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.       […]

Don’t be too harsh on non-compliant directors of failed companies?

The laws regulating the conduct of directors of companies in liquidation and laws regulating persons who go bankrupt exist in two different universes, consistent with the relative influence of the stakeholders behind each. Past reform ideas to lessen time and expense in liquidations, and address phoenix activity, were rejected by directors as being ‘unjustifiably harsh’. […]

A pointless distinction in corporate insolvency

In the 19th century, where much corporate insolvency law thinking still remains, a distinction was made between court ordered liquidations on the one hand, and creditors’ voluntary liquidations (CVLs), both solvent and insolvent, on the other. An accident of insolvency history, as an early edition of Ford says, though perpetuated for over 100 years. The […]

Liquidator disciplinary decision

A decision of a tribunal in Australia gives some insight into the insolvency practitioner discipline processes introduced in 2017, which replaced, in corporate insolvency, a more formal hearing type process. A liquidator’s registration was cancelled by a discipline committee convened under the Corporations Act 2001 which then sought to have its reasons for decision published.[1] […]

Selfies of Australian insolvency practitioners – not looking good …?

Recent Australian academic research reveals an insolvency industry comprising practitioners with low self-identity, lacking in self-confidence and with a limited outlook. The research is based on anonymised interviews with a wide range of corporate insolvency practitioners having a particular focus on the impact of recent law reforms, on ASIC and ARITA, and on regulation and […]

The 2020 insolvency practitioner codes

New insolvency practitioner codes have issued in Australia, with the UK and NZ perhaps not far behind. It remains to see whether the codes are adaptable enough to reflect what is a changing business and professional environment and thereby to remain relevant and accepted. The international accounting Code of Ethics – APES 110 in Australia […]

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 […]

New Zealand insolvency – accrediting the professional bodies

Public consultation in New Zealand is now open on a discussion paper on the minimum standards and standard conditions for the accreditation of professional bodies[1] to conduct what will be a co-regulatory regime over corporate insolvency practitioners.[2] It is expected that RITANZ will apply to be a recognised body, ARITA’s NZ equivalent. ‘Carrying out the […]

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 […]