February 2018

Rivals sense opportunity as David Leigh fallout spreads

As the shockwave from Friday’s revelations about former PPB Advisory (PPBA) partner David Leigh spreads two separate issues are emerging. One relates to the very well regarded Leigh and what might’ve driven him to transfer, as is alleged by PPBA, $800,000 in three tranches from an account connected to Neolido Holdings Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) to an account connected to his private company Peach Pty Ltd. The rumour…


Liq’s Bid to restrain examination evidence refused

The ongoing examination into the affairs of Australia’s largest private precious metals smelter continues to provide ore for SiN’s mill. As has been previously reported, the companies at the heart of this affair were served by the ATO with a $200 million plus bill for unpaid GST and penalties back in 2017 and are contesting it every inch of the way in the courts. That…


Accused fraudster Ian Lazar unfit to stand trial

Accused fraudster Ian Lazar may never face various criminal charges after District Court judge John Pickering last week ruled the businessman mentally unfit to stand trial. Lazar has been on bail awaiting trial since he was discharged from the Mosman Private Hospital Mood Disorders Unit last year, a facility he had been moved to after successfully defeating police efforts to keep him in custody while…


Westpac restructuring guru Gwyn Morgan to retire

After 43 years Gwyn Morgan, Westpac Bank’s head of credit restructuring is retiring. A spokesman for Westpac confirmed yesterday that Morgan will hand the helm to his trusted lieutenant Dave Lee in a couple of months. His departure follows an illustrious – albeit anonymous career – leading the restructures of some of Australia most colossal corporate collapses. HIH, Burns Philp and Arrium have become nationally recognised…


FEG intervenes as PwC partner seeks belated approval

The Department of Employment’s FEG Recovery Unit has forced the adjournment of an application by PwC’s Derrick Vickers seeking to validate transactions he entered into with various creditors of failed construction contractor, Ostwald Bros Pty Ltd (OB). Vickers had sought to kick off the application on Wednesday but the FEG team turned up and were successful in having the matter adjourned until March 13. According to sources close…


Cor Cordis partner first referral under new law

Cor Cordis Melbourne partner Dennis Turner received an unwanted Christmas missive last year when ASIC served the Melbourne-based liquidator and bankruptcy trustee with a Schedule 2 disciplinary referral on December 20. The Form 986, while largely devoid of detail, cites as the alleged misconduct: “Actual or perceived conflict of interest or duty” and “Failure to disclose giving rise to actual or perceived conflict of interest or duty”….


Thomson first trustee to be referred under new rules

Veritas Advisory might find itself in need of a replacement trustee now that the first AFSA disciplinary committee convened under the new Insolvency Practice rules prepares to determine whether incumbent Louise Thomson should incur any penalty. According to the AFSA website, Thomson was referred under Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Bankruptcy Act (the Act) after the Inspector-General formed the belief that: “Thomson has failed…


Rodgers Reidy partner calls time on insolvency

After a year during which his family was targeted with death threats by people known to the police, Rodgers Reidy partner Rob Moody has decided he’s had enough. SiN understands Moodie, who did not want to comment for this story, asked ASIC to cancel his liquidator’s registration some time late last year after deciding he’d had enough of the insolvency game, particularly in regards to dealing with small business…


Robinson defends recovery position on Reed

Our coverage in Robinson’s Reed Blitz Could Attract FEG Attention prompted PPB Advisory partner Mark Robinson to counter with information he believes extinguishes any suggestion that the Commonwealth via the FEG Recovery Unit might be entitled to consider it has a priority claim on funds recovered so far. Robinson pointed out that when Reed’s directors placed the company into voluntary administration (VA) back in June 2012, Ferrier…


“Holding DoCA” foe wins special leave: High Court

Those practitioners considering a holding DoCa would be advised to consider the decision this morning of the High Court of Australia to grant special leave in the matter of Mighty River International Limited V Hughes & Ors. The Hughes in this matter is Pitcher Partners’ Bryan Hughes, who along with colleague Daniel Bredenkamp has been battling Mighty River’s director, Australian-Chinese businessman Yuzheng “Eugene” Xie over the Mesa Minerals deed of…