KPMG, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney have announced a collaboration in regtech and fintech research development through the Chair in Disruptive Innovation & Law at the university.

The five-year partnership supports the work of UNSW Scientia professor Ross Buckley, a leading scholar in international financial regulation.

Stuart Fuller, head of KPMG Law at KPMG Australia, said KPMG was committed to aligning ways of working and delivering consistently on the firm’s digital promise through such initiatives.

“The combination of technology, data and AI – coupled with intense business and regulatory change – is transforming the economy, business, and the delivery of services, as well as the legal industry itself,” said Fuller. “Our clients have to drive growth against a background of disruption and innovation, as do we as their key advisers. Transformation is the new normal. That is one of the key reasons for us joining with KWM to sponsor the Chair in Disruptive Innovation and Law at UNSW.”

Berkeley Cox, chief executive partner, Australia, at KWM, said the firm strives to stay at the forefront of developments in the law so it can understand how it affects clients.

“Navigating the laws across our interconnected world and helping to shape them to facilitate the opportunities and address the challenges presented by technological disruption is a key challenge we face,” said Cox.

Both Fuller and Cox said that they saw the announcement as a unique development in professional services where two industry leaders combined to make a significant investment in the fast-growing areas of financial services regulation and fintech – just as the marketplace faces heightened disruption.

UNSW Dean of Law George Williams said supporting future leaders in disruptive innovation and law via this collaboration went beyond the production of innovative ideas and insights.

“We believe the chair, and the work of Professor Buckley, will have a tangible impact on the delivery of key new technologies in Australia and globally,” he said.