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走进澳洲 | 自愿接管制度: 接管人、债权人以及可能的后果
时间:2020-03-30

前言




文康君益诚律师联盟处理过诸多涉及澳大利亚的业务,在此基础上联盟成立了澳洲业务团队,团队成员包括多位能以英语为熟练工作语言的中国律师以及澳大利亚注册律师,其中王欲弘律师在中澳法律、投资、贸易、移民等业务领域深耕多年,还运营着以投资业务为主的澳洲基金和澳中投资平台。团队国际法律顾问祝福律师拥有澳洲律师牌照近十年,作为在澳大利亚长大的华人,熟悉中澳两国文化,处理了大量中澳跨境法律事务,经验丰富。

澳洲业务团队可为文康君益诚联盟客户提供与中国-澳大利亚有关的投资、贸易、移民、跨国婚姻、诉讼等全方位、一站式的商业和法律服务。



自愿接管制度:接管人、债权人以及可能的后果


Voluntary Administration: the Administrator, Creditors and possible outcomes.




本文将为读者概括地介绍自愿接管程序、债权人的权利和权力以及自愿接管人的职责。


This article will provide the readers with an outline of the voluntary administration process, the rights and powers of Creditors and the responsibilities of the voluntary Administrator.


自愿接管制度

Voluntary Administration


当公司董事认为,公司有可能或已经资不抵债时,他们可以通过聘请一名自愿接管人来启动自愿接管程序。


When the directors of a company have come to the view that the company is likely or has become insolvent, they are able to initiate the process through the engagement of a voluntary administrator.


这样做的目的是阻止倒产交易,或者处理与债权人相关的问题。自愿接管程序存在如下影响:


The main reasons for doing so is to either prevent any inferences of insolvent trading, or to resolve issues relating to creditors. The effects of undergoing this process are:


· 无担保的债权人未经接管人的同意或者法院的许可,不得开始、继续或强制对公司进行索赔;

· 被接管的公司正在使用或占用的财产的拥有者,不可以向该公司要求追回财产;

· 有担保的债权人不得对公司财产进行强制执行;

· 不能向法院申请将公司清算;

· 持有公司董事或其他人员个人保证的债权人,不得在未经法院同意的情况下根据个人保证行事。

• unsecured creditors can’t begin, continue or enforce their claims against the company without the administrator’s consent or the court’s permission;

• owners of property used or occupied by the company, can’t recover their property;

• secured creditors can’t enforce their security interest in the company’s assets;

• applications to the court to place the company into liquidation cannot be commenced;

• a creditor holding a personal guarantee from the company’s director or other person can’t act under the personal guarantee without the court’s consent.


接管人的角色和责任

Administrator’s role and responsibilities


自愿接管人将独立行事并接管公司,以便调查公司的业务、财产、事务和财务状况,向债权人报告可供其选择的方案,从而向债权人提供比“公司直接进入清算”更好的方案。


The voluntary administrator will act independently and take control of the company in order to investigate and report to creditors on the company’s business, property, affairs and financial circumstances, and on the options available to creditors, and will seek to deliver to the creditors a better outcome than if the company was placed straight into liquidation.


这一过程要求破产接管人,对每个报告给债权人的方案都提供意见,给出哪一方案是最符合债权人利益的建议,并将公司的利害关系人所犯的罪行报告给澳大利益证券及投资委员会(ASIC)。


The process of doing so requires the administrator to provide to the creditors an opinion on each option which has been put to the creditor and recommend which option is in the best interests of creditors and to report to ASIC on offences committed by people involved with the company.


自愿接管的流程

The process voluntary administration.


这一程序要求举行两次有具体议程的单独的债权人会议。


The process requires that 2 separate meeting of creditors to be held with specified agendas.


除非法院准许延长时间,首次债权人会议必须在委任接管人后的8个工作日内举行。


The first meeting of creditors must be held within 8 business days of the administrator being appointed, unless the court allows an extension of time.


