Tuesday 5 April 2016

Conference hears how IPs missed their own boat

Conferencing is hungry work. Photo: SiN Images 

THERE was opinion aplenty at Dockside recently as the 15th annual Traill & Associates Practical Insolvency Conference played out less than three weeks after the Insolvency Law Reform Act 2016 received Royal Assent on February 29.

Much of that opinion - self interested though it might be - was focussed on what's viewed as 
the new Act's adversarial tone. 

As one insolvency guru said to SiN: "In introducing the new Act the government claimed that probably 95 per cent—or even 99 per cent—of liquidators were compliant with their legal obligations. If that is the case, the overly prescriptive approach of the ILRA, seemingly anticipating non-compliance, is unnecessary. Lawyers would never stand for this," the irritated guru concluded.

All very well, but might not this outcome be self-inflicted? Conference chairman Richard Fisher AM told SiN he was disappointed that ARITA's predecessor, the IPAA, had failed to respond to the challenge of accepting responsibility for self-regulation at the time it was raised by the Australian Law Reform Commission.

"I am an advocate for self-regulation of the professions subject to the appropriate oversight," he said.

"That position reflects my view that there is no group with a greater interest in the reputation of any professional group for integrity and competence than the members of that group themselves," Fisher said.

Of course, the somewhat resentful reception the new Act has received should not be thought to have influenced the decision by special guest opening speaker the Honourable Alex Hawke MP to withdraw at the last minute.