Restructuring & Insolvency

Henry Davis York's Restructuring & Insolvency team is consistently recognised by our clients, peers and industry bodies for its pre-eminence, evidenced by the complexity, scale and sensitivity of the matters entrusted to us.

Our team has had leading roles in Australia's most important and high profile corporate collapses, major insolvencies and ground-breaking restructurings in recent years.

We also have Australia's leading cross-border insolvency practice, with a number of partners who have practised and remain qualified in key foreign jurisdictions.  The depth of our experience is unparalleled in the Australian market and this is reflected by our regular instructions in offshore matters with an Australian connection, especially in the UK, USA and Grand Cayman.

Leading the way

Many of the matters our team has advised on have involved 'firsts' which have led to landmark judgments and changes in the law, including:

  • The first ever court applications under the new PPSA regime in the Hastie and Octaviar liquidations, because of the novelty of the issues and the amounts involved
  • The liquidation of a foreign bank (Caledonian Bank Ltd) recognised in Australia under the Cross-Border Insolvency Act
  • Successful court appointed receiver to Provident Capital, based on concerns of equal treatment of debenture holders despite there being no missed payments or other default.

They are a high-quality service provider, capable of supporting very complex matters but also well able to assist on more straightforward requests. There is demonstrated agility in the way they operate and they are able to resource, support and guide us appropriately.

Our Top Independent Endorsements

Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • Restructuring & Insolvency
  • 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
IFLR 1000
  • IFLR 1000
  • Restructuring & Insolvency
  • 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
  • The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
  • Restructuring & Insolvency
  • 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013

Our Top Restructuring & Insolvency Insights

Reforms to address corporate misuse of the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Scheme

  • 24 Jul 2017

The Fair Entitlements Guarantee Scheme provides cover for certain employees who have lost their jobs due to the insolvency of their employer. It is intended to be a scheme of last resort to support...

Insolvency Law Reforms – Update

  • 08 Jun 2017

On 1 June 2017 the Federal Government introduced the Treasury Law Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No.2) Bill 2017 into parliament. If enacted, the legislation will bring a major shake-up...

Not-for-profits under financial stress – what does this mean for you?

  • 18 May 2017

News reports in recent days that the Newcastle Anglican Diocese is facing a $1 million shortfall in this financial year is a timely reminder of the risks facing lenders into the church and not-for-...

Insolvency Law Reforms – how they affect you

  • 10 May 2017

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 r...

Our Restructuring & Insolvency Experience

ABC Learning Centres

The corporate collapse of ABC is one of the largest and high profile collapses in Australian corporate history. As lawyers for ABC’s banking syndicate of 7 banks (including the 4 major Australian domestic banks, and 3 international banks) and its receivers, we have advised on the restructure of ABC’s core business prior to its sale along with a number of cross-border issues. We have provided high level insurance and strategic advice to the receivers on terms and conditions of ABC's complex D&O professional indemnity policy and its application both to potential civil claims against, and numerous examinations of, ABC's directors and executive officers.

Babcock & Brown

HDY continues to act for the syndicate of lenders at the headstock level in the Babcock & Brown group, which involved 400 operating entities across 26 countries, with total group debt of $66bn.

Hastie Group

Hastie was a significant player in the construction industry with companies which provide technical and engineering services to the building, infrastructure and resources sectors. Hastie went into administration with close to $1bn of debt. HDY was appointed by PPB Advisory in June 2012 to manage the legal and commercial issues arising from the administration of the 44 companies in the Hastie Group.


HDY acts for Bentleys Corporate Recovery on all aspects of the liquidation of the Octaviar Group (formerly MFS) and the resulting global litigation. The collapse of Octaviar is one of the country's largest ever liquidations. The formal recognition of the Australian proceedings against Octaviar in the US Bankruptcy Court in New York in 2013 are testament to the significance of the liquidation and its global impact.

Provident Capital

Acting for the debenture trustee in the groundbreaking appointment by the court of receivers based upon a concern regarding Provident's ability to repay all debenture holders equally as and when they were due for payment but in circumstances where Provident was not in any default under the terms of the debentures and had not missed any payments to date. We have acted on the restructure of Provident under the terms of the trust deed, and on the work out of its $250m portfolio of distressed and impaired assets.