The proportion of insolvency practitioners who are women

Around the time of International Women’s Day and more generally there is often discussion about the low proportion of women registered as liquidators or trustees in Australia – under 10%. Any assessment of why that is the case needs input from other disciplines depending on the depth of inquiry but an analysis at a professional […]

New UK Insolvency Code of Ethics

A new version of the Insolvency Code of Ethics will apply from 1 May 2020 to all insolvency practitioners in the UK. In its reliance on ‘disclosure and consent’ as a way of managing a conflict, it may differ from code guidance in Australia.   ————- It follows a 2017 consultation saying that the Code […]

Obligations to whistleblow

Journalists and accountants among others are obliged by NSW law to ‘whistleblow’ – to report to the police – if they know of the commission of serious criminal offences. These and other issues about whistleblowing, including a forthcoming public debate on 25 March, are discussed in this article. A charge of misprision of treason against […]

A review of Australia’s insolvency practitioner regulation system

Given a choice between a good insolvency law and poor practitioners, and good practitioners and a poor insolvency law, the latter is preferred.  Australia seems to be working its way towards poverty on both counts, with its insolvency practitioners (IPs) highly and expensively regulated quite at odds with the co-regulatory trends elsewhere.       […]

Insolvency R&B law reform ideas

While the ASBFE Ombudsman, ARITA and others are looking at insolvency law reform, including for SMEs, they will no doubt consider some root and branch ideas offered by Professor Helen Anderson, in particular in her 2018 article – Insolvency – it’s all about the money.[1] Without doing justice at all to her ideas, based on […]

Why didn’t someone do something? the obligation to whistleblow

There is a current focus on whistleblowing as being one means whereby unlawfulness can be controlled. But what can be a voluntary and sometimes difficult choice to whistleblow may in fact constitute a legal or professional obligation to do so. Whether that be formally ‘whistleblowing’, the same purpose is achieved, the reporting of unlawful conduct. […]

Small businesses and their financial difficulties – the Ombudsman’s inquiry

A discussion paper[1] issued on 20 December from the Insolvency Practices Inquiry of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman examines the financial difficulties of small business and the impact of an insolvency administration on them. Feedback is sought on what would be a ‘best practice framework’ for both small businesses moving towards insolvency […]

Regulation of Australian insolvency practitioners – UK and NZ compared

I am pleased to be soon presenting to various groups on the regulation of Australian insolvency practitioners, with some comparisons with England and New Zealand. Co-incidentally, international IP regulators are gathering this month for their annual meeting. Given the unique nature of the role of an IP, regulation does call for a particular and more […]

A liquidator found liable for breach of confidence and invasion of privacy

“To say there is bad blood between David Henderson and Robert Walker is an understatement. From the time Robert Walker was appointed liquidator of Property Ventures Ltd (PVL) on 27 July 2010, he has been on a collision course with David Henderson, former director of companies in the PVL group. Frustrated by PVL’s liquidation being […]

Accountants’ insolvency code updated

A new standard for insolvency practitioners – APES 330 – has just been issued written in APESB’s unique style and offering guidance on issues in insolvency practice not covered – to some extent – by the law: responsibilities to creditors and others, timeliness, remuneration, meetings, and integrity and fairness.  The new version is said to […]