LAW 3526 - Corporate Insolvency Law

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2014

This course will provide an introduction to the theory, policy and key principles of corporate insolvency law. The course will focus on the key corporate insolvency procedures of liquidation, administration, receivership as well as informal business rescue, and comparative developments in major jurisdictions. The course will also examine the role of government, regulators, the insolvency profession and other `stakeholders in corporate insolvency law, including the duties and conduct of directors in relation to businesses in financial difficulty. Cross-border insolvency issues will be examined.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 3526
    Course Corporate Insolvency Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Summer
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Prerequisites LAW 1501 & LAW 1506
    Assumed Knowledge LAW 2502 & LAW 2505
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description This course will provide an introduction to the theory, policy and key principles of corporate insolvency law. The course will focus on the key corporate insolvency procedures of liquidation, administration, receivership as well as informal business rescue, and comparative developments in major jurisdictions. The course will also examine the role of government, regulators, the insolvency profession and other `stakeholders in corporate insolvency law, including the duties and conduct of directors in relation to businesses in financial difficulty. Cross-border insolvency issues will be examined.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Christopher Symes

    Associate Professor (Dr) Christopher Symes

    Room 2.23

    Phone 8313 4454

    (note this is a little different to most email addresses at Uni of Adelaide)

    No other staff teach this course
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    The course will be taught by one two hour lecture commencing on Friday 7th February.
    1000 - 1200hrs 7/2/14, 10/2/14- 14/2/14, 17/2/14-21/2/14

    Seminars will be one one seminar per day from  7/2/14, then 10/2/14- 14/2/14, 17/2/14-21/2/14
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    Corporate Insolvency Law will cover the following specific learning objectives -


    To examine and develop an understanding of:

    1. The informal and formal insolvency procedures available to corporate Australia 

    2. How corporations are placed into receivership and administered

    3. How corporations are placed into voluntary administration and administered

    4. How corporations are placed into liquidation and administered

    5. Directors duties with regard to insolvent trading

    6. The legal principles governing the cross border insolvency

    Intellectual and Social Capabilities

    To develop:

    7. The cognitive skills to analyse, evaluate and synthesise information about corporations, corporate officers, shareholders and creditors so as to identify and resolve legal and business related insolvency issues

    8. An awareness and appreciation of the political, socio-economic and technical context of Corporate Insolvency Law and the development of Corporate Insolvency Law in response to political, socio-economic and technical change

    9. Critical thinking about Corporate Insolvency Law

    10. The ability to resolve basic problems in Corporate Insolvency Law using the knowledge and skills developed in this course

    11. The ability to construct logical and compelling Corporate Insolvency Law discourse

    12. The ability to write clearly and concisely about Corporate Insolvency Law and its application to basic Corporate Insolvency Law problems

    13. The ability to intelligently discuss and debate Corporate Insolvency Law and its application to basic Corporate Insolvency Law problems

    14. The ability to learn about Corporate Insolvency Law both independently and cooperatively in a professional environment

    15. The ability to identify and effectively use Corporate Insolvency Law resources

    16. The ability to contribute to the ethical development and application of Corporate Insolvency Law

    Attitudes and Values

    To develop:

    17. The capacity to be informed, responsible and critically discriminating in relation to insolvent corporations, their corporate officers, their external administrators and creditors and their relationship with the community

    18. A commitment to engendering lawful, ethical and socially reasonable corporate behaviour
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14, 15 ,16 17,18
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 7,8,9,10,15
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 7, 10,
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 11,12, 13
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 15
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 14
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 18
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 8, 18
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    The textbook used is Symes & Duns, Australian Insolvency Law (2nd ed, 2012)

    Students will also require a copy/access of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and any of the legal publisher’s versions (lexisnexis, Thomson Reuters or CCH) is acceptable.

