BA, LLB (Hons) (Macquarie), LLM (Harvard), FAAL

Law and Legal Studies

Professor Ramsay researches primarily in the areas of corporate law, corporate governance and financial regulation. He has also undertaken research in areas including personal and corporate insolvency. Two distinguishing features of Professor Ramsay’s research are his influence on law reform and public policy and his empirical research on a wide range of legal issues. These projects include: a survey of those who have been bankrupt to ascertain their experiences and whether the policy objectives of the bankruptcy legislation are being achieved; a survey of senior high school students to ascertain their levels of financial literacy and interviews with school teachers regarding the financial literacy of their students; a survey of Australian ASX listed companies regarding details of their employee share ownership plans; a survey of employees of two major Australian companies regarding why the employees do or do not invest in employee share ownership plans; a survey of company directors regarding how they interpret their duties imposed by the Corporations Act; interviews with institutional investors regarding their interest and involvement in the human resource management practices of companies in which they invest; a survey of investors regarding their use of prospectuses; and interviews with enforcement staff of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission regarding their use of civil penalties for contraventions of the Corporations legislation.

Professor Ramsay has undertaken extensive policy related research for the Australian Government, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the Australian Law Reform Commission and other organisations. Some of this research has resulted in important regulatory changes. The following are recent examples of Professor Ramsay’s policy related research:

(a) Dispute resolution in the financial system: In 2016-2017 Professor Ramsay chaired the independent panel appointed by the Australian Government to review the financial system’s external dispute resolution and complaints framework. The panel published two issues papers, an interim report and two final reports. The panel made 11 recommendations in its final report. All of these recommendations were accepted by the government as announced by the Commonwealth Treasurer in the 2017 budget speech. In February 2018 the Australian Parliament passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First - Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Act 2018 (Cth) which enacts the recommendations.

(b) Equity crowdfunding in ASEAN: In 2016 Professor Ramsay was appointed by the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) as the consultant for the project on facilitating equity crowdfunding in ASEAN. In August 2017, ASEAN published Professor Ramsay’s co-authored report: Facilitating Equity Crowdfunding in the ASEAN Region (155 pages). The report is a detailed discussion of equity crowdfunding including the legal issues associated with this type of funding. The report provides a series of recommendations for member states of ASEAN which have not yet introduced equity crowdfunding on the key issues they should consider in designing a regulatory framework for equity crowdfunding.

(c) ASIC enforcement review taskforce: In 2016-2017 Professor Ramsay was appointed by the Australian Government to be a member of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Enforcement Review Taskforce. During the review, the Taskforce published 8 consultation papers (on matters including the level of penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct, ASIC’s power to ban individuals working in the financial sector, ASIC’s licencing powers, search warrant powers, and industry codes in the financial sector) and a final report. On 20 April 2018, the Commonwealth Treasurer announced that the Government had agreed to all 50 of the Taskforce recommendations and would prioritise the implementation of 30 of the recommendations.

Current appointments

• Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, University of Melbourne

• Harold Ford Professor of Commercial Law, University of Melbourne

• Director of the Centre for Corporate Law, University of Melbourne

Recent past appointments

• Member of the Advisory Committee for the Inquiry by the Australian Law Reform Commission into Corporate Criminal Liability (2019-2020)

• Member of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Enforcement Policies, Processes and Decision-Making Procedures Review (2018-2019)

• Chair of the Independent Panel to Review the Financial System’s External Dispute Resolution and Complaints Framework (2016–2017)

• Member of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Enforcement Review Taskforce (2016–2017)


Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law


Honorary life member of the Corporate Law Teachers Association

1. RP Austin and I Ramsay, Ford, Austin and Ramsay’s Principles of Corporations Law, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, 17th edition, 2018, 1994 pages

2. E Bourova, I Ramsay and P Ali, “The Experience of Financial Hardship in Australia: Causes, Impacts and Coping Strategies” (2019) 42 Journal of Consumer Policy 189-221

3. J Hedges, G Gilligan and I Ramsay, “Banning Orders: An Empirical Analysis of the Dominant Mode of Corporate Law Enforcement in Australia” (2017) 39 Sydney Law Review 501- 537

4. P Ali, L O’Brien and I Ramsay, “Bankruptcy and Debtor Rehabilitation: An Australian Empirical Study” (2017) 40 Melbourne University Law Review 688-737

5. L Bromberg, G Gilligan and I Ramsay, “The Extent and Intensity of Insider Trading Enforcement – An International Comparison” (2017) 17 Journal of Corporate Law Studies 73-110