除非法庭准许延长时间,第二次会议必须在委任后25个工作日内举行(如委任在圣诞节或复活节前后,则须在30个工作日内举行)。第二次债权人会议召开前,接管人需要评估公司的情况,并让债权人决定公司未来的方向。一般来说,接管人会推荐三个选项:


•将公司交还给董事控制;

•接受债务和解契约;或

•让公司进行清算。


The second meeting must be held within 25 business days of the appointment (or 30 business days if the appointment is around Christmas or Easter), unless the court allows an extension of time. This second meeting is conducted after the administrator has been able to assess the company’s situation and will provide the creditors with an opportunity to decide on the future of the company. Ordinarily, the administrator will recommend 3 options:


• return the company to the control of the directors;

• accept a deed of company arrangement; or

• put the company into liquidation.


首次债权人会议

First creditors’ meeting


在举行第一次会议之前,接管人必须通过声明以书面形式通知债权人,以便债权人能够评估其独立性,就下列事项作出决定:


1. 是否要组成检查委员会;如是,则应由谁组成;

2. 债权人是否希望现有的自愿接管人员被撤换,并由他们选择的自愿接管人员取而代之。


Prior to the first meeting conducted, the administrator must notify creditors in writing, through declarations, information in order for the creditor to be able to assess their independence in order for the creditors to make a decision as to:


i. whether they want to form a committee of inspection, and, if so, who will be on the committee

ii. whether they want the existing voluntary administrator to be removed and replaced by a voluntary administrator of their choice.


检查委员会

A committee of inspection


委员会成立的目的是为了协助、提供咨询意见、指导和监测自愿接管程序和接管人的行为。自愿接管人必须听取委员会的指示,但不一定遵守这些指示。


A committee may be formed to assist, advise, direct and monitors the conduct of the voluntary administration and the administrator. The voluntary administrator must have regard to, but is not always required to comply with, such directions.


第二次债权人会议

Second creditors’ meeting


在第二次会议之前,接管人必须向债权人提供自愿接管人的报告和声明,因为在这次会议上,债权人有权决定公司的后期方向。


Prior to the second meeting the administrator must have provided the creditors with the voluntary administrator’s report and statement, as at this meeting, creditors are given the opportunity to decide the company’s future.


自愿接管人的报告

Voluntary administrator’s report


接管人必须向债权人提供足够的信息来说明公司的业务、财产、事务和财务状况,使债权人能够对公司的未来做出明智的决策。


The administrator must provide to the creditors information sufficient to explain the company’s business, property, affairs and financial circumstances, to enable the creditor to make an informed decision about the company’s future.


通常情况下,该报告会向债权人提供对公司未来方案的分析,其中包括对可供债权人清算的资产的可比估计。


Ordinarily, the report will also provide the creditors with an analysis of any proposals for the future of the company which will include a comparable estimate of what would be available for creditors in a liquidation.


自愿接管人的声明

Voluntary administrator’s statement


声明应包含接管人给债权人的每个建议方案的理由,以及接管人认为的最优方案对债权人利益最有利的原因。


声明中还必须说明,是否有任何可以在清算时收回的可撤销交易(金钱或财产)。


可以选择的方案包括:

1. 结束自愿接管程序,并将公司交还给董事控制;

2. 批准并履行债务和解契约;

3. 让公司进行清算并指定清算人。

This statement will include the administrator’s reasons for each of the options put to the creditors, and which option is regarded by the administrator to be in the best interests of creditors.


The statement must also advise whether there are any voidable transactions (money or property) which may be recoverable in a liquidation.


These options include:

• to end the voluntary administration and return the company to the directors’ control;

• to approve and enter into a deed of company arrangement;

• to wind up the company and appoint a liquidator.


将公司交还给董事控制

Returning the company to the directors.


这种情况只在极少数情况下发生,董事有责任确保公司清偿到期债务。


This occurs only in rare circumstances, and the directors will be responsible to ensure that the company’s debts are repaid as they fall due.


清算

Liquidation


如果债权人决定采取这一方案,除了在第二次债权人会议上决定任命另一名清算人之外,破产接管人将成为清算人。


《2001年公司法(Cth)》规定了在债权人自愿清算程序中,对债权人股利的支付顺序。


If the creditors resolve to take this course of action, the administrator will become the liquidator, unless it is resolved that a different liquidator be appointed (at the second meeting).


The liquidation proceeds as a creditors’ voluntary liquidation with any payments of dividends to creditors made in the order set out in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).


