Insolvency Law Reforms – Update

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 of Australia's insolvency laws, foster a restructuring culture and help preserve enterprise value:
  • directors will have a "safe harbour" to protect them from insolvent trading if they take appropriate steps to restructure the company's business; and
  • restructuring through voluntary administration, receivership and schemes of arrangement will be facilitated by placing restrictions on suppliers exercising contractual rights which typically destroy value and often lead to restructuring failure.
The legislation introduced into parliament is an enhanced version of draft legislation released for comment in April 2017. HDY is pleased the Federal Government has accepted many recommendations proposed by HDY and others, including ARITA, to improve the workability of the reforms.
 
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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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 advises major financial institutions and insolvency practitioners on fraud, security enforcement, debt recovery, banking and insolvency litigation.

Claudine is a banking and insolvency litigation and regulatory expert. She acts for the major Australian financial institutions in relation to matters involving customer disputes, fraud, regulatory and compliance issues, security enforcement and debt recovery. 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.

Claudine 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 is currently assisting a financial institution in a review and remediation scheme and in a large scale recovery matter against a religious organisation. She is also involved in advising financial institutions in relation to their compliance with regulatory obligations.

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Noel McCoy

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

Noel McCoy Special Counsel

Noel is a specialist in complex restructuring and insolvency matters with particular expertise in cross-border insolvencies and the not-for-profit sector.

Noel has over 12 years' experience in advising and representing Australia's leading banks and insolvency practitioners in both contentious and non-contentious aspects of banking, insolvency and restructuring.

His cross-border experience includes acting for the liquidators of an insolvent bank and liquidators of a multinational investment vehicle.

In the not-for-profit space Noel has assisted in restructuring lending arrangements taking into account the unique challenges in lending and enforcement in respect of charities.

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