Recipient: Mark Wellard
Project: Deeds of company arrangement
The limited availability of corporate insolvency statistics was the subject of a number of submissions to the 2014 Senate inquiry into ASIC. We know little of the outcome of voluntary administrations, either by way of returns to creditors or the business being preserved, or their cost.
Mark Wellard, an academic at QUT, was funded under the TTS to provide a snapshot of Deeds of Company Arrangements (DOCAs) – creditor returns, outcome of the company, and its business, industry type and time and cost involved. Mark’s report will be released in 2014 and will provide a measure of how Part 5.3A is working, and what, if any, changes may need to be made to our restructuring regime to improve its outcomes.
Read Mark's report
Read Mark's article in the Australian Insolvency Journal
Recipient: Amanda Phillips
Project: Official liquidations
Official liquidators can still be obliged to take court appointed liquidations, under ASIC imposed requirements. The 2013 report of Amanda Phillips, an accountant of Ferrier Hodgson, sheds much light on how few funds there are in such appointments, such that official liquidators are underfunded both in relation to the paid disbursements and their remuneration, to the tune of $42 million.
Practitioners are obliged to properly investigate and report on court ordered liquidations, whatever the level of assets and funds available. Amanda recommends a number of options, including government funding. In the end result, when the status of official liquidators is removed, as foreshadowed by the government, many court appointed windings up may only be possible if there is no external funding or indemnity.
Amanda’s report has been the subject of close attention by policy makers and law reform agencies, and was referred to by ARITA in its 2014 submission to the UK Insolvency Service on proposed changes to practitioner fee arrangements.
Read Amanda’s report
Read Amanda’s article in the Australian Insolvency Journal
Recipient: Peter Keenan
Project: The RATA
Practitioners are familiar with the report as to affairs (RATA), a significant document in corporate insolvency by which directors are to record the financial affairs of the insolvent company. However, it has not been the subject of review or improvement in several decades and has become quite inadequate for its purposes. The TTS funded Peter Keenan, a respected former liquidator and insolvency thought leader, to review the RATA.
Peter’s report, recommending its wholesale redrafting, and drawing comparisons with the more modern bankruptcy statement of affairs, has been recorded and noted by government and law reform bodies. This has led to ASIC now consulting on a full review of the RATA which should lead to a more effective and useful document to assist external administrators better and more quickly understand the extent of the company’s insolvency.
Read Peter’s report
Read Peter’s article in the Australian Insolvency Journal
Recipient: Nicholas Mirzai
Project: Court directions
The right of a practitioner to seek the assistance and directions of the court were the subject of a comprehensive review by Nicholas Mirzai, a barrister and legal author. Nicholas’ TTS report reviews all relevant court decisions and provides a useful handbook for those contemplating court assistance. In particular, the report explains the limits which the court will impose on giving directions where commercial considerations are involved.
Read Nicholas’s report
Read Nicholas’s article in the Australian Insolvency Journal