Restructuring and insolvency

Insolvency and restructuring assignments require a commercial approach. Our lawyers are skilled at balancing the technical solution with the unique circumstances surrounding our clients’ business objectives.

Our ability to blend the legal duties and obligations of the client with the commercial realities of insolvency underpins the legal counsel we provide. Our insolvency expertise complements our general commercial litigation focus to ensure that we are well placed to assist insolvent corporates involved in insolvency proceedings or funded litigation, key in the current market conditions. Our expertise is sought after in high profile insolvency administrations and in particular because we are free to act against banks for insolvency practitioners.

We regularly represent listed and unlisted corporate debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, liquidators, voluntary administrators and receivers throughout Australia and overseas on corporate workouts, debt recovery, reconstructions and corporate insolvency.

Our expertise covers both disputes and advisory matters for many major multinationals, including Microsoft Corporation, McDonald’s Australia, Treasury Wine Estates, SABMiller, Unilever, and Blackmores.

We draw on our experience in a range of industries and markets to advise on the diverse activities of companies including:

  • advice to boards on disclosure and solvency issues
  • restructuring and negotiation of debt facilities and debt instruments
  • acting for administrators, receivers and liquidators in all aspects of their administration
  • advice on reconstructions and re-listing of companies
  • advice to secured and unsecured creditors on all aspects of enforcement and restructuring
  • acting for bidders for distressed assets
  • preparing and implementing deeds of company arrangement
  • litigation funding.

In workouts and restructurings, our restructuring and insolvency partners work closely with our specialist debt finance partners to provide an integrated, cross-disciplinary team with the full range of skills which may be required.



Flow Systems Group of Companies

Advised Brookfield, in its capacity as shareholder and majority secured creditor on the deed of company arrangement (DOCA) proposal and the acquisition of the business through DOCA (involving the preservation of business).

Halifax Investment Services

Acting for Ferrier Hodgson in their capacity as voluntary administrators of Halifax Investment Services.


Acting as a representative creditor and investor seeking to assert the rights of a certain class of creditor/investor to maximise their return in the Courtenay House liquidation.

Northern Energy Corporation and Colton Coal

Acting for Grant Thornton in their capacity as administrations of Northern Energy Corporation and Colton Coal (two subsidiaries of the listed New Hope Group).


APCHL (In liquidation)

Acted for PKF Melbourne in their capacity as liquidators of APCHL in relation to one of the largest retirement village collapses in Australia.

Angas Securities Ltd

Acted on the run-off of its A$220 million debenture fund including numerous contested court hearings in the Federal Court against the trustee, Perpetual, and the structuring and obtaining of approval in May 2019 for a scheme of arrangement.

Black Oak Minerals

Acting for KordaMentha in their capacity as liquidators of Black Oak Minerals on the sale process of the Marda Gold Project to Ramelius Resources Limited through a DOCA and court application, pursuant to section 444GA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Gunns Ltd (In Liquidation)

Acting for PwC (formerly PPB Advisory) in their capacity as liquidators of the Gunns Group, previously one of Australia’s largest producers and exporters of timber forestry products, in relation to voidable preference claims and claims against the former auditors, KPMG, and former directors and officers of the Gunns Group.

Linc Energy

Acting for PwC (formerly PPB Advisory) in their capacity as liquidators of Linc Energy including the successful defence of the High Court Appeal in respect of environmental liabilities for liquidators.


Acting for McGrathNicol in their capacity as voluntary administrators and liquidators of PrimeSpace Property Investment Ltd, the developer of multimillion dollar property developments.

Babcock & Brown Ltd

Acting for the liquidator of Babcock & Brown in successfully defending over 1200 shareholder claims with a total value of $146 million.


Acted for the liquidators of Octaviar in Australia’s largest auditor negligence case against KPMG arising out of the collapse of the MFS/Octaviar Group.

Liquidator defence

Acting in the successful defence of claims brought by ASIC against a liquidator in Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Wily & Hurst [2019] NSWSC 521. JWS also acts on many other confidential mandates for liquidators defending allegations brought by various regulators.


Ranked as a leading law firm in restructuring and insolvency
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2021
Our team is ranked as a leading firm in restructuring & insolvency law
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020-2021
"One of the most impressive things we've found while working with the firm is their ability to anticipate our needs and preferences without needing us to ask the question specifically”
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020
"They exceeded expectations; they went the extra mile, doing what it took to work through issues," "they're very good in the litigation area, they're very commercial and very experienced"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2018
"The thing which really differentiates their practice is the amount of partner time and partner attention for the client"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2018
"I really do not think there are any material improvements they could make. I know quality when I see it and it was an unprecedented experience"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2017

Related insights Read more insight

Restructuring reforms – will the proposed two tier system avert the zombie apocalypse?

The Treasurer has announced major proposed reforms to Australia’s insolvency framework aimed at facilitating the restructuring of small to medium businesses (MSMEs) and streamlining their...

Extension of temporary COVID-19 relief from insolvent trading liability and statutory demands

The operation of temporary COVID-19 relief measures for businesses in the hope of aiding distressed companies and preventing further economic breakdown will be extended until 31 December 2020.

Lessors’ Priority Preserved: Implications for Post-Appointment Trading and DOCAs

In its recent judgment involving the PAS Group of companies , the Federal Court held that rent payable by the PAS Group during an extension of the period in which an administrator had been excused...