Even critics need liquidators

Hamilton Murphy’s Richard Rohrt.
Menzies Advisory’s
Michael Caspaney.

One of the insolvency profession’s fiercest critics has seen fit to avail himself of the services of – you guessed it – a liquidator.

Queensland-based John Goddard owns and operates Subbies United, a website whose raison d’être is to provide information and intelligence about builders and developers who may be nearing insolvency.

Subbies United’s online resources are intended for use by sub-contractors who have outstanding bills that might be unsecured debts-in-waiting.

The site offers all manner of advice, including in regard to payments that a liquidator might seek to claw back on the basis they are preferences.

It also includes a member’s only forum where intelligence can be exchanged and regularly updated free content which is sometimes vehemently critical of those liquidators it sees as being director-centric and of the insolvency sector generally.

But in November last year Goddard, being past normal retirement age chaired several meetings of members of companies in which he held shares and is a director.

There was ACN 109 796 803 Pty Ltd, which had formerly been known as Aaromat Fencing and Balustrade and ACN 142 023 461 Pty Ltd, formerly known as South East QLD Powder Coating

At the meetings Goddard and co-director and shareholder Wayne May resolved to wind up each of the companies, which were solvent, via Members Voluntarily Liquidations (MVLs).

Goddard told iNO yesterday that one of the businesses had been operating for 18 years and had been “sold for a substantial amount of money”.

As many iNO and readers and critics of liquidators will know, Subbies United has successfully lobbied its members and the wider sub-contractor community on more than one occasion to replace an incumbent liquidator appointed by the company’s director with Subbies United’s preferred replacement.

On many occasions Subbies United’s nominee has been Menzies Advisory principal Michael Caspaney which was why we were surprised to see that the practitioner handling Goddard and May’s MVLs was none other than Hamilton Murphy’s Richard Rohrt, Caspaney’s brother-in-law.  

Avoidance of conflict? Or did Caspaney’s 2018 decision to have a FEG funding agreement ratified by the courts after creditors of failed Queensland builder Cullen Group rejected the proposal poison the love in?

Caspaney sought the funding to pursue $4 million paid to creditors pre-appointment, many of whom are sub-contractors. And iNO understands that since Caspaney departed Hamilton Murphy he and Rohrt aren’t that brotherly.

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Further reading:

Cullen Group: FEG On Collision Course With Creditors

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