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The law of corporate insolvency plays a significant role in a modern economy. Recent economic downturns, coupled with high-profile corporate collapses, have emphasised its importance. However, several parliamentary and other enquiries have highlighted its inadequacies and shortcomings. This subject, taught by a lawyer who practises day-to-day in the area, will focus on current issues in corporate insolvency. It will be of particular relevance to practitioners whose work involves such issues—whether from the ‘back end’ (eg litigators) or ‘front end’ (eg transactional, banking or property lawyers who need to anticipate them).
Students will be expected to have some background knowledge in the subject matter before enrolling in this subject. At the least, they should have or obtain (for instance, by previous study in corporations law or by pre-subject reading) a general familiarity with the formal regimes (i.e. liquidation, administration and receivership) and relevant statutory provisions as a backdrop against which to consider those topics and issues.
Principal topics include:
- Foundations of insolvency law: History, philosophy, policies and principles
- Parri passu: The ranking of claims; priority creditors; the effect of secured credit
- Insolvency of corporate groups
- Avoidance of antecedent transactions
- Corporate rescue: Voluntary administration and deeds of company arrangement (DOCAs)
- Receivership; intersection with other insolvency regimes
- Restructuring: Schemes of arrangement, DOCAs and informal mechanisms.
- Qualification, regulation and supervision of insolvency practitioners
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal principles governing corporate insolvency
- Be capable of applying those principles in practical scenarios
- Have a detailed understanding of the various formal corporate insolvency procedures (liquidation, receivership and administration) and an appreciation of various informal procedures
- Develop a sophisticated appreciation of the societal implications of insolvency and the scope of practical issues that arise in corporate insolvencies
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding corporate insolvency laws to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Be an informed participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field, such as the rules of property law, security law and the principles of equity.
Last updated: 6 December 2019