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Michael Murray’s on-going commentary on issues in corporate and personal insolvency law and related policy and law reform, in Australia and internationally. Given the scope of insolvency, this extends to business, consumer and professional conduct, and ethics, governance and regulation, criminal, tax, environmental and administrative law, and the courts and government.

 

Remuneration of liquidators: Idylic Solutions, Templeton revisited – more of the same?

Judges’ inconsistency of approach in determining the remuneration of corporate insolvency practitioners is continuing. The respective state and federal courts have been ignoring each others’ decisions such that no inconsistency can be said to even arise. When this happened before, as I have explained, the High Court intervened, as school headmaster, to bring into line its squabbling pupils.  That may be necessary again.

However, some progress may be being made, no doubt prompted by this on-going debate.  

A single judge decision of Wednesday this week of the NSW Supreme Court (Idylic Solutions [2016] NSWSC 1292) now actually cites a Federal Court decision – that of the Full Federal Court in ASIC v Templeton [2015] FCAFC 137 – and gives some acknowledgement of its reasoning.

But the trial decision of only yesterday in ASIC v Templeton (revisited) [2016] FCA 2127, happily ignores the various judicial debates in finding for the receivers’ remuneration in that case: $3.3m for 15 months work in the complex ‘Letten’ matter, with lawyers’ fees of $888k.

Each decision may well be quite sound, but their respective outcomes continue to offer liquidators a preferred court from which to seek remuneration approval.   The ultimate in competition between courts.

Your correspondent will shortly update the situation explaining Idyllic Solutions and Templeton revisited, along with continuing issues concerning Marlborough Gold Mines, Five Star Finance and more.  

As to ‘more’, that will include deliberations of the Council of Chief Justices, the New Zealand and Singapore approaches to remuneration assessment, the impact of the changes under the Insolvency Law Reform Act 2016, some European options, and insights from behavioural economics.  

Readers are invited to offer me information on any of these alternative issues; but no more comments, thank you, are needed from the routine debates playing the same old tunes.       

More soon.  

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One Response

  1. So, what do we do about fees when it involves the recognition of controllers under the Cross Border Insolvency Act and the UNCITRAL Model Laws? I suspect another view from an overseas court might help the discussion caused by current apparently inconsistent rulings in Australia.

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