Jirsch Sutherland’s new recruit can walk the walk

Jirsch Sutherland’s new recruit, Paul Pattison.

Jirsch Sutherland may have lost a veteran partner with the departure next March of Sule Arnautovic but it’s recently gained a national business development manager, and if the firm wanted someone who can relate to business owners going through the wringer then who better than ex-liquidator and ex-trustee in bankruptcy Paul Pattison?

About a decade ago, Victoria-based Pattison went through the wringer big time.

After failing to comply with tax obligations related to his insolvency practice Pattison Consulting Pty Ltd (PC) the ATO hit him with a director penalty notice in April 2010.

Mindful of the potential repercussions Patterson asked if it would be acceptable to the tax personage if PC was wound up via a members voluntary liquidation (MVL)? Turns out it was.

On April 22 2010, PC was placed into MVL. On the following day the insolvency administration business formerly carried on by PC recommenced operation with the same staff under the name Pattisons Business Recovery & Insolvency Specialists Pty Ltd (“PBRIS”).

By arrangement with the liquidators of PC – Stirling Horne and Petr Vrsecky then of Lawler Draper Dillon – PBRIS purchased from PC the plant and equipment necessary to carry on that business, PC’s website and the name “Pattison Consulting”.

Pattison, who our sources said had a fair appetite for risk and speculative cases, wasn’t out of the woods however.

The MVL didn’t exactly work to plan and Ross Blakely and Quentin Olde were appointed receivers. Eventually they came for the WIP.

The following year PC’s lender BankWest commenced proceedings against Pattison in the Victorian Supreme Court.

The outcome of those proceedings was judgement against Pattison in the sum of $1.5 million plus interest. Unsurprisingly, bankruptcy proceedings commenced shortly afterwards.

Meanwhile ASIC had commenced proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court seeking an inquiry into Pattison and PBRIS. That ultimately led to Pattison and ASIC agreeing consent orders that involved the voluntary relinquishing of his registration as a liquidator.

On December 17, 2012 the Federal Court ordered that Pattison’s estate be sequestered and that Scott Pascoe and Andrew Scott – then of PPB Advisory – be appointed trustees of his bankrupt estate.

Naturally enough his registration as a trustee in bankruptcy didn’t survive either and he was subsequently banned from managing corporations for four years, though after applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Pattison and ASIC agreed that the ban should expire on January 21, 2016.

If anyone can speak the language of besieged business owners it’s Pattison and the man himself confirmed to iNO this week that he’d been in the role at Jirsch since December 1. Support INO’s continued chronicling of the insolvency sector.

Further reading:

Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Pattison [2012] FCA 1397

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