Gilbert + Tobin has appointed Financial Services Partner Silvana Wood from Ashurst in a move to intensify its focus on financial services regulation, and the changing director and executive accountability regime.

Silvana will join G+T’s Financial Services Solutions team, among heavy weights Richard Harris, Elizabeth Avery, Adam Laura and Peter Reeves. The team will cover the full range of regulatory compliance, investigations and contentious work.

The hire coincides with the passage of the Financial Accountability Regime Act 2023 (Cth) (FAR) in Parliament, which introduces heightened accountability measures for prudentially regulated corporations and their most senior and influential individuals.  The new legislation will arrive amid global market conditions reminiscent of the financial crisis which led to the introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) in the UK, on which FAR is modelled.

The firm said Silvana’s arrival positions G+T as the ‘go to’ firm on FAR, from implementation of the regime in the broadest sense, strategic issue management, regulatory investigations and contentious matters.

Prior to returning to Australia in 2017, Silvana spent over 5 years as a manager and senior lawyer in the Enforcement Division of the UK’s regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  She brings to the table extensive experience in a range of prudential and conduct compliance matters, including enforcement actions against large financial institutions and their senior executives.

Silvana has already carved out a significant profile in Australia, through her extensive work for entities in the banking, insurance and superannuation sectors on FAR and its predecessor, the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR). She had advised domestic and international clients on the regime and is recognised as a genuine market leader.  Her financial services practice also includes large scale regulatory change implementation programs, investigations and remediation programs. She routinely advises on product design and distribution obligations, consumer protection provisions and regulatory breaches.

Managing partner Danny Gilbert said “We are delighted to welcome Silvana to the firm as a renowned expert in Financial Services and particularly FAR. Her experience will make a valuable contribution to the full spectrum of financial services advice we offer our clients.”