Monday 22 June 2015

Wily's bankruptcy portfolio no bonanza - yet

Former bankruptcy trustee
Andrew Wily.
Image courtesy ArmstrongWily
WHEN it was revealed in February this year - exclusively by SiN - that Andrew Wily was relinquishing his registration as a trustee in bankruptcy, there was speculation around how many of his active files might have to be transferred to other trustees. Opportunity was in the air.

At the time, Wily was trustee appointed to a veritable hill of bankrupt estates a
nd word was that Nicholas Crouch, of Crouch Amirbeaggi Insolvency Accountants, would snare the lion's share. But as it turned out, only 150 or so are active.

Nicholas Crouch
Image courtesy Crouch Amirbeaggi
On February 24, 2015, 11 days after SiN broke the story, the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) issued a statement confirming Wily had voluntarily offered to resign.

It also laid out a time line for concluding the process by which Wily would conclude those jobs that he could and make appropriate arrangements for the remaining appointments.

"It presently is anticipated that the Inspector-General will accept Mr Wily’s request to cease to be registered shortly after 30 May 2015. In the interim, Mr Wily is not accepting new appointments," AFSA said.

Calls to the regulator last Friday seeking to determine if the process had been concluded were not returned. A spokeswoman said in an email that AFSA "does not comment on individual bankruptcy cases". Wily did not reply to calls and emails seeking comment.

What is known is that Crouch, who referred SiN's enquiries to Wily, took about 12 jobs and a further 16 went to former Hall Chadwick partner and barrister Geoff McDonald, who told SiN the files he took on "involve some complex unfunded litigation".

Barrister Geoff McDonald
Image courtesy: Windeyer Chambers 
The questions for AFSA are: how many of Wily's jobs were finalised prior to the May 30 cut-off: how many active files have been transferred to the Official Trustee, and of those, how many might ultimately be farmed out to the profession so creditors can at least resume entertaining the expectation of some action?

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