The Culleton bankruptcy – part 3 – the appeal – decision reserved

On 27 January 2017, the Full Federal Court reserved its decision.  It is to be given this week, on a date to be advised.  The stay order was continued for up to 24 hours after then. 



The Federal Court has expedited the hearing of Mr Culleton’s bankruptcy appeal, to Friday 27 January 2017, in Perth.  The appeal judges are Chief Justice James Allsop, Justice John Dowsett and Justice Anthony Besanko.

A long series of orders made by the Chief Justice on 19 January provide that:

  • the stay of the bankruptcy is extended to midnight on Friday 27 January 2017
  • the appeal is limited to whether the appeal should be allowed and whether the sequestration order should be set aside
  • that is, if it is allowed, there is to be no hearing as to whether Mr Culleton is solvent, or whether the bankruptcy petition was an abuse of process (these issues must be raised in Mr Culleton’s notice of appeal)
  • an oral application for security for costs made presumably by Balwyn be dismissed; and
  • access to the court file be the subject of particular orders.

Having re-read the decision of Justice Barker, Murrays Legal does not like Mr Culleton’s prospects, though we have not seen the notice of appeal, or the submissions.

We speculate whether the prompt hearing of the appeal has anything to do with the need to clear the scene for the Court of Disputed Returns to then give its decision.

The Official Trustee in Bankruptcy is the trustee of Mr Culleton’s estate.  Given the bankruptcy is stayed, its role is limited, pending the outcome of 27 January. 

Stay further tuned.


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