Insolvency Law Reforms – how they affect you

Australian insolvency laws have been criticised for precipitating value destruction and terminal decline in the life of a company.
 
To address this the Australian Government recently released for comment, an exposure draft of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No. 2) Bill 2017 to enact safe harbour provisions and restrictions on the enforceability of ipso facto clauses in voluntary administrations and schemes of arrangement.
 
These two key reforms, scheduled to take effect from 1 January 2018, are designed to encourage value preserving restructures which will benefit the companies, their employees, creditors, shareholders and the economy at large.
 
Want to learn more about why these reforms are happening and what they mean for you?

Click here to read our Insight

 

Scott Atkins

I'm unapologetically determined and fearless. I pursue excellence. Always.

Scott Atkins Partner

Scott is the Chair of our Board and an internationally renowned insolvency and restructuring lawyer. He is an inaugural Fellow and a member of the Board of INSOL International. Scott is also Vice President of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA).

Scott is a trusted adviser to Australia's leading banks and insolvency and restructuring practitioners and has acted on some of the industry's most complex and sensitive banking and insolvency advisory and dispute resolution matters.

Prior to joining HDY, Scott practiced for 7 years as in-house counsel with Commonwealth Bank Group. He is now our Client Relationship Partner for the CBA Group. He is also the co-leader of our cross-border insolvency practice and our regulatory enforcement practice. Scott is recognised by his peers for his leading expertise in cross-border insolvency, acting on both inbound engagements in Australia and advising Australian clients on outbound engagements in the USA, UK, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and The Netherlands, among other jurisdictions.

Scott was the Australian delegate on the Advisory Committee on Comparative Law established by the American Bankruptcy Institute as part of its Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. This resulted in a landmark report for the reform of Chapter 11.

He is a published author on insolvency and cross-border insolvency. Most recently, Scott was one of the Australian contributors to the 2015 publication 'International Contributions to the reform of Chapter 11 U.S. bankruptcy code' which is volume 2 of the European and International Insolvency Law Studies series. He also authored the Australian chapter of Avoidance of Antecedent Transactions and Cross-Border Insolvency (INSOL International). Among other publications, he is the co-author, together with Professor Rosalind Mason, of the Australian chapter of Look Chan Ho's leading text: Cross-Border Insolvency: Cases and Materials (Kluwer International).

Scott is a visiting lecturer on cross-border insolvency at the University of Sydney in its undergraduate and postgraduate law programs lead by Professor John Stumbles.

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Cameron Cheetham Partner

Cameron Cheetham is a partner in the Banking Turnaround and Insolvency group.

Cameron focuses on Australian and worldwide restructuring and insolvency matters. He is uniquely qualified having practised for 20 years in Australia, London and New York. He has extensive experience in complex formal restructurings and out-of-court reorganisations for public, portfolio and private debtor companies, creditors, equity sponsors, strategic investors and related contentious disputes. He is widely acknowledged as bringing a depth of practical experience and energy to matters, which he combines with his exceptional understanding of formal insolvency regimes. Cameron is widely regarded as driving sensible, commercial outcomes and is a regular lecturer in Australia and the U.S. on international restructuring issues.

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Craig Ensor Partner

Craig has over 15 years' experience in banking, restructuring, insolvency and commercial litigation, and is recognised by his clients and peers as a leading practitioner in all aspects of banking and insolvency law.

Craig has advised Australia's leading banks on numerous corporate collapses, and has acted for voluntary administrators, liquidators, provisional liquidators and receivers and managers in many high-profile corporate insolvencies.

Craig also has extensive experience in bank related litigation involving secured and unsecured debt recovery, cheque conversion, fraud and unconscionable conduct claims and significant experience in breach of director duty litigation. He has acted for secured creditors in respect of financial ombudsman complaints.

Craig regularly presents to banking and accounting clients on legal issues and various aspects of banking and insolvency law and is published in the Australian Insolvency Journal.

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Mark Hilton

I walk with honour in dark places. Take my hand. We've got this.

Mark Hilton Partner

Mark specialises in banking recovery, including all forms of consumer and corporate recovery and insolvency. He has acted for banks and other financial institutions, receivers, liquidators and administrators for over 28 years.

Mark is a leading insolvency lawyer who has been involved in some of Australia's largest and most complex insolvency matters over the past decade.

He is known for his solid relationships with Australia's Big 4 Banks, as well as his expertise in recovery and enforcement, and litigation and dispute resolution.

Clients call upon Mark for his industry knowledge, achieved from being exposed to businesses across a spectrum of industries such as aged care, banking and financial services, retail, property development, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and infrastructure.

His background in commercial litigation has provided a basis for a substantial practice involving the recovery of loss associated with negligent valuations in connection with securitised loans.

Mark's willingness to embrace innovation is, among other things, evidenced by his coordination of the establishment of recovery extranets to assist financial institutions to monitor the status of recovery and enforcement action on secured and unsecured lending transactions.

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Laura Johns Partner

Laura has extensive experience in insolvency and banking dispute resolution. She advises Australia's leading banks and other financial clients on complex corporate insolvency processes, litigation and recovery matters.

