Halifax – a cross-border insolvency

A joint hearing of Australian and New Zealand courts is one way to deal with an intermingled cross-Tasman insolvency, through a letter of request process, but other options might have been available through the Model Law. “Classic candidate for cross-border cooperation” On 22 August 2019, the Federal Court decided in principle that it could send […]

Review of the CATSI Act 2006

The government has announced a review of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) which is the law that provides for a special form of incorporation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, separate from Corporations Act companies. Current problems in insolvency under the Corporations Act – trading trusts, employee priorities, […]

The Future of Australian Law Reform – the five top priorites?

The Australian Law Reform Commission released its report The Future of Law Reform: A Suggested Program of Work 2020-25 on 2 December 2019.  The report contains what the ALRC says is an ambitious agenda for law reform over the next five years which it is proposing to government. It follows an extensive community consultation on what […]

Anti-competitive conduct in the insolvency industry?

A new code of conduct for insolvency practitioners in Australia now proscribes illegal anti-competitive conduct, unusual for an industry code but no doubt included for good legal reasons, given the last competition review of insolvency was in 1992. Professionals can have the knowledge and authority to significantly influence, often in their favour, the framing of […]

Liquidator’s fees were too low

Adverse findings have been made against a liquidator by a disciplinary committee, one being that he accepted fees that were “significantly below the actual cost” of the liquidations concerned, and, that being the case, he gave less attention to the investigation of those matters than he should have.[1] That raises an interesting issue about what […]

Australia’s Official Receiver (in corporate insolvency)

Australia adopted much of English corporate law at the beginning of the 20th century but one thing it did not take on was the English Official Receiver role[1] – the UK’s default liquidator and trustee in bankruptcy, among other tasks, also adopted in New Zealand as the Official Assignee. Official liquidators Instead, Australia opted for […]

Breaking a bankruptcy monopoly in New Zealand

There are moves in NZ to break the monopoly of the Official Assignee in personal insolvency by allowing private insolvency practitioners to administer bankruptcies under the same structure as applies in Australia. A private member’s bill – the Insolvency (Private Administration of Personal Bankruptcy) Amendment Bill – would amend the Insolvency Act 2006 to allow this. […]

New Zealand – corporate insolvency practitioner regulation

The New Zealand government has called for submissions on the proposed minimum standards and conditions for the licensing of insolvency practitioners under the Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act 2019, including Australian practitioners. The Discussion Paper sets out a number of issues, some of which, by way of comparison with Australia, are these. The Act has introduced […]

Corporate phoenixing – a crime?

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released a Discussion Paper addressing a number of aspects of its reference on corporate criminal liability. Phoenix activity receives attention. Other issues are the division between criminal offences and civil penalty provisions; the method for attributing criminal liability to corporations; individual liability for corporate offences; deferred prosecution agreements; and […]