Professor Christopher Symes

Professor Christopher Symes
  Org Unit Law School
  Telephone +61 8 8313 4452
  Mobile +61 4 0739 6070
  Location Floor/Room 2 23 ,  Ligertwood Building ,   North Terrace

Professor Symes' main academic interest is insolvency law. In this area, he has written textbooks and numerous articles for both an academic and practitioner readership. Christopher's book Australian Insolvency Law, co-written with John Duns, is now in its third edition and, in 2015, a companion Casebook (with Brown and Wellard). He is also a co-author of Corporations Law In Principle and Business and Corporations Law (now in its second edition).

A full time academic since 1993, Christopher previously worked as an accountant and practised as a commercial lawyer. His academic career has traversed both Business and Law schools, teaching in a variety of commercial law compulsory and optional topics both in Australia and Malaysia. He spent 2 years as Deputy Dean of Flinders Law School and is now Deputy Dean at Adelaide Law School.

Always active in relevant professional bodies, Christopher served for 20 years on an accounting professional body's disciplinary tribunal, was National President of the Corporate Law Teachers Association and continues his involvement with the ARITA and the Law Council's Insolvency and Reconstruction Committee.       

Since 2011 Adelaide Law School has had a research unit known as Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law Scholarship (BILS), now known as Regulation of Corporate Insolvency and Tax (ROCIT) and Christopher is the Director with Associate Professor David Brown. 

LLB, LLM (Adel), Grad Dip Legal Prac (SAIT), Grad Cert Tertiary Ed, MEd, PhD (Flin)

Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor High Court of Australia (1990)

Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor Supreme Court of South Australia (1989)

Insolvency Law

Corporate Law

Business Law

Corporate insolvency particularly employees and other priorities, history, regulation of practitioners, liquidations, DoCAs


Christopher is happy to supervise Higher Degree Research in all aspects of insolvency law.

(Since 2005)

Encyclopaedia: Author of The Laws of Australia Sub title 4.7 “Corporate Winding Up” in the title Business Oganisations (Thomson Reuters, Sydney) and Sub title 3.1 “Introduction to Bankruptcy” in the title Bankruptcy (Thomson Reuters, Sydney). He is also Title Editor for Business Organisations and Bankruptcy.


Australian Insolvency Law, 2nd ed (Lexisnexis, Sydney, 2012)[with John Duns];

Business and Corporations Law, 2nd ed (Lexisnexis, Sydney, 2013)[with Jeff Fitzpatrick, David Parker, Antonio Vecjanovski];

Statutory Priorities in Corporate Insolvency Law: An Analysis of Preferred Creditor Status, (Ashgate, London, 2008);

Corporations Law In Principle 9th ed (Thomson Reuters, Sydney, 2013)[with Tony Ciro].

Refereed Chapters:

"Chapter 1: National Report for Australia" in Faber D, Vermunt N, et al (ed) Treatment of Contracts in Insolvency (Oxford ,United Kingdom, 2013)

"Chapter 1: National Report for Australia" in Faber D, Vermunt N et al (ed) Commencement of Insolvency Procedings (Oxford, United Kingdom, 2012)

“A Half a Loaf is Better Than No Bread: The Australian Way of Protecting Employees’ Wages and Other Entitlements Upon an Employer’s Insolvency” in Sarra J (ed) Annual Review of Insolvency Law (Thomson Carswell, Canada, 2006)

“Australia” in Sarra J (ed) Employee and Pension Claims During Company Insolvency

A Comparative Study of 62 Jurisdictions (Thomson Carswell, Canada, 2008) [with Karen O’Flynn and Colin Anderson].

Refereed Journal Articles:

D Brown & C F Symes, “The Regulation of Insolvency Practitioners: Getting to “Trust and Confidence”” (2013) 19 New Zealand Business Law Quarterly 226

C Symes & M Simpson, “Phoenix Companies and the AA Fund” (2012) 21 Insolvency Law Journal 227-239

CF Symes & J Fitzpatrick, "A Primal Sketch of an Insolvency Ombudsman" (2011) 13 Flinders Law Journal 1-26

V Brand, J Fitzpatrick & CF Symes, ‘“Fit and proper’: The integrity requirement for liquidators” (2010) 24 Australian Journal of Corporate Law 244-265 

CF Symes, “The Insolvent Company as Criminal” (2006) 19 Australian Journal of Corporate Law 316

A Smith, (Uni of South Africa) C Symes & F Mullins, (FUSA) “Privacy and the Sale of Customer Lists in South African and Australian Corporate Insolvency Law” (2006) 14 Insolvency Law Journal

CF Symes,“Reminiscing the Taxation Priorities in Insolvency” (2005) 1 (2) Journal of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association 435

Journal Articles:

“Gambling on not being prosecuted for rash and hazardous gambling” (2013) 13(8) Insolvency Law Bulletin 186-187

“Skimming some recent report cards from our two insolvency regulators” (2013) 13 (7) Insolvency Law Bulletin 150-152

“The Hen’s Teeth of Australian Insolvency Law” (2012) 13(2) Insolvency Law Bulletin 42 - 44

"A Postcard from "Mourning" Ireland - The Freckled Nation of Insolvency" (2012) 12(6) Insolvency Law Bulletin 126

"The New Meaning for Company Dividends... Additional Work for the Insolvency Industry?" (2011) 11(5) Insolvency Law Bulletin 91-92

Symes C and Brown D, “What’s the latest? Corporate insolvency statistics” (2010) 11(1) Insolvency Law Bulletin 2-3

“Senate Inquiry into Liquidators and Administrators – 30 respondee suggestions” (2010) 10(7) Insolvency Law Bulletin 122-123

Symes C and Fitzpatrick J, “Can the Administrator and liquidator serve two masters –pre- and post-deed creditors?” (2008) 8(7) Insolvency Law Bulletin 106

“Oops Bring back the Scaffolding: Milicevic v Capital Scaffolding Pty Ltd (in liq) [2007] FCA 1579” (2007/8) 8(5) Insolvency Law Bulletin 66

“Top 7 reasons for Reinstatement – Exhuming the Corporate body” (2007) 7(9) Insolvency Law Bulletin 114

“Bankruptcy Offences review by Federal Government” (2006) 7(2) Insolvency Law Bulletin 21

“The New Attempt at Anti-Avoidance Provisions in Personal Insolvency” (2006) 6(7) Insolvency Law Bulletin 96.

Fellow, Chartered Secretaries Australia, and Fellow, Governance Institute of Australia

Academic Member, Australian Insolvency Restructuring and Turnaround Association

Member, Law Council of Australia

Member, INSOL Academics Group and Member, Academic Steering Committee

Honorary Fellow, Institute of Public Accountants

Member, Society of Legal Scholars

Member Law Council's Insolvency and Reconstruction sub-committee.

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Entry last updated: Thursday, 24 Mar 2016

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