Joseph Scarcella Partner

Joseph is a preeminent restructuring and insolvency lawyer specialising in all aspects of insolvency administrations, security enforcement, insolvency related litigation, restructuring techniques and workouts.

He has instructed in respect of almost every major corporate insolvency in Australia; is an expert litigator and advocate and handles complex litigious matters both in out of the insolvency arena.

Joseph's experience spans complex insolvencies such as the collapse of multi-jurisdictional hedge fund, finance and insurance companies.  He acts for corporate clients in respect of their exposure to lenders or financially precarious counterparties. His clients include domestic and international insolvency practitioners, ASX listed corporations, investment banks and litigation funders.

Joseph is known for the commerciality and speed of his advice. Clients particularly value his tenacity in litigious circumstances. He is recognised as a leading lawyer in Restructuring & Insolvency by Chambers Asia-Pacific, Best Lawyers Australia and preeminent by Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession. Joseph also sits on the Federal Court User Group in relation to Commercial and Corporations (Insolvency) matters.




Acted for the liquidators of the HIH Group, which remains Australia's largest corporate insolvency. Acted in respect of several thousand shareholder claims made against HIH, including in the landmark case of HIH Insurance Limited (In Liquidation) and others [2016] NSWSC 482 - which remains the only final decision in Australian establishing the indirect causation doctrine.

Shareholder Defence Actions

Successfully defending various proceedings in relation to claims by shareholders for breach of continuous disclosure obligations and alleged misleading and deceptive conduct.

CBD Energy

Acted for the administrators of the CBD Energy Group, which is the first successful reconstruction of an Australian entity publicly listed on the NASDAQ in the US.

Rapid Loans

Acting on the successful restructure and recapitalisation of Rapid via a pre-packed Deed of Company Arrangement.

Babcock & Brown

Acted as principal legal advisor to the liquidator of Babcock & Brown, including in respect of prosecution of major claims and successful defence of shareholder class actions.

Defence of a liquidator

The successful defence of a liquidator in proceedings by ASIC: Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Wily & Hurst [2019] NSWSC 521.

Colton Coal

Acting for the administrators then liquidators of this coal miner.

Mega Petroleum

Acting for the Receivers of this public fuel company.

Casson Investments

Acting on behalf of a litigation funder in obtaining a common fund order.

Courtenay House

Acted for a representative class of creditors in respect of Australia’s largest Ponzi Scheme.


Acted for the first administrators of the Arrium Group.


Acted as the principal legal advisor to the liquidators of the the Allco Group of companies.

Macquarie Bank

In relation to its exposure to the Dick Smith Group.

Banksia Securities

Acted for the receivers in respect of prosecution of several causes of action.


Insolvency partner of the year
Lawyers Weekly, 2020
Ranked as a leading lawyer in restructuring and insolvency
Chambers Asia Pacific 2018-2021
"His major strengths are his strategic advice and getting it right"
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020
Preeminent insolvency & restructuring lawyer New South Wales
Doyle's Guide 2019 - 2021
Leading insolvency & restructuring lawyer New South Wales
Doyle's Guide, 2019
Recognised in insolvency and reorganisation law
Best Lawyers, since 2018
Recommended in dispute resolution and restructuring and insolvency law
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
Ranked as a recommended practitioner in insolvency and restructuring
Doyles Guide

Career & qualifications


  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Macquarie University


  • Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association (member of technical committee)
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • Australian Institute of Credit Management

International experience

  • Acted for certain Italian creditors in the Parmalat collapse (fluent in conversational Italian)

Insights Read more insight

Steering through uncertain seas: creditor solutions to navigating COVID-19

Times are changing rapidly with the current flow of Coronavirus measures introduced to support businesses in debt and distress.

Surviving the Curve: Creditors, Contracts and Trade Credit Insurance

Navigating trade credit insurance policies.

The continued saga of the Babcock & Brown liquidation

In a decision of the Federal Court handed down on 18 October 2019 in Masters v Lombe (Liquidator); In the Matter of Babcock & Brown Limited (In Liquidation) [2019] FCA 1720, Foster J held that...



External publications

  • Corporate Insolvency and Reconstruction - chapter 13 in the Australian Corporate Finance Law looseleaf service (Butterworths)
  • Various publications in the ARITA Journal and AICM Magazine


  • Presented at numerous National and State based ARITA Conferences on a variety of topics
  • Presented at numerous National Conferences of the Australian Institute of Credit Management on a variety of topics