High Court of Australia dismisses Willis appeal on “giving possession” of aircraft equipment following insolvency

The High Court of Australia has unanimously dismissed the appeal of Wells Fargo Trust Company, National Association (Wells Fargo) on the construction of Article XI(2) of the Cape Town Convention’s protocol on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment (Protocol). This decision is of importance to the global aviation community as it is the first decision by court of final appeal to consider the meaning of the obligation to “give possession” imposed by the Convention and Protocol.

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Probuild – administrators obtain extension of ‘no personal liability period’ for leased property

On 23 February 2022, WBHO Australia Pty Ltd and 17 other companies in the Probuild group (Probuild, or the Group), entered voluntary administration in Australia. Probuild is one of the largest construction groups in Australia, working on many large office, residential and resources related construction projects across the country.

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Herbert Smith Freehills and Nikki Smythe recognised in global TMA Turnaround/Transaction of the Year Awards

We are delighted that Herbert Smith Freehills and partner Nikki Smythe have been recognised by Turnaround Management Association (TMA) in the global 2021 Turnaround/Transaction of the Year Awards for her work on the acquisition of Virgin Australia out of voluntary administration.

Herbert Smith Freehills joins Bain Capital, Clayton Utz, Deloitte, Houlihan Lokey, and KordaMentha, in winning this year’s International Company Turnaround/Transaction of the Year award.

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Repossession of aircraft equipment on insolvency: VB Leaseco Pty Ltd v Wells Fargo Trust Company NA

In November 2021, the High Court of Australia will consider the application of the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment done at Cape Town on 16 November 2001 (the Convention) in Australia in light of facts arising out of the administration of the Virgin Australia group.  The hearing will consider the interaction of the Convention in the context of Australia’s insolvency regime, and, more particularly, in what will be of significant interest to the aviation community, the requirements of the Convention to ‘give possession’ of an aircraft object to a creditor.

In this note, we take a closer look at the background to the hearing, the arguments being advanced, and the impact on the aviation sector if this appeal is successful.

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That’s gold: Federal Court gives Gascoyne DOCA the green light

On 29 September 2020, the Federal Court of Australia published its much anticipated decision in Habrok (Dalgaranga) Pty Ltd v Gascoyne Resources Ltd [2020] FCA 1395, dismissing Habrok’s attempt to set aside a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) that would mark the end of a 15 month administration period, and facilitate the recapitalisation, refinance, and relisting the gold miner Gascoyne Resources Ltd and its subsidiaries (GCY Group) and was expected to return creditors 100c in the dollar.

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