Australia: Funding Voidable Transaction Proceedings

In good news for liquidators, the Federal Court's decision in Marsden (liquidator) v CVS Lane PV Pty Limited Re: Pentridge Village (in which Dentons acted for the liquidator) confirms that time will be extended for liquidators who are unable to bring voidable transaction proceedings within the relevant timeframe due to a lack of funding.

The case also has wider implications. It could be relied upon by liquidators to justify subsequent claims which could otherwise have been brought at an earlier stage if funding had been available.

Extending time to bring voidable transaction proceedings

Proceedings brought by liquidators in relation to voidable transactions under s 588FF(1) of the Corporations Act must be brought:

  • within 3 years of the relation-back day (having regard to s 91); or
  • within 12 months of the first appointment of a liquidator,

whichever is later.

However, liquidators may apply to the court to extend time to bring voidable transaction proceedings.  The extension of time application must also be filed within the same time limits set out above.

In considering whether to extend time to bring voidable transaction proceedings, a court will generally consider:

  • the liquidator's explanation for the delay in bringing voidable transaction proceedings;
  • the merits of the foreshadowed voidable transaction proceedings; and
  • any prejudice that would flow from the extension of time.

Marsden v CVS Lane PV Pty Limited [2018] FCA 102

In this case, the liquidator made an application pursuant to s 588FF(3)(b) to extend the time to bring voidable transaction proceedings against three entities. This was to allow the liquidator time to conduct investigations, including public examinations of relevant personnel, in order to consider bringing voidable transaction proceedings.

The application was opposed by two entities against whom the liquidator had sought to extend time to bring voidable transaction proceedings. The primary argument in opposition to the application was that the liquidator had not sufficiently explained the delay in taking action.

Ultimately, the court was satisfied it was fair and just to extend time where the delay was sufficiently explained, the potential claims had sufficient merit, and the extension would not result in specific prejudice to the defendants.

Lack of funding: the real obstacle

The court found that "the real obstacle to progress has been the lack of funding" and that the lack of funding was a sufficient explanation for the liquidator's delay in taking action.

The court also found that:

  • a liquidator's explanation of delay must cover the whole of the liquidation, even where the liquidator making the application has replaced previous liquidators (especially where the previous liquidators were members of the same firm);
  • while the liquidator undertook significant unfunded work in this case, significant additional unfunded work would have been necessary in order for the liquidator to identify the potential claims earlier;
  • the liquidator was hampered by the lack of books and records of the company; and
  • the liquidator was not required to demonstrate that he had taken proactive steps to obtain funding in order to provide a satisfactory explanation for delay.

These findings are useful for any liquidator who is not properly funded to bring voidable transactions proceedings in time.

A lack of funding is generally a sufficient explanation for liquidators not taking steps which they could have otherwise taken if properly funded. This is consistent with s 545 of the Corporations Act (which was also referred to by the court in this case), which confirms that a liquidator is "not liable to incur any expense in relation to the winding up of a company unless there is sufficient available property".

Considerations for liquidators contemplating voidable transaction proceedings

Liquidators should consider the following steps at an early stage:

  • Undertake and document at least some preliminary investigations with respect to any potentially voidable transactions.
  • Identify the relevant time period for bringing voidable transaction proceedings: 3 years from the relation-back day (which can be identified with reference to s 91 of the Corporations Act), or 12 months after first appointment of a liquidator, whichever is later.
  • If proceedings cannot be brought in time, the liquidator should consider seeking to extend time, noting the application to extend must be filed with the court within same time period: 3 years from relation-back day, or 12 months after first appointment of a liquidator, whichever is later.
  • If the liquidator is unfunded, consider taking steps to identify and engage with any potential sources of funding to bring voidable transaction proceedings or any application to extend the time to do so.
  • If there is any change in liquidator, a new liquidator should carefully review the files of the former liquidators to identify any potential voidable transactions, especially where a change in liquidator alone is unlikely to constitute a sufficient explanation for delay in bringing an application to extend time.

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions