The Companies Bill recently passed in the Legislative Council renders auditors criminally liable if they knowingly or recklessly omit certain information from their reports. On the face of it, the scope and application appear unprecedented. All certified accountants connected to the preparation of an auditor's report could conceivably be exposed to criminal sanction - without even intending to omit anything.

In this legal update we discuss this important new development and its intended and possibly unintended consequences. We also examine the current increasingly intense regulatory trends, and expect the Securities & Futures Commission to act swiftly to push through similar changes in the regime for sponsors.

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