Insolvency law

We have a specialist team which focuses on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency and which has been involved in a number of leading judicial decisions in this area.

We advise a large number of creditors, receivers, administrators, and liquidators. We represented the liquidator in the landmark Court of Appeal case Rodewald v Aqua-Agricultural Farms Limited [2002] 3 NZLR 501 where it was held that the failure to specify the time the liquidator was appointed did not invalidate the appointment. Had the appeal been unsuccessful, thousands of previous appointments would have been considered to be invalid. The consequences of this would have been significant for the individual liquidators appointed.

Similarly, we acted for the liquidator in Blanchett v McEntee Hire Holdings Limited [2010] 10 NZCLC 264,763, which was the first case to examine new principles emerging from an updated voidable transactions regime, including the running account principle and the applicability of the peak indebtedness rule in New Zealand.

We acted for liquidators in Allied Concrete v Meltzer [2015] NZSC 7 where the Supreme Court decided that new value was not required to establish a defence to a voidable transaction claim under s 296(3) of the Companies Act 1993.  The Supreme Court’s decision means more creditors are likely to have a defence.  The focus now is whether or not a creditor had any reasonable grounds for suspecting a company’s insolvency and liquidators are looking at ways in which they can obtain any evidence of this knowledge including whether they can obtain discovery orders against a creditor from the High Court.

Our lawyers are regularly involved in litigation involving:

  • Bankruptcies, liquidations and receiverships
  • Creditors proposals under Part 5 of the Insolvency Act
  • Voidable transactions
  • Claims for breaches of directors’ duties
  • Security priority issues under the Personal Property Securities Act and other legislation

Experts in the field

SJR

Sarah Rawcliffe

Email: sarah.rawcliffe@harkness.co.nz

Direct Dial: +64 7 834 4660

mdb

Murray Branch

Email: murray.branch@harkness.co.nz

Direct Dial: +64 7 834 6686

KFS

Karen Shaw

Email: karen.shaw@harkness.co.nz

Direct Dial: +64 7 834 4665