Stephen Cavanagh

Stephen Cavanagh is a partner in the Regulatory & Financial Services Group specialising in banking and finance regulatory law.

Stephen acts for a range of financial service providers advising generally on the laws relating to the creation, marketing, delivery and administration of retail financial products and services. He has a wealth of knowledge in drafting documents for innovative products, advising in connection with the acquisition and disposal of regulated businesses and advising in respect of the resolution of compliance breaches. He is a creative thinker who strives for simple solutions to complex regulatory issues.

Stephen’s experience includes advising on banking and financial services laws, credit, privacy, spam, anti-money laundering, payment systems, unfair terms, trade practices (including advertising and marketing issues) and relevant Codes of Practice and dealing with regulators including ASIC, APRA, RBA and AUSTRAC.

Stephen is an authorised external auditor under the AML/CTF Act.

Stephen has practiced both as a barrister and solicitor and, for a period, was an Associate Professor at Law at the University of NSW teaching in the contract, consumer and commercial law fields. He was the Chairman of the Commercial Tribunal of NSW (1990-1996), which had jurisdiction in respect of credit legislation and the licensing of credit providers, and was the consultant to the Australian Financial Systems Inquiry (Wallis Inquiry) for consumer credit matters. Stephen has published a number of texts including “Product Liability in Australia” (Butterworths, 1983) and “Consumer Credit Law in Australia” (Butterworths, 1988).

Stephen is recognised as a leading lawyer by Banking-Asia Law Profiles (2007) and Bank Regulatory IFLR 1000 (2007). Stephen has been named in Best Lawyers™ Australia for Banking & Finance Law and Regulatory Law.


  • Financial Services regulation;
  • Licensing & Compliance;
  • Anti-money laundering;
  • Privacy;
  • Consumer Credit;
  • Banking;
  • Payment Systems;
  • Personal Property Securities Reforment Systems.


  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Master of Laws

Professional Memberships

  • Law Council of Australia
  • Commercial Law Association of Australia Ltd