Entries must be submitted by Friday, 26 July 2024



The Banking and Financial Services Law Association (or BFSLA) is the leading professional organisation for banking and financial services law in Australia and New Zealand. The BFSLA’s objects include the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge of banking and financial services law and practice in Australia and New Zealand, including by encouraging research.

To that end, each year the BFSLA invites eligible persons to submit research essays on important matters in banking and financial services (including insolvency) law and/or practice that are currently topical in Australia or New Zealand, in competition for a prize pool.


Authors must be citizens or permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand at the time of submission (but need not be living in Australia or New Zealand at that time).

A person may not submit more than one entry (whether alone or with other authors). An entry may not have more than two authors.

A person is not eligible for the prize in 2024 if they have won any part of the BFSLA’s Research Essay Prize (whether alone or jointly) in any of the previous five years.

Members of the Board of the BFSLA, and persons engaged by the Board to assist in the assessment of entries, are not eligible to enter. The competition is otherwise open to all, including students, academics and practitioners (whether in private practice, in-house or at the bar), whether full time, part time or retired.


Entries must be in English and must comply with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th ed. 2018). They must not be more than 10,000 words in length (excluding reasonable footnoting).

Entries must be the author’s original work and be unpublished at the time of submission and must remain unpublished until the competition results are announced, unless the Board agrees otherwise.

Copyright in all entries remains with the author(s). However, by submitting an entry, each author agrees that, should they win a prize with the entry, they will grant the BFSLA a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free licence to publish the entry, or excerpts from it, on the BFSLA’s website (with authorship acknowledged), and to use the entry and the author’s name in marketing material to promote the BFSLA and its objects.

The BFSLA may also propose that winning entries, and other entries worthy of publication, be submitted for publication in the Journal of Banking and Finance Law and Practice (Thomson Reuters, in conjunction with the BFSLA), but authors are not obliged to accept that proposal.

The process

Entries will be reviewed on a blind basis.

Entries must be submitted by 5.00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Friday, 26 July 2024 to 2024researchprize@bfsla.org

To facilitate the blind review process, entries must not include any information (including in the digital file) that might identify the author(s). Instead, that information should be supplied in the entry form that is available below, which you should submit with your paper.

Entries must be submitted in Word format. Consistent with practice at tertiary institutions, entries will be processed through anti-plagiarism software.

If all or a substantial part of an entry has been previously submitted for assessment as part of tertiary studies, you must tell us which institution and for which subject (and the title of the work so submitted) and authorise the BFLSA to check with the relevant institution that the author of both works is the same person.

Eligible entries will be judged by an adjudication panel of highly qualified individuals selected by the Board of the BFSLA, chaired by a member of the Board. In the past the panel has included senior judges, academics and practitioners (in-house and private practice), from Australia and New Zealand. The panel will make recommendation(s) to the Board, but the Board reserves the right to make the final decision.

The winner or winners, if any, will be announced by publication on the BFSLA’s website on or about Friday, 30 August 2024.

The prize pool is A$10,000. The Board may decide not to award a prize, to award a prize to more than one entry, or to award all or only part of the prize pool, as the Board sees fit. The Board (whether on its own initiative or on recommendation of the adjudication panel) may also formally award “high commendation” to one or more essays that do not win a prize.

The Board’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into about the decision or the process once completed.

Assessment criteria

Entries should explore an important issue of banking and finance law and/or practice (including in relation to insolvency) that is currently topical in Australia or New Zealand. They should display a high degree of legal scholarship and original thinking, and be of a standard, as regards both content and presentation, that is suitable for publication in a refereed law journal. Entries that simply summarise the current law, or that focus mainly on practice without in depth legal analysis, are unlikely to be successful.

Stylistic matters such as economy and precision of language, and ease of comprehension, will also be taken into account.

Entries are expected to be properly researched, and to include appropriate footnoting. Footnotes should be reasonable in number and content and should not be used to address substantive issues. Evidence of plagiarism in any form will result in disqualification.


If you have any further questions about the 2024 research prize, please email Julia Clancy at 2024researchprize@bfsla.org

Download BFSLA Research prize flyer 2024

2023 BFSLA Research Essay Prize winner – Lachlan McIntyre

Lachlan McIntyre

Lachlan McIntyre, MSc (Law and Finance) (Distinction), University of Oxford; LLB (Hons I), BCom, University of Sydney
Lachlan recently graduated with Distinction from the Masters in Law and Finance programme at the University of Oxford, where he specialised in trusts and commercial remedies. His undergraduate thesis, which formed the basis of his successful submission to the BFSLA, was awarded First Class Honours from the University of Sydney, and was winner of the Commercial Law Association’s 35th Anniversary Essay Prize and subsequently published in the Commercial Law Quarterly. Lachlan has previously worked as a Judicial Associate at the Supreme Court of New South Wales and will soon return to Allens as a solicitor.

2022 BFSLA Research Essay Prize winner – Anna Kretowicz

Anna Kretowicz

Any questions please email 2023researchprize@bfsla.org