PJC Corporations and Financial Services – inquiry into corporate insolvency – questions on notice (Update)
As many members are aware, a Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) was initiated late last year by Senator Deborah O’Neill to conduct an inquiry into insolvency. The TMA formed a small subcommittee of members, and we provided an initial response in late November 2022. We refer you to TMA Australia’s previous communications on this subject – here.
As many members are aware, a Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) was initiated late last year by Senator Deborah O’Neill to conduct an inquiry into insolvency. The TMA formed a small subcommittee of members and we provided an initial response in late November 2022. Jennifer Ball and Paul Apathy also attended a hearing with the PJC in early December. Following the initial response and attendance at the hearing the PJC followed up with a series of questions related to our initial submission.
We have recently finalised our response to those questions. Our overall key messages were:
- It has been 35 years since the Harmer Review and a full root and branch review, with properly formulated review panel and time to consider submissions and conduct hearings, is well overdue,
- There are number of areas of law and indeed commercial practice that have changed since Harmer’s reforms were implemented and the law needs to be modernised to reflect those standards
- In fact, the premise on which the law is based, needs to be considered, and we would say that a stronger emphasis on corporate renewal and recovery would reflect more contemporary practice, society standards, as well as provide economic benefits
- Specific areas, such as cross claim cramdowns, post-appointment (DIP) finance arrangements, and taxation arrangements are areas worthy of significant consideration
- We made a significant point of equality in the profession. There is a pronounced and persistent gender imbalance in the industry, particularly as regards registered liquidators (only 9% are women). Many restructuring and turnaround professionals also do external insolvency work, or have an external insolvency background. A number of our members reported features of the registration process for liquidators that discourage women from seeking to become registered. We highlighted those, and made suggestions for improvement to them as well as other practical measures that may assist promote equality of opportunity for women in our space. As an organisation committed to gender balance in the industry, this was a key point for us.
For queries in relation to our submissions please contact any members of the subcommittee – Richard Hughes (Deloitte), Melissa Ferreira and Jennifer Ball, Cameron Belyea (Clayton Utz), Maria O’Brien (Baker & McKenzie), Alinta Kemeny (Ashurst), Paul Apathy (Herbert Smith Freehills) or Jason Preston (McGrathNicol).
Also, thanks to those TMA Australia members that provided extra input to the subcommittee – Emily Seekts, Ann Watson, Georgia Gamble, Amanda Coneyworth, Kate Barnet, Kate Conneely and Lara Wiggins.
We should also thank those members that provided extra input to the subcommittee – Emily Seekts, Ann Watson, Georgia Gamble, Amanda Coneyworth, Kate Barnet, Kate Conneely and Lara Wiggins.