Joe & Joe – IPs’ legal costs under scrutiny

Yesterday the Supreme Court published its long-awaited decision in the Joe & Joe Developments litigation.

The litigation has been the subject of much gossip in the industry as it concerned allegations of rampant overcharging by insolvency practitioners and their lawyers. Commentators and industry observers have been poised, salivating, waiting for the scandal to break.

In the event, as is often the case with gossip, the facts were found not to justify the hype. Continue reading


Pay cut on the horizon for liquidators

On Friday, the NSW Supreme Court handed down two further decisions in its drive to hammer home to liquidators the importance of proportionality when claiming remuneration.

In both cases, his Honour Brereton J built on his earlier decision in AAA Financial Intelligence Ltd (in liquidation) (No 2) [2014] NSWSC 1270 (see update here), emphasising that hourly-rate-based charging – even if every attendance is meticulously recorded and all of the time spent can be justified – may be a wholly inappropriate basis for claiming remuneration.

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Shooting of liquidators: un-Australian

Being a liquidator can be a risky business. Liquidators (and their legal advisers) have a long tradition of putting their bodies on the line for the sake of their work, selflessly risking personal harm through exposure to such dangers as high cholesterol, liver failure and other prandiogenous ailments.

Injury by gunshot is, thankfully, less commonly encountered. For this we must thank Justice Young. Twenty years ago, sitting as a judge of the New South Wales Supreme Court, he delivered a judgment in which the issue of shooting liquidators was condemned in the harshest possible terms.

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It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission

I’ve always wanted a motorbike, but my wife won’t let me have one.

I once asked a Harley-owning friend of mine how, during his spectacular lycra-clad roller-blading pony-tailed Harley-riding midlife crisis, he managed to get his wife to agree to his Harley. His response was to inform me that he just went out and bought it, adding – after a thoughtful pause – It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Continue reading

New Standard for CA / CPA Members

As you may be aware, a new Standard is about to become binding on all members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and all members of CPA Australia.

In this regard Professional Standard APES 330 – Insolvency Services, issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board (APESB) in September 2009, has recently been adopted by the Institute and CPA Australia and will come into force tomorrow, 1 April 2010. Continue reading