The 2006 Les Taylor Prize honours an industry legend by fostering banking and finance thought leadership

9 September 2005

The Prime Minister of Australia the Hon John Howard MP today unveiled details of the annual $20,000 2006 Les Taylor Prize on behalf of the Prize's sponsors, national law firm Clayton Utz and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Organised as an annual essay competition the Prize is open to all persons interested in and with an appropriate knowledge of each year's specified banking and financial services topic. The Les Taylor Prize is believed to be the first such competition directly related to the sector in Australia. The topic for the 2006 Prize is: "The impact of regulation on the banking & finance industry in Australia over the last decade and its implications for future policy direction".

The sponsors say their intention was to devise a competition that would have ongoing impact and significance for the banking & finance sector in Australia as a way of honouring the outstanding and nearly half-century long contribution to the area by Mr Taylor.

Mr Taylor served the Commonwealth Bank for 48 years, retiring in 2003 as the Bank's Chief Solicitor & General Counsel. During his long association with the Bank Mr Taylor's exceptional service contribution was not only widely valued within the Bank but gained him similar plaudits throughout the sector for his broader service to the banking and legal community.

Both sponsors say they hope the quality of thought leadership they envisage arising from those competing for the Prize will serve as both a significant tribute to Mr Taylor and a stimulus for future policy-making.

"As the top lawyer for Australia's largest retail bank, Les was at the forefront of a succession of exciting revolutions in banking," said Chief Executive Partner at Clayton Utz, David Fagan. "That he moved so successfully with the times and continued to champion change is a testament to his abilities and vision as a lawyer. It is, therefore, the most fitting tribute that Les's name should continue to be associated with thought leadership in the banking and financial services sector."

Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Officer, David Murray said the Les Taylor Prize stood to shape the direction of banking policy in Australia in the future. "Regulation has certainly had a significant impact on the banking and financial services sector in this country. We hope that the topic will produce essays that exhibit a level of thought leadership with the potential to influence future policy-making and direction in this area."

Essays submitted for the 2006 Les Taylor Prize will be judged by a distinguished panel chaired by former High Court Justice Sir Darryl Dawson. The prize is open to all and is expected to attract substantial interest from banking and legal professionals, academics and journalists.

Full details on the 2006 Les Taylor prize will be available at from 10 September. Entries must be uploaded via the website by close of business 1 March 2006. The winner will be announced in May.