Flaws in Coalition’s insolvency law reform

Following the recommendations in the Insolvency Working Group’s (IWG) second paper in 2017, the government this week released details of further insolvency law reform being proposed for gift vouchers, voidable transactions, preferential employee claims and other changes to existing rules.
Additional discussion on new legislation dealing with ponzi schemes has been deferred for the time being.
The government has accepted many of the recommendations made by the IWG; the professional body for insolvency practitioners, RITANZ, believes most of these are both sensible and prudent. Our view on the key aspects of the changes are:

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Farm Debt Mediation Bill expected to become law soon

Article copied with permission from Kensington Swan.

The Primary Production Select Committee has reported back to the house on the Farm Debt Mediation Bill (No 2). The select committee has unanimously recommended that the Bill be passed by the House with some amendments to the original bill. The Bill will require secured lenders, as a prerequisite to taking any enforcement action, to offer mediation to a farmer and participate in the process in good faith. Farmers who are in financial trouble will also be able to initiate mediation regardless of whether a default has occurred.

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Aussie-style change proposes private insolvency practitioners

Political efforts to change insolvency law are taking inspiration from Australia.

Labour MP Raymond Huo is consulting with the private sector about a bill that would allow private sector insolvency practitioners to take the place of government-employed official assignees, inviting the private sector into a role that has previously been monopolised by the government.

Read more in the NBR

Insolvency and Arbitration_an article by Matthew Crawford, Bankside Chambers

During the RITANZ conference in May, one of the panels[1] explored the ways in which insolvency disputes might voluntarily be determined by an alternative dispute resolution process following an insolvency event.  A related and important issue is the extent to which parties may be forced to have insolvency related disputes determined by, for example, arbitration.

The issue can arise because a relevant contract or the company’s constitutional documents may contain an arbitration agreement.  These arrangements can impact upon both the right to apply for a liquidation order as well as disputes over provable debts.   In at least one case discussed below, even administrative actions taken by the liquidator can be subject to compulsory arbitral oversight.  The topic has attracted more judicial interest abroad than in New Zealand, for now.

Read the article here

Matthew Crawford Bio

Lessons from Lehman: the perils and “arrogance” of cross-border insolvency

Members who attended the RITANZ Annual Conference in Auckland this year will have enjoyed a fascinating session on the Lehman collapse and a retrospective look at the causes of this and whether anything has positively changed in our approach to cross border insolvency.

The NBR attended this session and have produced the following article flowing from that discussion:

Lessons from Lehman – by Reweti Kohere, NBR