The eighth edition of Keay’s Insolvency arrives 20 years after the book was first written by Professor Andrew Keay, in 1993. At that time, significant changes to the law following the Harmer Report of 1988 had not yet been introduced, in particular the voluntary administration regime under Part 5.3A of the Corporations Act, and the major structural changes in personal insolvency were not to appear until 1996. Over past decades and recently, this has been a fast-developing area of law and practice with many legislative and other changes, so this edition is very different in size and content in comparison.
This edition appears at a time when the regime itself remains under increased Government and community scrutiny, which has usefully broadened into an examination and review of the efficiencies and outcomes of the regime. The prospect of major law reform was around at the time of the 7th edition in 2010, and while this has yet to eventuate, significant impacts on insolvency law and practice have come from other areas. Insolvency has been impacted by the changes to security law brought in by the Personal Property Securities (Corporations and Other Amendments) Act 2010 (Cth), which commenced in January 2012. It has also been impacted by tax law changes to the personal liabilities of directors. ASIC also now has new powers to wind up companies. The book explains these new developments, in particular the new PPSA provisions of the Corporations Act. Since the last edition, there have been numerous case law developments, and the book refers to policy responses to perceived deficiencies and areas for improvement in the insolvency regime.
The final chapter in the text continues to critically survey where Australia’s insolvency regime stands in terms of its efficiency and effectiveness, and its anticipated future, including within an international context.
While the text’s content and structure have been retained, the authors have reacted to ongoing trends in corporate insolvency and emphasised corporate restructuring law and practice, including outside the context of formal insolvency. The practice component of the text is emphasised, with reference throughout to ASIC and AFSA guides and forms, professional standards, and court procedures.
Michael Murray is a visiting fellow at the Queensland University of Technology and has an established reputation in insolvency law, practice and policy. Jason Harris, of the University of Technology, Sydney, has taught and written extensively in the area, in particular in corporate restructuring. Each brings their respective knowledge, experience and thoughts to this important area of law and practice.