ASIC cancels more Liquidator Registrations
It’s been a bit ugly for some liquidators recently. During February 2013, ASIC cancelled the registration of two liquidators. Both had been liquidators for many years and had backgrounds in the Big4 accounting firms.
ASIC announced the cancellation of the registration as a Registered Liquidator of Paul Pattison, of Melbourne. That decision followed a decision of the Federal Court from December 2012 whereby Mr Pattison was made a bankrupt. In a seperate decision ASIC also obtained a director disqualification against Mr Pattison – he has been banned from managing a corporation for four years. That disqualification occurred because Mr Pattison was a director of three failed companies. Mr Pattison has the right to appeal and has in fact already lodged an application at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. I should say that I know Paul reasonably well as we are both former partners of Ernst & Young. The background to his troubles is that his Insolvency Practice got into financial difficulty and that resulted in receivers and liquidators being appointed, and eventually his bankruptcy. So the cancellation of registration as a liquidator resulted from the financial difficulties and not malpractice as a liquidator.
ASIC also announced that it had accepted an enforceable undertaking from Sydney liquidator Ian Struthers, who agreed to the cancellation of his registration for a minimum of three years. The background is that ASIC reviewed 45 of Mr Struthers appointments and came to the view that he had failed to carry out his duties as a registered liquidator. Mt Struthers has a background in insolvency going back to Touche Ross.
To put the above in context, there are around 670 registered liquidators in Australia. And whilst 2013 has started with a bang, 2011 was a big year for liquidator bannings – in that year six liquidators were banned.