February 2018

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…


Liquidator’s fee discount helps judge approve Rem.

It seems that when a liquidator applies to the court for approval of his or her remuneration, advising the judge that you’re offering a big discount doesn’t harm your chances. In Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Addwealth Financial Services Pty Ltd (in liq) [2018] FCA 96 we learn that BRI Ferrier WA principal John Carrello sought judicial approval for fees of $25,000 plus GST and expenses for work Carrello…


COI conflict creates world of pain for PwC partner

Hell hath no fury like a Committee of Inspection (COI) convinced it’s been kept in the dark – just ask Derrick Vickers. PwC’s national head of corporate finance and restructuring was appointed voluntary administrator (VA) of Queensland-based Ostwald Bros Pty Ltd and two other Ostwald group entities back on August 28, 2017, just two days before the commencement of tranche 2 of the Insolvency Law Reform Act (2017). Now…


Robinson’s Reed blitz could attract FEG attention

PPBA partner Mark Robinson has been running hard on the Reed Constructions case these last five and half years so SiN took a look at the most recent statement of accounts and minutes of meetings to see what he’s been getting for his efforts. Backed with funds from Pat Maloney’s Litigation Capital Management, Robinson has been pursuing an insolvent trading claim against two Reed directors, Geoff Reed and Derry Hill, who…