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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.

 

The new insolvency laws – their benefits

The changes effected by the Insolvency Law Reform Act 2016 are now law with some parts having commenced on 1 March 2017 with the remainder on 1 September 2017. Any new law causes some disruption but it can also serve to clean out some of the old ways, in particular those in corporate insolvency and the harmonisation of insolvency practice will in due course be seen as a benefit.

Late changes

In a last minute flurry of legislative and other activity, we now have:

  • A consolidated version of the Insolvency Practice Rules (Bankruptcy) 2016, issued as at 30 August 2017 (F2017L01103), and registered on 1 September 2017, the Insolvency Practice (Bankruptcy) Amendment (Minor Amendments) Rules 2017 having been introduced at the last minute, to fix some drafting errors and oversights.
  • The Insolvency Practice Rules (Corporations) Amendment 2017 (No. 1) amended the Insolvency Practice Rules (Corporations) 2016, of which we await a consolidated version.

The Courts

The Courts are also involved in the flurry:

  • The Family Law Rules 2004, in so far as they apply to bankruptcy, have been amended by the Family Law Amendment (Insolvency Law Reform) Rules 2017 with a commencement date of 1 September 2017.
  • The Federal Circuit Court (Bankruptcy) Amendment (Insolvency and Other Measures) Rules 2017 and the Federal Court (Bankruptcy) Amendment (Insolvency and Other Measures) Rules 2017 have also effected their changes by 1 September 2017.

Regulators

Both ASIC and AFSA are still in the process of issuing new forms and guidance.

Others

Others players will no doubt produce their guidance in due course.

Difficult?

Any new law causes some disruption but it can also serve to clean out some of the old ways, in particular those in corporate insolvency with its various sections for committees of creditors and of inspections, for remuneration, directions and committees, and for replacement of practitioners.

The broad harmonisation within each of personal and corporate insolvency and between each of personal and corporate insolvency will in due course be seen as a benefit.

This aspect of the changes is not complex, save for those who want to see them so.

Further information on the new laws will appear here and in my various publications.

 

 

 

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