out of 14 dissertations internationally in the 2014 “Best PhD Thesis in the Field of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies”, conducted annually by the Terrorism Research Initiative.
He is actively involved in professional bodies including the Australian Insurance Law Association (as a member of the NSW Education Committee) and the Governance Institute of Australia (as a member of the NSW State Council and the Corporate and Legal Issues Committee). He is a contributing author to a number of legal publications – including the Butterworths Corporations Law Bulletin, Australian Corporations Law Principles and Practice and Australian Consumer Credit Law published by LexisNexis, and Robsons Annotated Corporations Legislation published by Thomson Reuters.
Can supervise: YES
For many law students the study of corporate law presents several challenges. In addition to mastering the complexities of corporate legislation and case law, corporate law subjects provide many students with their first detailed introduction to business terminology and processes. For many students without previous backgrounds
or studies in business, understanding such concepts can prove challenging. This article discusses the development of a business case study that was incorporated into the teaching of corporate law at the University of Technology Sydney from 2016. Drawing upon the extensive literature on strategies for teaching law to business students, the article explains how the business case study was pitched to progressively develop students’ understanding of business concepts covered in
corporate law. A series of voluntary online surveys were used to evaluate students’ perceptions of the usefulness of the business case study in developing their understanding of business terminology and processes, with the overall feedback being highly positive. In light of the findings from this evaluation project, the article concludes by suggesting some strategies for corporate law teachers to consider in order to help students develop their understanding of business concepts.
Bowley, RN 2018, 'An analysis of challenges to ASIC's s 920A banning orders against financial services providers in the AAT and the courts', Company and Securities Law Journal, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 307-341.
Section 920A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) provides ASIC with a flexible power to ban individuals from the Australian financial services industry on a number of grounds. The objective of this power is to protect consumers through upholding compliance with the law and adherence to professional standards. Banned individuals may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to review the merits of such decisions, and on limited points of law such cases may be further appealed to the Federal Court of Australia (FCA). This article analyses the practice of the AAT and the FCA in determining challenges to s 920A banning orders. The 50 AAT cases examined in the article provide interesting examples of misconduct by financial advisers, stockbrokers and traders, insurance brokers and operators of investment schemes. The article shows that whilst the AAT has shown a flexible approach in considering the circumstances of each banning (setting aside four bans and varying the length of 15 bans), it has nevertheless exhibited a firm approach in the other 31 cases in affirming bans following serious misconduct. The article concludes by suggesting some minor reforms to further enhance the range of protective enforcement tools available to ASIC.
Bowley, RN 2017, 'Flexible yet firm: The practice of the AAT and the courts in reviewing ASIC's s 206F management disqualification orders', Insolvency Law Journal, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 170-198.
Section 206F of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) provides ASIC with a cheap and flexible enforcement power to disqualify for up to five years persons who have been involved in managing two or more failed companies within a seven-year period. Individuals who have been disqualified under s 206F may challenge such disqualifications through the merits review process at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), and in further limited circumstances through the courts. This article examines the 36 AAT decisions that have determined challenges to the corporate regulator’s disqualification orders. It shows that while the AAT has set aside or varied around half of these disqualification orders (based in several cases on the consideration of fresh evidence) the AAT has nevertheless demonstrated a firm approach to upholding standards of responsible corporate management in those disqualification orders it has affirmed. The article concludes by outlining potential reforms to s 206F to further enhance the effectiveness of this provision in deterring insolvent trading and ensuring responsible corporate management practices.
Bowley, RN 2016, 'The progressive evolution of Australian insurers' duty of utmost good faith to third party claimants', Insurance Law Journal, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 194-213.
Over recent decades, the significance of third parties in the insurance contractual relationship has progressively increased. In Australia, challenges by claimants with entitlements under group life insurance policies providing total and permanent disablement (TPD) benefits, which are commonly arranged by trustees of superannuation funds to
provide benefits to incapacitated members, have been a key driver of this trend. Several cases where third party claimants have successfully challenged the decision-making processes of insurers in declining TPD claims have provided useful clarifications of the nature, extent and limits of Australian insurers' post-contractual duties of utmost good faith. Through a progressive review of the key Australian authorities, this article examines the examples of conduct by insurers that have been held to breach the duty of utmost good faith. It also shows that through recognising the standing of third parties, several of these decisions have provided the impetus for amendments to the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth), which now recognises that insurers also owe the duty of utmost good faith to third party claimants.
Bowley, RN 2015, '‘Federal Court declares multiple contraventions of fundraising and financial services laws in scheme targeting SMSF investors: ASIC v ActiveSuper  FCA 342’', Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin, vol. 2015, no. 24, pp. 6-10.
Bowley, RN 2014, '‘A clarification on the obligation to disclose significant risks in Product Disclosure Statements: Woodcroft-Brown v Timbercorp Securities Ltd  VSCA 284’', Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin, vol. 2014, no. 5, pp. 1-10.
Bowley, RN 2014, '‘NSW Court of Criminal Appeal increases sentence for breaches of s 184(2) and s 1308 of Corporations Act 2001: Director of Public Prosecutions v Bryan Raymond Northcote  NSWCCA 26’', Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin, vol. 2014, no. 15, pp. 2-7.
Bowley, RN 2014, '‘Solicitor held liable for representations about investment scheme: Polon v Dorian  NSWSC 571’', Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin, vol. 2014, no. 12, pp. 1-8.
Bowley, RN 2014, 'Misleading and deceptive advice about changing life insurance: Commonwealth Financial Planning v Couper’', Australian Insurance Law Bulletin, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 28-31.
Bowley, RN & Moore, C 2014, 'The application of s 6 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1946 (NSW) to claims-made insurance policies: An analysis of recent developments', Insurance Law Journal, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 149-182.
Following the litigation over the collapsed Bridgecorp Group in New Zealand
since 2011, the application of s 6 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous
Provisions) Act 1946 (NSW) and s 9 of the Law Reform Act 1936 (NZ) to
claims-made policies has been the focus of considerable interest. Through
a review of recent case law, this article examines how the courts in Australia
and New Zealand have grappled with the application of these arguably
antiquated provisions to the complexities of modern professional indemnity
and directors and officers insurance policies
Bowley, RN 2013, '‘DPP v JM: High Court clarifies the meaning of “artificial price under s 1041A’', Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin, vol. 2013, no. 17, pp. 2-10.
Bowley, RN 2013, '‘Market integrity vs Systemic stability: Should APRA have the power to suspend a regulated entity’s continuous disclosure obligations?’', Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin, vol. 2013, no. 3, pp. 2-5.
Bowley, RN 2013, '‘NSW Court of Criminal Appeal confirms Contracts for Difference are Division 3 financial products: Joffe v R; Stromer v R  NSWCCA 277’', Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin, vol. 2013, no. 9, pp. 5-9.
Bowley, RN 2012, '‘ASX consults on proposed changes to continuous disclosure guidance’', Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin, vol. 2012, no. 22, pp. 6-10.
Bowley, RN 2012, ''ASIC review of the custodial and depositary services sector'', Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin, vol. 2012, no. No. 15, pp. 6-9.
Bowley, R 2020, 'Transparency in Australian insurance law and regulation' in Marano, P & Noussia, K (eds), Transparency in Insurance Contract Law, Springer.
Bowley, R 2020, 'Transparency in the Insurance Contract Law of Australia' in Transparency in Insurance Contract Law.