by Paul Gidley29.09.15

Do you have a client, friend or acquaintance who has received a claim from a liquidator or trustee in Bankruptcy? While specialist insolvency firms such as ours are typically known for their traditional insolvency and business turnaround services, namely liquidations, voluntary administrations and bankruptcies, it is perhaps not as well known that we can be engaged to defend a company or individual facing claims from opposing liquidators or trustees. In fact, in recent times, we have seen a rise in the demand for such services at our firm.

There are many instances where engaging a specialist insolvency firm to defend a claim can bolster one’s defence and deliver a substantially better outcome. The reasons are obvious: as insolvency practitioners, we have the unique ability to think and act like a liquidator or trustee and we know the available defences as well as the challenges a liquidator or trustee typically faces in bringing the claim.

At Shaw Gidley, we have been assisting parties to defend such claims as unfair preferences, insolvent trading claims or director loan accounts for over 25 years. We speak the language, we know a large portion of the registered liquidators and trustees in practice and for those reasons alone are very well placed to add value to any negotiation, litigation defence or satisfaction of compliance obligations.

In times of financial hardship it is often better to fight fire with fire.

Assistance defending claims

We can assess the merits of claims and develop strategies to defend or settle the claims in a timely fashion. Claims could include insolvent trading, unreasonable director related transactions, uncommercial transactions, unfair preferences and breaches of director duties.

Given our experience pursuing claims for companies or individuals undergoing liquidation or bankruptcy, we have a valuable insight into how such claims can be settled or at the very least provide a realistic assessment of the claim and assist in negotiating a more favourable outcome.

Assistance with complying with statutory obligations

We can also assist directors and/or bankrupts to understand and comply with their statutory obligations and to act as an intermediary in what is often a difficult situation, not only from a financial perspective but also emotionally.

Assistance managing negotiations with insolvency practitioners

Often, communicating with liquidators and/or trustees can be a confronting process that involves a thorough knowledge of a director’s or bankrupts legal responsibilities as well as an ability to converse with the opposing party in the same ‘language’. An experienced insolvency practitioner can support a director or bankrupt by reviewing and interpreting the claim, advising them on the best course of action to take, and negotiating ‘in the same language’ with the other party’s insolvency practitioner.

We have found that having solid professional relationships with other insolvency practitioners in the local industry can mean the process of negotiating for a client is more seamless.

Negotiating to retain minimal equity in properties for bankrupt individuals

An experienced insolvency practitioner can add considerable value to an individual facing bankruptcy by assisting them to retain minimal equity in their home or assisting them to challenge their assessed liability through income contributions.

We all know the value of experience, and at Shaw Gidley we see the difference that the involvement of our senior staff in client cases makes on a day-to-day basis. Injecting the knowledge and experience of an insolvency practitioner at that level can make all the difference between a client retaining or losing the equity in their home.

Negotiating payment terms with the ATO or other creditors

With our experience working with the ATO, we can assist a client to negotiate payment terms with the ATO or negotiate a settlement with all creditors for an amount less than the full amount due.

Fight fire with fire!

In many instances where a client receives a claim against them, the best perhaps little-known, defence can be to engage an insolvency practitioner. With specialist knowledge of the legislation, experience preparing and lodging claims, relationships with the ATO and the ability to ‘speak the language’, specialist firms such as ours, are very well placed to add value to any negotiation, litigation defence or satisfaction of compliance obligations.

The most experienced insolvency firm in the Hunter and North Coast

At Shaw Gidley, we are happy to provide an initial consultation on a free, confidential and without obligation basis and with our experience and contacts we are confident that we can provide valuable assistance and guidance in defending a claim.

We are the largest specialised firm in Regional NSW and our senior management team is the most experienced. We understand the difficulties clients are facing when under financial distress and know that trying to negotiate the financial maze is just another burden. That’s why when you engage Shaw Gidley, a director is appointed to you or your client and they are there with them every step, guiding them through the financial maze.

Shaw Gidley are experts in restructuring, turnaround and insolvency and provide free initial advice on these matters. Please contact our offices on (02) 4908 4444 or (02) 6580 0400.