Sunbury business owners concerned about their future
Sunbury business owners concerned about their future

Exact moment Qld’s insolvency tsunami will hit

WAVES OF DESPAIR

QUEENSLAND should brace itself for waves of corporate insolvencies over the next six months - including one around Christmas - as debt moratoriums put in place during the pandemic shutdown come to an end.

That's the unsettling view of veteran lawyer David O'Farrell, who has just joined iconic Brisbane law shop McCullough Robertson Lawyers as part of its insolvency and restructuring team.

O'Farrell says the first wave of corporate collapses are likely to come around August when the end of moratoriums on winding up applications and other debt recovery measures end.

Insolvency lawyer David O'Farrell sees wave of insolvencies due to pandemic.
Insolvency lawyer David O'Farrell sees wave of insolvencies due to pandemic.

 

That will come at the same time as the Federal Government's JobKeeper program also winds up. "The phrase they are using in the insolvency sector is a tsunami," says O'Farrell. "There is likely to be another longer wave around Christmas time."

O'Farrell, whose career includes working on high-profile corporate collapses including HIH and Queensland Nickel, says the long-term economic impact of the pandemic shutdown is still unknown. "I have been in this game for 30 years and there had been nothing like this before," he says.

"The government can only do so much. I don't see JobKeeper making a lot of difference because the debt level is too large." He says his advice to businesses to is to get advice early if they think they have issues around insolvency.

MISSO LOOP

BACK in the day Trilby Misso Lawyers was a big name in the Queensland legal scene. But after the personal injury firm, founded more than 60 years ago by Sri Lankan legal eagle Trilby Misso, was acquired by Slater and Gordon a decade ago the name disappeared from view.

Well now it's returned with the Trilby Misso brand bought back by a group led by Bill Andrews, one of the three partners who originally sold the firm.

Neil Fitzpatrick, who was chief financial officer of Trilby Misso Lawyers, will be CEO of the new company which will have it headquarters in Edward St and a branch at Orion Springfield Central shopping centre in Brisbane's southwest.

Trilby Misso's original office at Redcliffe
Trilby Misso's original office at Redcliffe

 

Andrews, who was a partner at Trilby Misso for 32 years before the firm was sold, said it was a huge thrill to resurrect the Trilby Misso name. Trilby Misso opened his legal firm Trilby Misso Lawyers at Redcliffe in 1956.

Andrews says the original Trilby Misso Lawyers was Queensland's first legal firm to focus on compensation law and offer 'No Win, No Fee' services to ensure people from all walks of life had access to justice.

GINGER NUTS

THE iconic Buderim Ginger company is set to be renamed the delightfully sounding 'Health and Plant Protein Ltd' under a $8.3 million plan to shed much of its traditional business and concentrate on macadamia nuts.

Under the deal, the company's ginger factory, tourism sites and portfolio of ginger brands will be sold to Global Foods, which is controlled by businessman George Vasili who holds a 16 per cent stake in Buderim Ginger. The ginger business will be run as a private company.

It's been a challenging few years for Buderim Ginger which has been losing market share as demand waned for traditional products, such as glace ginger used in Christmas cakes.

Back in 2017, Qia Qia Foods, one of the largest snack food companies in China, and Wattle Hill, a Sydney-based investment, made a $20 million investment in the firm. Buderim Ginger, which started life as a farmer's cooperative almost 80 years ago, says the ginger business has returned to profitability but there are few synergies with the nut business.

Originally published as Exact moment Qld's insolvency tsunami will hit



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