Laura acts for banks, insolvency practitioners, companies and creditors on issues connected with companies in financial distress and has assisted clients on a variety of insolvency and restructuring assignments. She regularly advises on security enforcement, receiverships, voluntary administrations and liquidations.

Laura has significant experience with professional negligence claims on behalf of banking clients, in particular, against valuers. She is also regularly involved in dealing with security enforcement litigation, matters involving Financial Ombudsman Service complaints, fraud related matters and general banking and insolvency related litigation in the Supreme Court and Federal Court.

Laura has recently completed a 6 month secondment in house at an Australian bank. 
She regularly presents and writes on insolvency, litigation and recovery matters.

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John Martin Partner

John is a leading lawyer in both financial sector dispute resolution (complex and regulatory) and corporate insolvency and restructuring, with a particular specialty in cross-border insolvencies. He is recognised by his clients, peers and legal directories as a leader in his field.
 

Domestically, John advises on large and complex insolvencies and assists in finding solutions for financial institutions with regulatory and other complex issues. His clients include several of Australia's major banks, as well as insolvency practitioners appointed to insolvent entities.

Internationally, John has advised in connection with insolvencies in England, Fiji, Bermuda, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Brunei, and Norfolk Island. His cross-border experience includes acting for the liquidators of an insolvent bank, and various liquidators of insurance and reinsurance companies.

John is a recognised authority on insolvency issues, with articles published in media outlets such as The Australian Financial Review and the Insolvency Law Journal. He has presented at numerous domestic conferences as well as internationally in the US, England, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

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Claudine Salameh Partner

Claudine has over 15 years' experience dealing with legal issues in the financial services sector.

She is a banking and insolvency litigator and regulatory expert. She acts for the major Australian financial institutions in matters involving customer disputes and litigation, fraud, regulatory and compliance issues, regulatory investigations, inquiries and enforcement matters, security enforcement and insolvency litigation. She also acts for insolvency practitioners in formal receiverships, voluntary administrations and liquidations.

Claudine is well known for her ability to manage risks posed by litigation and regulatory inquiries and investigations. She is particularly attuned to reputational and business risks. She is highly strategic and creative and is recognised by her clients for being able to achieve the perfect balance between legal arguments and commercial and practical outcomes.

Claudine has been instrumental in working with clients to provide insights into the field of behavioural economics, which over the past few years, has been of interest to policy makers and regulators as a tool to engage in 'choice architecture'. On a practical level, Claudine has worked closely with clients to design approaches to customer engagement that make use of behavioural insights.   

Claudine is an expert in the conduct of review and remediation programs and provided assistance to the regulator, by way of submissions and her involvement in an industry working group, on ASIC's regulatory guide on review and remediation programs.

Claudine is very familiar with ASIC's powers to obtain documents and information from financial institutions and is called upon by financial institutions to provide assistance in these matters. She has a style that is conducive to having a fruitful dialogue with both the regulator and the various stakeholders within a financial institution.

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Mark Schneider

Achieving our clients' business goals drives our strategy and advice. It's what we do.

Mark Schneider Partner

Mark is the partner responsible for managing our Brisbane office. He has broad experience in corporate restructuring, insolvency and banking and general commercial litigation. Mark specialises in resolving disputes, advising both banks and insolvency practitioners in relation to all aspects of the enforcement of securities and the realisation of distressed assets in Australia and internationally.

Mark has advised insolvency practitioners, secured and unsecured creditors including financial institutions and directors in relation to debt recovery, security enforcement, restructuring, formal insolvency procedures and dispute resolution throughout Australia and in Europe.

He takes pride in helping banks, financiers and their appointees implement practical strategies for resolving disputes, enforcing securities and realising distressed assets in Australia and internationally.

Mark regularly advises on secured creditors' rights, including undertaking complex security reviews and the intensive management of complex and sensitive debt positions.

Mark is sought out by clients involved in potential disputes who are concerned about protecting their reputation. He is experienced with alternative dispute resolution as well as appearing and instructing in the State and Federal Courts, including at Appellate level.

Mark has experience in many industry sectors including commercial, rural and residential property, hotels and leisure, retail, energy and resources (including mining services).

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Noel McCoy

I want you to win and will leave no stone unturned until you do.

Noel McCoy Partner

Noel is a specialist in complex turnaround, restructuring and insolvency matters with over 14 years' experience in advising and representing cross-border, financial services and government clients.

He has helped lead some of Australia's most significant cross-border insolvency engagements, including in conducting the first appellate decision in Australia under the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross Border insolvency (Saad Investments). Noel acts for the foreign liquidators of Centaur Litigation in conducting Australian investigations and litigation and has advised on the Caledonian Bank restructure. Noel also has extensive experience in international judgment enforcement & offshore asset recovery.

Noel currently advises a variety of NSW and Commonwealth government agencies on their financial commitments and exposures. He helps lead HDY's engagement with the Commonwealth Department of Employment in connection with the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Program.

Noel has advised major Australian financial institutions and not-for-profit organisations about lending and restructuring taking into account the unique challenges and profiles of not-for-profit organisations. Noel had primary carriage of HDY's receivership engagement giving rise to the landmark decision of Re Anglican Development Fund Diocese of Bathurst (2015) 336 ALR 372.

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