Restructuring & Insolvency
High level insolvency advice and litigation
Wynn Williams provides advice to significant national clients in this field. Our firm has litigated insolvency cases at the highest levels, including the Privy Council.

The Firm is experienced in all areas of insolvency and restructuring law. We act for creditors, debtors and insolvency practitioners.

Our Dispute Resolution team and Corporate and Commercial teams advise businesses and advisors confronting solvency concerns and cash-flow issues. We advise directors on how to ensure compliance with their directors’ duties; creditors on how best to secure their position when dealing with entities of questionable solvency; and insolvency professionals on the management of debt recovery processes. We also advise businesses on how best to reach compromises with their creditors.

The team advises on debt-recovery from relatively small debts to multi-million-dollar claims. Recent work includes acting for a number of high-net-worth individuals seeking to recover funds that had been invested with New Zealand-based financial institutions and advising receivers on the sale of business on behalf of secured bank creditors.

The team regularly advises on all aspects of the liquidation process, including:
  • Statutory demands (including both bringing and defending applications to set aside statutory demands);
  • Bringing and defending liquidation applications;
  • Bringing applications to put companies into interim liquidation; and
  • Various ancillary matters such as applications to continue proceedings against a company in liquidation).
We have advised liquidators and receivers on asset realization. For example, we recently advised the liquidators of an insolvent trustee company on the appropriate steps to sell trust assets to pay that company’s liabilities (see Gibson v Norris [2019] NZHC 1348 and PR Law Queenstown No 1 Ltd v Norris [2019] NZHC 1522).

The team is experienced in bringing recovery action against the directors of failed companies. Recent work in this area includes: Relatedly, we have expertise in the growing field of litigation funding, including acting for the funded liquidators in a high-profile and novel application for the disclosure of a litigation funder’s identity (see Court orders Stonewood liquidators to reveal real funder and Cain v Mettrick [2019] NZHC 802).

Cases of particular interest:




COVID-19 Possible further relief for struggling businesses during the current Covid 19 crisis

The Australian government has announced that it is putting in place temporary measures to prevent businesses and individuals temporarily facing financial distress as a result of COVID-19 from being forced into liquidation.  Given New Zealand’s insolvency laws are closely aligned with Australia it is likely that in the coming days our Government will follow suit with a similar package. 

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Directors’ liability in the spotlight

When Mainzeal Property and Construction Limited (Mainzeal) collapsed in February 2013, it left behind a raft of unsecured creditors who were jointly owed just over $110 million. The proceedings brought by Mainzeal’s liquidators against its former directors were for the effective benefit of these creditors.

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Receiverships: who, what and why

The recent enforced receivership of national construction firm Ebert Construction has thrust receiverships back into the spotlight. With some 95 staff laid off and creditors owed around $40 million, the consequences of a high-profile company being forced into a receivership are apparent. Nonetheless, many people involved in the construction industry, and the general public, may have little knowledge of what a receivership entails.

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Insolvency update April 2018

This article provides an update on insolvency matters with reference to recent case law.

Keep reading...

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Wynn Williams Christchurch
Level 5, Wynn Williams House, 47 Hereford Street, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand.
PO Box 4341, DX WX11179, Christchurch 8140.
+64 3 379 7622
+64 3 379 2467
Wynn Williams Auckland
Level 25, Vero Centre, 48 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
PO Box 2401, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140.
+64 9 300 2600
+64 9 300 2609

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