Corporations and Corporate Insolvency Sub-area NPA logo with link NPA logo with link

Corporations and Corporate Insolvency Sub-area

About this Sub-Area

This Sub-area includes corporations matters and corporate insolvency matters, which are capable of being heard in the Corporations List.

The expression “corporations matters” in this Sub-area includes:

  • the appointment or conduct of liquidators
  • schemes of arrangement
  • shareholder oppression actions
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission actions, such as the approval of director appointments, winding-up of companies, fundraising matters, corporate management and misconduct by company officers
  • corporations matters referred to a Judge by a Judicial Registrar.

Corporate insolvency matters in this Sub-area include matters such as:

  • voidable transactions
  • extending of convening periods
  • cross-border insolvency.

This Sub-area does not include any personal bankruptcy matters. Bankruptcy matters fall within the General and Personal Insolvency Sub-area in the Commercial and Corporations NPA.

Corporations List matters

Each registry has a Corporations List and dedicated Corporations Judges. Corporations Lists in each Registry operate consistently in accordance with the National Court Framework principles for corporations matters and according to the workflow and needs of the particular Registry.

Corporations List matters will generally be heard within 2–5 weeks from the date of filing (depending on the needs of the parties and the character of the matter).

Further information about the operation of the Corporations Lists is detailed in Schedule 1 of the Commercial and Corporations Practice Note.

Corporations matters before a Judicial Registrar

Registrars of the Federal Court have delegated jurisdiction to hear and determine a number of corporations matters including:

  • winding-up applications
  • applications to set aside a statutory demand
  • reinstatement applications
  • applications for termination of winding-up orders
  • applications to fix external administrator’s remuneration under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act)
  • examinations pursuant to s 596A and 596B of the Corporations Act.

A Guide for Practitioners and Parties in Corporations Matters listed before a Judicial Registrar has been prepared to assist litigants who intend to apply to the Court for such corporations matters.

Practice Notes

All practice notes are to be read with the Central Practice Note.  It is the essential guide to practice in the Federal Court in all proceedings.

The NPA practice note sets out the arrangements for the management of Commercial and Corporations proceedings in this Sub-area:

NPA Practice Note:

NOTE: refer also to Schedule 1 of the practice note – Corporations and Corporate Insolvency Sub-area.

Other general practice notes and Court developed guides which may be relevant to this Sub-area include:

General Practice Notes:

Forms, Rules & Fees

Filing fees for commencing a proceeding in this Sub-area may apply. Information about Court fees, including the fees payable and circumstances where an exemption or deferral can be given is available in Forms, Fees & Costs or from the Registry.

The general procedure for the conduct of matters in this Sub-area is set out in the Federal Court (Corporations) Rules 2000 (Corporations Rules). As the Corporations Rules do not provide a comprehensive code, the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) (Rules) also apply except to the extent of any inconsistency.

In corporations matters, the applicant is known as the “Plaintiff” and the respondent as the “Defendant”.

Judge related matters

A person may commence a corporations matter in this Sub-area by filing:

  • Schemes of Arrangement: When making an order under subsection 411(1) of the Corporations Act the Court will require that the explanatory statement or a document accompanying the explanatory statement, prominently display a notice in the form set out in paragraph 20 of Schedule 1: Commercial and Corporations Practice Note

Parties should consider whether it is necessary to file a Genuine steps statement (Form 16) in certain proceedings in this NPA - see r 8.02 of the Rules and the Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011 (Cth) (including sections 6, 7 and 16).

Judicial Registrar related matters

Applications under s459P of the Corporations Act for a winding-up order on the ground of insolvency are commenced by filing:

  • Parties and practitioners must ensure the formal requirements for affidavits in corporations proceedings are complied with including amending the heading of the Form 59 Affidavit to use the heading in the Corporation Form 1 prescribed by r 2.01 of the Corporations Rules.
  • guide on commencing winding-up proceedings on the ground of insolvency and a winding-up checklist is available on the Court’s website.

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Important note: This information is procedural advice only. You should seek your own legal advice about legal cases and procedure in the Federal Court and in this area of law.