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Business Recovery and Company Insolvency Lawyers

Shine Lawyers building | Shine Lawyers

Company insolvency occurs when a company is unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due. Your company may have already reached that point or be fast approaching it, and Shine may be able to help.

How can we assist?

Shine Lawyers’ Business Recovery Unit have the skill and industry insight to give your business the best advice available. We have extensive experience in the recovery of financially distressed businesses - including a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of insolvency law.

The experience of our team means we can act across all industries including building and construction, mining and mining services, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, agriculture, property, professional services, finance and financial advice. We understand the unique feature of every industry. For example, in the building and construction industry we are well-equipped to advise you on your payment claim and, in Queensland, making a Subcontractor Charges Act claim.

Why choose Shine?

  • Expert legal advice from a dedicated team of specialist business recovery and insolvency practitioners
  • Practical and effective solutions for a range of financial problems
  • We are not your typical ‘clinical lawyers’. We believe it is a privilege to stand up for companies and individuals when they need us.

To find out more or open a case, please get in touch via phone or the forms below.

Further information can also be found in our Business Recovery Division capability statement.


Meet our expert business recovery team

Luke WhiffenLuke Whiffen - Commercial Litigation & Insolvency National Manager
Luke Whiffen has more than 16 years’ experience as an insolvency practitioner. He is also an experienced commercial litigator. Luke has acted for many financially distressed companies and individuals, finding the solution that works best for them.  He also acts for a number of company liquidators and bankruptcy trustees. He regularly advises creditors, debtors and insolvency administrators on all aspects of litigious corporate and personal insolvency.

In addition to his insolvency experience he conducts commercial litigation in all jurisdictions, particularly in the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

James Hulbert - National Insolvency Consultant
James Hulbert has a unique passion for helping business get through tough financial times. He has a wide ranging and thorough understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in Australia. He is able to tailor solutions to the business’ or individual’s needs. James prides himself on being available at all times to ensure businesses and their owners can reach out for advice at any time.

Related services

Our offer to you

  • Obligation-free consultation to assess your case confidentially

  • Claim assessment process where we will explain all of the options available to you

  • We can come to you - if you can't make it into the office we're more than happy to come to you

  • No Win No Fee arrangement

Common questions about Business Recovery and Company Insolvency Lawyers

Insolvency is when a business cannot pay its debts. When this occurs it may end up in one of the following types of formal administration:

  • Liquidation
  • Voluntary Administration or Deed of Company Arrangement
  • Receivership

Liquidation – assets are sold to pay debts.

Voluntary Administration or Deed of Company Arrangement – An external administrator investigates and reports on the company’s history and financial position to make recommendations on its future. Creditors then decide whether to accept the Deed of Company Arrangement. This could be liquidation or new control.

Receivership – A person is appointed by a secured creditor or the court to secure the creditors money through liquidation, administration or business processes.

A Directors Penalty Notice (DPN) is issued for company debts including Pay as you go withholding (PAYGW) and Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC). If you receive one of these, you must pay the amount to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Once a DPN is issued, the director has 21 days (from the date the notice was posted, not received) to do one of the following:

  • Pay the outstanding debt
  • Appoint a voluntary administrator
  • Enter the company into liquidation

Voluntary administration is where the directors of a financially troubled company or a secured creditor with a charge over most of the company’s assets, appoint an external administrator called a ‘voluntary administrator’.

An insolvency practitioner is a professional, i.e. an accountant or lawyer, who specialises in matters involving insolvent companies or individuals who cannot pay their debts as and when they fall due. They will have a thorough knowledge of the bankruptcy act and the relevant sections of the corporations act. Depending on the status of company, they are able to tailor a solution that best suits the company or director’s individual needs – from the options available.

There are 4 types of insolvency practitioners:

  • Registered Trustee – registered by the Inspector-General and can administer all forms of personal insolvency including bankruptcies, section 188 authorities, personal insolvency agreements and debt agreements.
  • Controlling Trustee – registered trustees and eligible solicitors who can administer matters where an authority is signed under section 188 of the Bankruptcy Act until a meeting of creditors considers a personal insolvency agreement (PIA) proposal.
  • Registered debt agreement administrators – persons and corporations registered by AFSA who can administer part IX debt agreements (debtors may administer their own debt agreements and persons are permitted to administer up to five debt agreements without being registered).
  • The Official Trustee in Bankruptcy – bankruptcy occurs but no registered trustee has consented to act, the Official Trustee in Bankruptcy, who is a part of AFSA, will be the trustee.

How you are affected depends on your power in the organisation. As a director you will be required to assist the external administrator. If you have been involved in 2 or more companies which have gone into insolvency within the last 7 years and paid less than 50 cents to the creditor, ASIC can disqualify you from managing corporations for up to 5 years.

Shine Lawyers’ business recovery insolvency law team helps SMEs and their directors get back on a sound financial footing. Our business recovery and restructuring solutions are tailored to you and your business’ unique circumstances.

  • Are you the owner or director of a small or medium enterprise (SME) and experiencing financial or cash flow difficulties?
  • Are you behind in company tax payments and being pursued by the ATO?
  • Are you worried about insolvent trading and your personal liability for your company’s debts?

Where you are located isn’t necessarily a barrier when it comes to obtaining the services of a lawyer. We’re experts when it comes to Bankruptcy related claims and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

It doesn’t matter if you are located close or far away from a Shine Lawyers office – we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment.

Our compensation experts are in the following locations:


New South Wales


Western Australia

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