As the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic hits the commercial sector, there has been an increase of businesses challenging the legal arrangements under which they occupy premises. Often their inability to pay rent forms the basis of a dispute. Such a dispute arose in the recent VCAT decision of Sumbul Holdings Pty Ltd v LDZ Pty Ltd (Building and Property)  VCAT 1272 where an occupant butcher who had fallen into arrears, challenged the nature of their occupation with a view of obtaining relief.
A Warning to Company Directors: Discharge from Personal Bankruptcy will not Necessarily Absolve Liabilities for Insolvent Trading
In the recent case of Taylor (liquidator) v Trustee, bankrupt estate of Heading, in the matter of Heading  FCA 1450, the Federal Court considered the circumstances in which leave will be granted for an insolvent trading action against a company director who has previously been released from debts provable in bankruptcy.
In a recent decision of the Federal Court, ASIC v Bettles  FCA 1568, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission hit a road bump in its claim that Worrells partner Jason Bettles (Mr Bettles) aided and abetted illegal phoenix activity in 2016. ASIC’s pleadings being struck out as ‘incoherent’ is a victory for Mr Bettles, but the proceedings are far from over.
Morrison Government Announces Insolvency Law Reform Measures as the Winding Back of Temporary COVID-19 Relief Looms
By Alicia Hill, Principal and Nicholas Mason, Law Clerk On 24 September 2020 the Morrison Government announced significant reforms to Australia’s insolvency framework. The reforms are targeted at the small business sector and provide for a new debt restructuring process for businesses with liabilities of less than $1 million. The changes are expected to commence…