Insolvency practitioner independence – law and practice

One of Australia’s insolvency bodies, ARITA, has issued a reminder to its members about the need for liquidators to maintain their independence, saying that ‘it’s the law’ and that the recent COVID-19 reforms in Australia ‘do not impact the legal position’.[1] The law and practice don’t always coincide. +++ Australia has always taken a strict […]

Cryptoassets, hot and cold wallets, and a liquidation

Was cryptocurrency ‘property’ of a company in liquidation, and was it held on trust for the accountholders? Cryptopia Ltd (in liq) originated as a ‘hobby’ which in 2014 was formed as a cryptocurrency trading exchange with ‘a short but tumultuous history’. It went into liquidation in May 2019 after suffering a serious hack and the […]

Case adjourned for COVID-19 health and property value concerns

A son’s claim under the ACT Family Provision Act 1969 sought a life interest in property of his deceased mother, which had been left to his sister, her daughter. He applied to adjourn the 30 March 2020 hearing for reasons to do with COVID-19. The background to the dispute is complicated and the subject of […]

‘Unhappy’ delay in an insolvent winding up

A NSW Judge was ‘unhappy’ about delay in a solvency report being prepared for the defendant, in response to what had become a creditor’s ‘aged’ winding up application based on the defendant’s non-compliance with a winding up demand. On an application for a further adjournment, to 15 June 2020, the Judge described the variable evidence […]

Reform of insolvency communications by email, and beyond

Corporate insolvency law in Australia concerning communications with creditors needs modernising, and well beyond what is available in 2020.  When early cars, then termed locomotives, were first allowed on the road England’s ‘Red Flag Act’ of 1865 required a man with a red flag to walk ‘60 yards’ ahead to alert ‘the Riders and Drivers […]

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 […]

Three liquidators for three intertwined companies

A Judge appointed individual liquidators to three separate companies – OT, AGM and Ozifin – rather than a common liquidator for all of them, even though their affairs were complex and intertwined. This necessitated their joint application to the court for permission to share company and individual information between themselves, including ‘personal information’, in order […]

Winding up a foreign company – Blumenthal’s Tipsy Cake

Tipsy Cake was wound up on 12 February 2020, having had provisional liquidators appointed on 20 December 2019, who then became the liquidators. The company carried on a restaurant business under the name “Dinner by Heston Blumenthal”, a well known cook, in the Crown Casino complex in Melbourne. It is a Part 5.7 body under […]

Too much independence? a re-issue of my 2016 commentary

My analysis below of the law of insolvency practitioner independence, written in October 2016, is reissued in February 2020 in light of the thesis of Dr Elizabeth Streten and her findings about ARITA Code and what she suggests is a disconnect between the law and the code.  Given the findings of Dr Streten about Australian […]