To terminate or not to terminate? Proving solvency following the making of a winding up order

Hughes, in the matter of Substar Holdings Pty Ltd (in liquidation) (No. 2)[1] (Substar No. 2) considers the Court’s discretionary power to terminate the winding up of a company pursuant to s 482(1) of the Corporations Act 2001. Substar No. 2 follows the decision of Hughes, in the matter of Substar Holdings Pty Ltd (in […]

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Full Court gives Epic Games the green light to continue CCA claim against Apple in Australia

In Epic Games, Inc v Apple Inc,[1] the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia considered whether an exclusive jurisdiction clause in an agreement between Epic Games and Apple required a competition law claim brought by Epic Games against Apple to be stayed to allow the dispute to play out in the United States. […]

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Federal Court considers whether bankrupt’s property should vest in mortgagees following disclaimer by bankruptcy trustee

The Federal Court’s recent decision in Kellendonk[1] concerned a $350,000 loan made by the applicants, Mr and Mrs Kellendonk, to Ms Maria Jasienska-Dudek to help her buy a property in Midland, Western Australia (Property). Ms Jasienska-Dudek defaulted under the loan agreement and the parties subsequently entered an informal agreement which, after Ms Jasienska-Dudek became a […]

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It’s a brave new world: NZ and Australian courts join to determine a high profile, cross-border insolvency

Cross-border insolvency has ventured into new territory as a judgment is released from the first contemporaneous sitting of the Federal Court of Australia and the High Court of New Zealand. Liquidators originally sought separate directions from each Court regarding the distribution of funds from the insolvency of Halifax New Zealand Ltd (Halifax NZ) and Halifax […]

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“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good”: Court approves pragmatism in liquidators entering into Deed of Settlement

In Re Octaviar Ltd,[1] the Supreme Court of Queensland has given a recent example of a settlement considered too ‘good’ to approve, even while noting its failure to achieve perfection. Where a settlement will significantly progress two very lengthy liquidations and save value for creditors by avoiding further costs and delay, the Court is prepared […]

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The Federal Court demonstrates the flexibility and breadth of orders under section 90-15 of the Insolvency Practice Schedule in a voluntary administration

In Krejci, in the matter of Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd,[1] the Federal Court provides an example of the ways in which section 90-15 of the Insolvency Practice Schedule[2] (IPS) can be used to craft orders that balance the interests of the company, creditors and third parties. Background The applicants were the voluntary administrators […]

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Re Cullen Group: When not contesting an application and agreeing to abide an order of the court can be… costly

In Re Cullen Group,[1] the Supreme Court of Queensland considered the determination of a preliminary question regarding the insolvency of Cullen Group Australia Pty Ltd (Cullen Group), which was placed into liquidation approximately four years prior to the hearing date. The issue of insolvency was relatively uncontroversial and, as noted by Justice Martin, “was not […]

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Court decides Cant can’t recover payment from related company as unfair preference

In the recent decision of Cant v Mad Brothers Earthmoving,[1] the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria (Justices Beach, McLeish and Hargrave) considered whether the liquidator of Eliana Construction and Developing Group (in liquidation) (Eliana) could establish that a payment made to an unsecured creditor of Eliana by one of Eliana’s related companies was […]

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Search and seizure application warranted: Illegal phoenix activity

The recent Federal Court decision of Scott v Southern Highlands Waste & Recycling Pty Ltd[1] provides liquidators with important guidance regarding the availability of search and seizure warrants under section 530C of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Corps Act). Whilst the provision remains a useful mechanism for liquidators dealing with uncooperative directors, the Court has made it clear that warrants […]

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Gunns ahoy: Federal Court reignites debate over the application of the peak indebtedness rule and set-off defence in unfair preference claims

In the recent Gunns decisions, the Federal Court considered three separate unfair preference claims brought by the liquidators of Gunns Limited (in Liquidation) (Gunns) against: Badenoch Integrated Logging Pty Ltd (Badenoch);[1] Bluewood Industries Pty Ltd (Bluewood);[2] and Edenborn Pty Ltd (Edenborn).[3] Badenoch, Bluewood and Edenborn each received significant sums from Gunns during the relation-back period and evidence available […]

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Webinar | The Butterfly Effect – insolvency, class actions and government

Challenging economic times inevitably lead to increased litigation, from which government is not immune whether in the enforcement of powers or contracts or in the defence of ambit claims. This session examines recent changes in the current environment, exacerbated by COVID-19 challenges to the content of laws and the practical administration of justice and the […]

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NSW Court of Appeal casts a shadow over voting rights

Whilst the power of a chairperson to exercise a casting vote at creditors’ meetings is a useful mechanism to resolve a deadlock in voting, it does not confer unconstrained discretion. The recent Glenfyne Appeal[1] provides valuable guidance as to the appropriate exercise of a casting vote and also serves as a reminder of the Court’s […]

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