Debts “incurred” by receivers, administrators and liquidators : the case for a harmonised construction of ss 419, 443A and 556(1)(a) of the Corporations Act

Thomson Legal & Regulatory
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Insolvency Law Journal, 2013, 21 pp. 60 - 81
Issue Date:
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This article analyses the inconsistent approaches taken by courts when interpreting provisions of the Corporations Act which address debts or expenses “incurred” by receivers, administrators and liquidators. The article contends for a consistent construction of these provisions which will enable the legislation to operate (as was intended) for the benefit of persons who supply goods, services or labour to companies in external administration. The article explains how and why debts can be “incurred” by insolvency practitioners continuing on pre-existing contracts. Specifically, the article contends for a construction of ss 419 and 443A of the Corporations Act which renders receivers and administrators personally liable for certain entitlements of employees (eg, wages and superannuation contributions) which become due and payable by reason of the decision of a receiver or administrator to continue a pre-existing contract rather than terminate it.
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