Peter Hegarty

Principal 

+61 2 9056 1736

peterh@hegartylegal.com.au

Areas of expertise

  • Insolvency

  • Corporate/complex recovery and restructuring

  • Bankruptcy

  • Commercial litigation

  • Regulatory investigations

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The principal focus of Peter’s practice is corporate insolvency, bankruptcy and recoveries. He also practices in all aspects of financial services, business, and company law disputes and regulatory investigations.

Peter advises insolvency practitioners, corporations, directors, and financiers in relation to all areas of insolvency including unfair preferences, enforcement of securities, retention of title claims, landlord and tenant issues, remuneration of insolvency practitioners, uncommercial transactions, insolvent trading and the conduct of insolvency administrations generally.

Peter is regularly recognised as a leading insolvency and restructuring lawyer. In 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 & 2019 Peter was recognised by Doyle’s Guide as a recommended lawyer in the NSW Insolvency & Reconstruction market. In 2018 Peter was named the winner of the category of Insolvency Partner at the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards.

Relevant Experience

Cases

For the most part, matters in which Peter is involved are resolved commercially prior to judicial determination. However, that is not always possible or appropriate. Some of the more significant matters which have proceeded to judicial determination for which Peter has had carriage include:
 

  • In the matter of Maiden Civil (P & E) Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 852  (view decision) – Acted for the successful Plaintiffs (being the Receiver and secured creditor) in what was Australia’s first authority of any significance dealing with the Personal Properties Securities Act 2009 (Cth).

  • In the matter of Bluenergy Group Ltd (Subject to a Deed of Company Arrangement) (Administrator Appointed) [2015] NSWSC 977 (view decision) – Acted for the Deed Administrators who were successful in terminating a subsequent voluntary administrator in a matter which gave an in depth consideration as to the rights of secured creditors in Deeds of Company Arrangements. This matter has subsequently been the subject of a great deal of discourse within the insolvency and banking and finance industries.

  • In the matter of Steel Tigers Pty Ltd (In Liq) [2014] NSWSC 1748 (view decision) – Successfully acted for the liquidators to seek an order that a warrant be issued under s 530C of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) authorising the liquidator to search for and seize motor vehicles in the possession of several defendants.

  • In the matter of St Gregory’s Armenian School Inc (In liquidation) [2015] NSWSC 1465 (view decision) – Successfully defended claims brought by creditors of a company in liquidation under s 1321 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) in respect of decisions of the liquidator to reject proofs of debt lodged by those creditors.

  • In the matter of Stirling Products Limited [2016] NSWSC 689 (view decision) – Acted for the Creditors’ Trustee and former Deed Administrator in an application made under s 447A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) to retrospectively vary a Deed of Company Arrangement which had terminated to enable the company to proceed with an IPO.

  • Australian Beverage Distributors Pty Limited v Evans & Tate Premium Wines Pty Limited (2007) 61 ACSR 441; [2007] NSWCA 57 (view decision) – Acted for Evans & Tate Premium Wines in their defence of wind up proceedings, in a matter which considered issues as to abuse of process in the context of wind up proceedings and obligations of any petitioning creditor arising from the publication rule.

 

Restructures

A key aspect of Peter’s practice includes acting for and advising interested parties in relation to distressed entities. In seeking to maximise value for the benefit of the relevant stakeholders, Peter understands that one size does not fit all and that each commercial solution must properly address the objectives of the relevant client. Whether it is effecting a going concern sale or assisting parties propounding a suitable Deed Proposal, Peter understands the pitfalls and challenges of the insolvency process intimately and has the experience to navigate his clients through it. Some more recent restructures which Peter has worked on include:

  • Advising the Administrators of The Song Company Limited, Australia’s  premier vocal ensemble, in effecting necessary transactions so as to enable the administration of The Song Company to be brought to an end.

  • Acting for and advising the successful Deed Proponent in respect of Aus Gold Mining Pty Limited, an Australian gold mining company.

  • Advising and acting for the successful Deed Proponents of Veriluma Limited, a predictive analytics software company.

  • Acting for the liquidator of Bryve Resources Pty Limited (in liq), in bringing into effect Deeds of Company Arrangement across two entities (including  one public entity) and effecting a sale of mining interests.

 

Other Experience

  • Appears regularly as advocate in examinations conducted by Liquidators or Trustees in bankruptcy.

  • Acting for a major Australian Bank in relation to their interests as creditor in a significant Personal Insolvency Agreement.

  • Conducting proceedings on client’s behalf (voluntary administrator) seeking the Court’s leave to approve the sale of shares in a Deed of Company Arrangement.

  • Advising insolvency practitioners, secured creditors and unsecured creditors in relation to security priority, property entitlements, trusts, lease issues and statutory entitlements and obligations.

  • Advising insolvency practitioners in relation to strategies to attack asset protection structures, including arrangements which involve complex trust structures.

  • Advising company directors in relation to defending insolvent trading actions commenced by liquidators and other voidable transaction claims brought against them.

  • Advising a company director in relation to having a company wound up on just and equitable grounds, following an irretrievable breakdown in his relationship with a co-director.

  • Conducting a claim based on oppression on the part of a minority shareholder following an attempted buy out on the part of other shareholders.

  • Successfully prosecuted a claim on the part of directors concerning the validity of a meeting not held in accordance with the Corporations Act and in accordance with a company’s Articles.

  • Advising on the defence and prosecution of claims of liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy concerning uncommercial transactions and unfair preference claims.

 

Articles/Publications

  • ‘Getting your priorities right’ Law Society Journal, Vol.51, No.7, Aug 2013

  • ‘Seizure of property by liquidators under section 530C’, Australian Insolvency Journal, Vol 27 Issue 2 (2 July 2015).

  • ‘The Maiden Civil Case’, Australian Insolvency Journal, Vol. 25, No.3, Jul/Sep 2013.