Personal details

Ms Nicola Howell
Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Law,
Law School
Discipline *
+61 7 3138 2006
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles

Master of Law (LLM) (Griffith University), Bachelor of Science (Honours) (The University of Melbourne), Bachelor of Laws (The University of Melbourne), Bachelor of Laws (University of Melbourne)

Professional memberships
and associations

Member, Commercial and Property Law Centre, QUT; Member, Consumers’ Federation of Australia; Member, Australian Law Teachers Association


consumer credit, financial services, bankruptcy, personal insolvency, consumer law, self-regulation, regulation, CPLRC

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Nicola is a Senior Lecturer and member of the Commercial and Property Law Research Centre in the Law Faculty, Queensland University of Technology. Nicola researches legal and policy issues in consumer financial services, consumer credit and other consumer transactions, and personal insolvency.

At QUT, Nicola has received research grants and consultancies from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Queensland Attorney-General’s Department, and has authored or contributed to submissions to government and other review bodies on reviews of consumer law, consumer credit, self-regulation, and personal insolvency.

Prior to her appointment at QUT, Nicola was the inaugural Director of the Centre for Credit and Consumer Law at Griffith University, where she undertook and coordinated research on a range of consumer law topics.

Nicola has strong links with regulators and consumer organisations, including through her recent membership of ASIC’s Consumer Advisory Panel and the Executive of the Consumers’ Federation of Australia, and her previous appointment as the Consumer and Business Representative on the Banking Code Compliance Committee. She has worked with consumer and regulatory organisations to advance research on various consumer and personal insolvency topics.

Nicola is also a PhD candidate at Melbourne Law School, and her PhD research focuses on the legal solutions to over-indebtedness and the ways in which consumer experience the different solutions.

Nicola’s recent publications have covered topics including the fresh start in bankruptcy, new credit laws affecting small loans, and self-regulation in the banking sector. Her work has been published in Australian and overseas refereed journals and edited books.

Nicola was, with a colleague, instrumental in establishing the first Australasian Consumer Law Roundtable, an annual event that has been running since 2006, and involves academics from across Australia and New Zealand.

Nicola teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students, in areas including insolvency, commercial and personal property, consumer, and financial services law.

Some key publicationsBook chapters

  • Howell, Nicola (2016) ‘Making Payday Loans Safer: The Australian Approach to Regulating Small and Medium Sized Loans’. In O’Shea, Paul & Fairweather, Karen (Eds.) Credit, Consumers and The Law: After The Global Storm. Ashgate Publishing Limited. (In Press)
  • Howell, Nicola (2013) Interest rate caps and price regulation in consumer credit. In Malbon, Justin & Nottage, Luke (Eds.) Consumer Law and Policy in Australia and New Zealand. The Federation Press, Annandale, NSW, pp. 311–336.
  • Howell, Nicola & Wilson, Therese (2008) The limits of competition : reasserting a role for consumer protection and fair trading regulation in competitive markets. In Parry, Deborah, Nordhausen, Annette, Howells, Geraint, & Twigg-Flesner, Christian (Eds.) The Yearbook of Consumer Law 2009. Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, England.

Journal articles

  • Howell, Nicola J (2016) ‘Small amount credit contracts and payday loans: The complementarity of price regulation and responsible lending regulation’. Alternative Law Journal, 41(3), pp. 174-178.
  • Howell, Nicola & Mason, Rosalind F. (2015) ‘Reinforcing stigma or delivering a fresh start: Bankruptcy and future engagement in the workforce’. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 38(4), pp. 1529-1574.
  • Howell, Nicola J. (2015) ‘Revisiting the Australian code of banking practice: Is self-regulation still relevant for improving consumer protection standards?’ UNSW Law Journal, 38(2), pp. 544-586.
  • Howell, Nicola (2014) ‘The fresh start goal of the Bankruptcy Act: giving a temporary reprieve or facilitating debtor rehabilitation?’ QUT Law Review, 14(3), pp. 29-52.
  • McGill, Denise & Howell, Nicola (2013) Improving the ability of guarantors to make a real choice : lenders’ practices in taking third party guarantees. Journal and Banking and Finance Law and Practice, 24(3), pp. 182–202.
  • Howell, Nicola (2009) National consumer credit laws, financial exclusion and interest rate caps : The case for diversity within a centralised framework. Competition and Consumer Law Journal, 17(2), pp. 212–233.
  • Wilson, Therese, Howell, Nicola, & Sheehan, Genevieve (2009) Protecting the most vulnerable in consumer credit transactions. Journal of Consumer Policy, 32(2), pp. 117–140.


  • Howell, Nicola, Wilson, Therese, & Davidson, James (2008) Interest rate caps : protection or paternalism.
  • Howell, Nicola (2008) Joint consumer submission to the review of the code of banking practice. (Unpublished)
  • Sheehan, Genevieve, Wilson, Therese, & Howell, Nicola (2008) Coming to grips with credit contracts : steps to protect vulnerable borrowers. Brotherhood of St Laurence and Griffith University Centre for Credit and Consumer Law, Fitzroy, Victoria.
This information has been contributed by Ms Nicola Howell.


Nicola teaches into the following units:


  • LLB204 Commercial and Personal Property Law
  • LLH474 Insolvency Law
  • LWB454 Banking and Finance Law
  • LWS009 Introduction to Law


  • LWN325 Financial Services and Consumer Law
  • LWN801 Insolvency Law and Professional Practice 1
  • LWN804 Regulatory Issues Impacting Insolvency Practice
  • LWN195 Elder Law

Nicola also supervises students in:

  • LLH473 Independent Research Project
  • LWN600 Professional Research and Writing for Law

Past teaching responsibilities at undergraduate level have included:

  • LWB136 Contracts A
  • LWB137 Contracts B
  • LWB325 Financial Services and Consumer Law
  • LWB459 Commercial and Consumer Law
This information has been contributed by Ms Nicola Howell.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.