Wednesday 2 August 2006 06 – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – The Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland, has dismissed the appeals of former directors, Mr Richard Spencer and Ms Silvana Perovich in relation to the winding up of Brisbane-based property developers, Neolido Holdings Pty Ltd (Neolido Holdings) and Neo Lido Pty Ltd (Neo Lido). Neolido Holdings and Neo Lido were placed into liquidation following proceedings commenced by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The orders to wind up the companies on the grounds of insolvency were first made on 25 November 2005 when Mr Ray Richards, of SimsPartners, was appointed liquidator. Mr Spencer and Ms Perovich jointly lodged a number of appeals following the winding up application by ASIC. Mr Spencer and Ms Perovich applied, before the trial judge, for special leave to be heard on behalf of the companies. His Honour refused leave but allowed Mr Spencer and Ms Perovich to give submissions in their own right.
They declined the opportunity and appealed the point on the basis that, as a result of the trial judge’s order, and a refusal for an adjournment, the winding up order was a product of a denial of natural justice. The Court of Appeal dismissed the application, rejecting the contention that Mr Spencer and Ms Perovich did not understand it was open to them to make any argument they wished in opposition to the winding up of the companies.
Mr Spencer and Ms Perovich also made an application to appeal against the decision of Justice McPherson, who was exercising the powers of the Court of Appeal even though he was sitting alone. Justices Williams, Keane and Holmes found there was no provision for such an appeal. ASIC appealed against the orders regarding a condition in the trial judge’s orders that required ASIC to pay the costs of the liquidator in the winding up. On 28 July 2006, the Court of Appeal allowed the appeals of ASIC.
In the judgment, it was held that the concerns of the trial judge about further expenses being imposed on the companies in relation to the appointment of a liquidator were erroneous. Mr Spencer and Ms Perovich were ordered to pay ASIC’s costs in relation to Mr Spencer’s and Ms Perovich’s appeals. Neolido Holdings and Neo Lido were ordered to pay the costs of ASIC’s appeals and were also granted an indemnity certificate under the Appeal Costs Fund Act 1973 (Qld), meaning that Neolido Holdings and Neo Lido can recover costs payable to ASIC from the Appeal Costs Fund. Background ASIC commenced the proceedings against Neo Lido Holdings and Neo Lido following solvency concerns identified by ASIC in April 2005.
Because of those concerns, ASIC sought orders for the appointment of a provisional liquidator, as well as final orders to wind up the two companies. Neo Lido Holdings and Neo Lido were involved in the development of residential and commercial property, mainly in Queensland. For further information contact: Danielle Huck ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3407 Mobile: 0417 540 769