PwC’s Vickers on collision course with Ostwald COI

Facing a challenge form the Ostwald COI

PwC’s Derrick Vickers: validating Ostwald transactions opposed by by COI.

PwC’s Derrick Vickers and the Committee of Inspection (COI) of the failed construction contractor Ostwald Bros Pty Ltd (OB) are set to clash when the parties convene next week for the hearing of Vicker’s rule 80-55 court application to validate transactions he entered into with various former COI members whilst trading OB in administration and in liquidation.

Minutes of an informal COI meeting held yesterday reveal that members, which include a representative for the ATO, will oppose almost every agreement Vickers has entered into with the ex-COI members during the course of the administration, which has seen the company pay out more than $1.1 million for to facilitate ongoing trading of the business.

As previously reported in FEG Intervenes As PwC Partner Seeks Belated Approval, Vickers has acknowledged his unintentional failure to obtain either court or creditor approval for the transactions.

He is now seeking a belated green light through therule 80-55 application to be heard in the Supreme Court of Queensland on March 13. But if the informal meeting minutes are any guide, he’ll have a fight on his hands.

“The Committee resolves that it asks the Court to:

  • 1. “Approve only those transactions that involved payments by a creditor to a third party that were then received by the Company and then otherwise dismiss the remainder of the Application by not approving any other transactions;
  • “The Committee also asks that the Court order the liquidator to pay all costs associated with this matter personally and not out of the assets of the Company.”

According to the minutes the COI has requested Vickers call a meeting of the COI on numerous occasions during the three months since the Company went into liquidation but he has declined.

The COI has also called on ASIC, FEG and the ANZ Bank to oppose the application on the basis that the $1.1m paid to COI members is unlawful and the funds should be refunded to the Company.

Further reading:

COI Conflict Creates World Of Pain For PwC Partner

About the Author

Peter Gosnell
Insolvency News Online illuminates the practice of insolvency Australia-wide, highlighting the triumphs and travails of the nation’s registered practitioners and the accounting and legal professionals who work with them. INO is produced by Peter Gosnell, former business editor and senior business reporter at The Daily Telegraph newspaper. During a decade-long career, your correspondent reported on such notable corporate collapses as HIH, One.Tel, Westpoint and Fincorp as well as some of the nation's highest profile bankruptcies and the investigations and prosecutions arising from Australia's most notorious instances of white-collar crime.

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