    Recommended Resources
    Murray & Harris, Keay's Insolvency Personal and Corporate Law 8th edition 2013

    Throughout the course a list of other resources will be provided on MyUni 
    Online Learning
    This course will use MyUni for announcements, display of Powerpoint slides, lecture outlines and any additional case and other material required to be read for seminars. This course will also require you to use MyUni for some assessment, including submission of essays, case comments and Online Quizzes.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Lectures (daily) will generally take the form of an outline of the topic and its key issues. Students are expected to keep up with the corresponding reading in Symes and Duns, or as otherwise indicated by the lecturer. The lecturer may provide outlines, slides or additional material.

    Seminars (daily) will concentrate on in-depth consideration of questions, including problem-solving, provided in advance of the seminar. Students are expected to read the cases and other materials and questions set prior to the seminar.Seminars are an important component of your learning in this course and therefore it is in your interests to make every effort to attend them and participate. The communication skills developed in seminars by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be important by the School, and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.

    Online activities - Each student will be required to undertake and submit on MyUni one case comment and one essay. Each student will be required to complete a quiz online during the course. See under 'Assessment'.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Contact time: attend the daily two hour lecture and one hour seminar. This amounts to 36 hours of formal class contact time in February 2014.

    Preparation Time: In addition to attending formal classes it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for classes and to complete the course assignments.
    Learning Activities Summary

     Day 1
    Introduction to Corporate Insolvency – statistics, theories, principles, reports, definition
     Day 2

    Receivership – appointment, powers, duties, agency, creditors, relationships

    Day 3

    Voluntary Administration I – objects clause, appointment, conduct, meetings
    Day 4

    Voluntary Administration II – effect, moratorium, court involvement
    Day 5

    Deeds of Company Arrangement – deed administrator, content, effect, powers and duties, variation, terminations and transition
    Day 6

    Liquidation I – provisional liquidation, introduction to types
    Day 7

    Liquidation II – statutory demands, powers and duties, effect
    Day 8

    Liquidation III – antecedent transactions, division of assets
    Day 9

    Liquidation IV – examinations, de-registrations, reinstatements
     Day 10

    Insolvent Trading 
    Day 11

    Australian Cross Border Insolvency Law

    Insolvent Trading 
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment item % of final mark
    Due date
    Research Essay
    60 21st March 2014**
    Case comment 20 21st February 2014
    Online Quiz 20 16th February 2014 

    Online Quiz will be made available on the 14th February 2014.

    **Please note if you are wanting to Graduate using Corporate Insolvency Law as your final course, you will need to discuss with the Course Coordinator, at the start of the course, the early submission, marking and release of your grade. If you submit your essay at the normal time as above, you WILL NOT be able to graduate.
    Assessment Detail

    Research Essay
    Details will be handed out in Friday 7th February, and posted on MyUni. It will be submitted using Turnitin and through ICC. It is due on Friday 21st March at 2pm. 

    The essay will be marked according to the student's ability to source, collate and analyse relevant secondary material, their demonstrated ability to understand the relevant law and their critcal discussion. Marks will be awarded for lucidity of expression, logical flow and structure of discussion and argument and compliance with AGLC and good English expression. The essay counts for 60%.

    Online Quiz
    There will be a quiz to be completed by Sunday 16th Feb, counting for 20%. This can be completed online through MyUni, and will relate to the work in Days 1-4. There will be 40 questions in the quiz. Students may attempt multiple times. 

    Case Comment
    Each student will be asked to write a case comment on a recent voluntary administration case. There will be a guide available on MyUni that assists in the choice and preparation of the Comment. The comment will be submitted using Turnitin and through ICC.It is due on Friday 21st February at 2pm. The Case comment counts for 20%.
    Essays and Case Comments will be submitted electronically. MyUni will outline the steps to submit using turnitin and ICC.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    SELT was conducted on Corporate Insolvency Law when it was last offered in 2012. Students found the seminars provided good explanation of the law. No suggestions for improvement were provided however this year the introduction of an on-line quiz and the removal of a final exam should add to the focus of an enjoyable course providing both broad and in-depth knowledge.
  • Student Support

    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    Practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at

  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide 2013, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.

  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.