Ross Parsons Corporate Law Series: Directors Duties to Creditors after Bell
22 July 2013
Associate Professor Anil Hargovan, Australian School of Business
Jason Harris, Senior Lecturer, UTS
Chair: Professor Jennifer Hill, Sydney Law School
It is well established, following judicial authority by the High Court of Australia in Spies, that directors owe a duty to consider creditors' interests upon corporate insolvency and that such a duty is one of imperfect obligation that is incapable of direct enforcement by the creditors. Notwithstanding such orthodox authority, the precise nature and scope of directors' duties to creditors upon corporate insolvency remains a vexed issue which continues to plague the judiciary as a consequence of the absence of any detailed consideration of such issues by the High Court.
The recent appellate court decision in the Westpac Banking Corporation v The Bell Group Ltd (in liq) (No 3) exemplifies the legal uncertainties on this topic which arose upon the directors' exploration of corporate rescue plans in the context of looming insolvency.
It is now unclear as to whether directors must go beyond consideration of creditors' interests and ensure that creditors are protected in conformity with the pari passu principle. Furthermore, the extent to which the judiciary can intervene to adjudicate on the directors' beliefs and business judgements in this context is also clouded by uncertainty. The seminar, in light of the Bell appeal to the High Court of Australia, will consider such issues.
Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this seminar is equal to 1 MCLE/CPD unit.
Time: 6 - 7.15pm (Registration & refreshments from 5.30pm)
Cost: Full Fee $77; SLS Alumni $66; SLS Student $44; Group (3+) $55 inc GST
Contact: PLaCE Coordinator
Phone: 02 9351 0429