find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Insolvency market 'ripe for disruption'

Insolvency market 'ripe for disruption'

Ben Sewell, Sewell & Kettle

Changing federal government policy and the evolving role of technology in the insolvency market has opened a new door for the legal industry, one lawyer has said.

According to Ben Sewell (pictured), principal of Sewell & Kettle, the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) has traditionally discouraged corporate restructures because it puts pressure on directors to appoint an administrator at the first sign of potential insolvency.

However, following the launch of the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December 2015, Mr Sewell believes there will now be a growing demand for pre-insolvency advisers.

“The key proposal was a safe harbour clause to protect directors from personal liability for insolvent trading if they appoint a restructuring adviser to develop a turnaround plan for the company,” Mr Sewell said.

“The direction of the insolvency market is moving away from formal appointments such as voluntary administration towards informal techniques such as pre-pack insolvency arrangements. This has resulted in a drought of work for insolvency practitioners.”

Mr Sewell also believes the traditional insolvency market is ripe for disruption, with business owners increasingly inclined to search online for rescue solutions.

“The market is being disrupted because small to medium business no longer takes what their accountant tells them as gospel and their accountant isn’t necessarily interested in getting embroiled in giving technical insolvency advice,” he said.

As a result, company directors are looking to other service providers for help.

“Company directors are shopping around more and this includes extensive online searching,” Mr Sewell said.

“This is a perfect storm for the insolvency profession. We have a new pre-insolvency adviser category recognised by law, digital disruption and a drought of insolvency work.”

To take advantage of these trends, Sewell & Kettle has recently launched the Insolvency Lab, a consultancy offering pre-pack insolvency arrangements to help small- to medium-sized businesses facing insolvency.

Mr Sewell said the initial investment in the Lab was $100,000, including two staff members and a digital marketing campaign.


Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Insolvency market 'ripe for disruption'
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Lawyers warn against mandatory sentencing measures amid political jeers
Mandatory sentencing has become a topic for politicians on both sides of Federal Parliament to jostl...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...