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Winding Up Applications and the Extension of Time

By Darrin Mitchell, Senior Associate at Matthews Folbigg in the Insolvency, Restructuring and Debt Recovery Group

Section 459R(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (“the Act”) requires that an application be filed to wind up a company, and for it to be determined within six months of filing. Should that six month period expire, the application can be dismissed without the orders sought being made.

However, there is provision for the six month period to be extended under section 459R(2) of the Act, if the applicant can satisfy the Court that special circumstances exist.

These time limits compare unfavourably with the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth), which allows 12 months for an application for a sequestration order to be determined and the ability to extend the application for up to a further 12 months.

In the New South Wales Supreme Court, His Honour Justice Hamilton has said in relation to an application to extend time under section 459R of the Act:
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To Extend, or Not to Extend: That is the Question

By Darrin Mitchell, Senior Associate at Matthews Folbigg in the Insolvency, Restructuring and Debt Recovery Group

Part 5.7B of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)(“the Act”) contains provisions that allow a liquidator to seek orders that void certain transactions undertaken by a company whilst it is insolvent, or that are not in the company’s interests. The kinds of transactions that will be investigated by a liquidator include:

  • Preferential payment – see section 588FA of the Act;
  • Uncommercial transactions – see section 588FB of the Act;
  • Insolvent transactions – see section 588FC of the Act;
  • Insolvent transactions – see section 588FD of the Act;
  • Unreasonable director-related transactions – see section 588FDA of the Act; and
  • Creditor-defeating dispositions – see section 588FDB of the Act.

The period of scrutiny of the company’s transactions prior to liquidation for each category of voidable transaction is set out in section 588FE of the Act.

Section 588FF(3) of the Act stipulates that a voidable transaction action by a liquidator must be commenced within:
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