Bodies everywhere – the regulation of liquidators and trustees

One of the most unusual reforms introduced by Australia’s 2016 Insolvency Law Reform Act was to give a large number of professional bodies, and government departments, most of them unconnected with insolvency, a role in the regulation of insolvency practitioners. 

Unusual because such a legal regime seems unprecedented in Australian law, and also because all the bodies and agencies appear to have largely ignored the authority and perhaps also the responsibility offered under the new law.

The industry bodies now found everywhere are ARITA; CPA Australia; CAANZ; IPA; NSW Bar Association; Law Society of NSW; Victorian Legal Services Commissioner; Victorian Legal Services Board; Bar Association of Queensland; Queensland Law Society; Legal Practice Board of WA; Law Society of SA; Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner of SA; Law Society of Tasmania; Law Society of the ACT; and Law Society NT. AIIP is not one of them, nor TMA, nor RITANZ.

Then there are ‘professional disciplinary bodies’, and a ‘prescribed body’, and all the ‘Commonwealth entities’ which include the departments of education, prime minister and cabinet, agriculture, treasury, regional development, transport and more.

They are now all on the watch for miscreant liquidators and trustees.

Is this a ridiculous regulatory overkill, and no wonder it is being ignored?

Or, given that ASIC and AFSA have had little to say about it as well, does it provide some pretence at co-regulation with the professions, which really just serves to deflect responsibility onto unsuspecting others?

My article in the latest Insolvency Law Bulletin lists all these bodies, and their authority, in convenient tabular form. 

Find out what your body is supposed to do, and see if it does it, and if it does it, let me know.


See Bodies everywhere – the role of professional bodies in regulating insolvency practitioners [2018] 19(5) INSLB 94.


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