Ramsay on the Steve Vizard Case

'The public and media frenzy which accompanied the recent downfall of Steve Vizard overshadowed some important issues of insider trading and directors' duties. Professor Ian Ramsay reports on the case and asks what lessons can be learned.'

ASIC made two errors. First, its media release of 4 July 2005 was deficient in relation to the information that it did not disclose. First, there was no mention of the important role of the DPP. The DPP made an independent evaluation of the results of ASIC’s investigation of Vizard’s share trades and formed the view that there was insufficient evidence to bring a criminal prosecution for insider trading. This important information was missing from the media release.

Second, the media release contained no information about the legal options that were available to ASIC and the DPP for bringing enforcement action against Vizard. What this meant was that for more than a week, there was incorrect information in media discussion about the legal options that were available. This lead to even more confusion and criticism of ASIC. ASIC should have outlined what its legal options were in its media release.

Originally by CCH Australia, 1:44 PM