总体上来讲,资金的分配顺序如下:

1. 清算的成本和费用,包括清算人的费用;

2. 拖欠员工的工资和退休金;

3. 拖欠的员工休假补偿金(例如,未修完的年休假、病假或长期服务假期津贴);

4. 员工经济补偿金;以及

5. 无担保的债权人。


Generally, the order in which funds are distributed is:

1. costs and expenses of the liquidation, including liquidators’ fees

2. outstanding employee wages and superannuation

3. outstanding employee’s leave of absence (such as unspent annual leave, sick leave or any long service leave entitlements)

4. employee retrenchment pay, and

5. unsecured creditors.

债务和解契约

Deed of company arrangement


如债权人决定该公司订立债务和解契约,除法院另有裁定外,公司须于第二次债权人会议后15个工作日内签署债务和解契约。如果未能签署,那么公司将进入清算阶段。


If the creditors resolve that the company enters into a deed of company arrangement, the company is required to sign the deed within 15 business days of the second creditor’s meeting (subject to court ordering otherwise). If this does not occur, then the company will go into liquidation.


以下几点需要注意:

1. 不论无担保债权人支持还是反对,该协议将对所有无担保债权人有约束。

2. 如果财产所有者、出租人和有担保的债权人投了赞成票,契约将会对他们有约束 (有管辖权的法院出具相反的裁定除外)。

3. 如公司董事或其他的任何人做出过保证,则该协议不会阻止债权人要求前述的个人就其保证承担责任。

We wish to note the following important aspects:

• It will bind all unsecured creditors, even if they voted for or against this proposal.

• It will bind owners of property, lessors to the company and secured creditors, but only if they voted in favour of the deed (this is also subject to a competent court ordering otherwise).

• It will not prevent a creditor from taking action against a director of the company or another person under a personal guarantee.


契约可以规定违约责任,并将由接管人监督,以确保公司按照契约行事。债权人在此过程中也可以发挥作用。


后期可更改契约。


债务和解契约中的条款将规定债权人债权的支付顺序,并可能与《2001年公司法》中规定的(清算时的)优先权顺序相同。


在支付任何股利之前,债权人需要向契据接管人提供清算时的“债务证明”。通常他/她需要填写一份表格和相关证据列表。


The deed can specify the consequences of any failures to meet the requirements of the deed and will be monitored by the deed administrator to ensure the company’s compliance, with creditors also being able to play a role in this process.


The deed can also be varied at a later stage.


The terms deed of company arrangement will specify the order in which creditor claims will be paid and may be with the same priority as specified in the Corporations Act 2001 (as in liquidation).


Before any dividend is paid to the creditor, he/she will need to provide the deed administrator with a ‘proof of debt’ in a liquidation. This will ordinarily entail the completion of a form and annexure of relevant evidence.


谁是债权人

Who is a creditor


在接管或清算时谁是公司的债权人,是一个值得思考的问题。主要有如下两类:


1. 有担保的债权人,即持有公司部分或全部资产的担保权(如抵押贷款)以担保公司所欠债务的人(法定或自然人)。动产担保登记处(PPSR)登记了土地以外的动产的担保情况。

2. 无担保的债权人,即对公司资产不持有担保权的债权人。


The question begs to be answered is then who are considered to be creditors to the company in an administration or liquidation. There are generally two categories:


• A secured creditor, a person (legal or natural) who holds a security interest, such as a mortgage, in some or all of the company’s assets, to secure a debt owed by the company. The Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) registers security over personal property other than land.

• An unsecured creditor, a creditor who does not hold a security interest in the company’s assets.


显然,审慎起见,在进行任何投资或贷款之前咨询合理的法律建议,以妥善保障土地或动产利益。此外,为了确保你的权利得到保护和执行,我们建议你咨询对接管程序的法律意见。


As apparent, it is prudent for sound legal advice to be obtained prior to any investment or loans are made. This is done to properly secure your interests in either land or personal properties. It is also recommended that legal advice be obtained for the administration process in order to ensure that your rights are preserved and enforced.



延伸

阅读

在澳投资
澳大利亚的重点产业
外国投资审查委员会的作用
投资澳大利亚农业
对澳投资的税务问题
澳洲家事法院眼中的家庭全权信托
董事欺诈:法律后果与司法救济
信托:恰当的运用和切实的考虑


澳大利亚法律框架下的合同落空原则及不可抗力条款



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