Peter’s main areas of expertise are insolvency and commercial disputes.
Peter worked as an auditor with Deloittes for a short time before doing his articles with Middletons, where he remained as an employee solicitor for a further year. He then joined Strongman & Crouch as an employee solicitor, becoming a partner in 1982. Peter joined Cornwall Stodart as a partner in 1991, where he remained until he joined the Bar in May 2003.
Peter is well known for his insolvency expertise and has acted regularly for trustees in bankruptcy, liquidators, receivers, creditors and administrators of companies. He is a member and former national chairman of the Insolvency and Reconstruction Committee of the Law Council of Australia, and a member of the Editorial Boards of the Insolvency Law Journal and the Insolvency Law Bulletin. Peter was chairman of a committee which drafted the summary of Australian law relating to duties of directors of insolvent companies. The summary appears in the Insol International publication entitled “Directors in the Twilight Zone”. Peter was a speaker on that topic at the Insol Conference in London in 2001.
Peter recently authored ‘The Loan Book – An Analysis of the Unsecured Loan Elements, Proof and Recovery’, published by LexisNexis in July 2020. He is the author of the book ‘Risky Business – What happens to personal assets when business fails?” published by The Federation Press in 2012. Peter also authored the chapter on bankruptcy investigations in Laws of Australia and has represented the Law Council of Australia in a Senate Committee hearing. In 2017 Peter’s book ‘Trading Trusts Explained’ was published by LexisNexis.
The articles Peter has published in the Insolvency Law Journal are:
- Controllers’ Duties on Sale: Section 420A of the Corporations Law
- Bankruptcy: A Legal Practitioner’s Perspective
- Applications by Insolvency Practitioners to the Court for Directions (1999)
- Voluntary Administrators’ Reports
- Administrators, Trading and Risk
- Who Wants to be a Deemed Director?
- Aspects of Trading Trust
- The Purchase Money Resulting Trust
- Mediation and the Insolvency Practitioner
- Applications by Insolvency Practitioners to the Court for Directions (2011)
The articles Peter has published in the Insolvency Law Bulletin are:
- Oppression and units in a unit trust – Vigliaroni v CPS Investment Holdings – Case note
- ASIC v Somerville: a new dimension – conflict of interests – Case note
- ASIC – insolvent trading report and guide – seek professional advice early – who pays and who is paid?
- Retention of title and accounting standards
- Re Matsis – asset planning – Case note
- Liquidator recovering payments made by company for director’s personal expenses – what is the cause of action?
- Trading trusts and accounting standards – a minefield for liquidators
- Statutory demand upheld – loan repayable when borrower chose to repay (Jan 2017)
- Suing on loan account – memorandum to insolvency practitioners: investigate the loan account before suing for recovery (Jan 2019)
- Section 120 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and gifts of money (Oct 2020)
The articles Peter has published in the Australian Civil Liability Journal are:
- Nice Car- a PPSR adventure, November 2013S
National Mediation Conference
Peter has been a speaker at two conferences on the following topics:
- Canberra 2018 – Mediation in Sports Disputes
- Alice Springs 2021 (remotely) – The Importance of Language in Mediation
The articles Peter has published in the Sports Law Bulletin are:
Some cases of significance in which Peter has been briefed are:
- Re Stockford (subject to deed of company arrangement) (2004) 52 ACSR 279- fixing of remuneration of administrator
- Pattison v Hadjimouratis (2006) 236 ALR 1 – appeal to full court of the Federal Court relating to annulment of bankruptcy
- Duncan v Commissioner of Taxation (2006) 58 ACSR 555 – claim by liquidator for preference and identification of Commissioner by directors
- Re Westgate Wool Co Pty Ltd (in liq) (2006) 206 FLR  – Summons for examination – Application for transfer of proceedings
- Bulic v Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd  FCA 307 – application for annulment by a discharged bankrupt
- Growden v Committee under Pt VIII of Bankruptcy Act  AATA 604; [(2008) 6 ABC(NS) 342] – review of a decision of a Committee established under s155A of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 refusing registration as a trustee in bankruptcy
- Re Mento Developments (Aust) Pty Ltd (in liquidation) (2009) 73 ACSR 622- application by liquidator for directions in relation to disputed claims
- Peter appeared for a party in a 12 day case in the Guardianship List at VCAT which included complex personal and financial issues:  VCAT 2442
- HC Legal Pty Ltd Deputy Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 45 – application to set aside statutory demand – other reason
- ANZ v Shilton  FCCA 1793 – Bankruptcy – application to set aside composition
- RAC Group Finance Pty Ltd (In liq) v Kasil Investments Pty Ltd as trustee of the Kasil Trust & Ors (Supreme Court of Victoria 9 July 2015, Judd J) – liquidator’s rights in winding up of an unregistered managed investments scheme – appeared as contradictor appointed by the liquidator
- Owners Corporation v Carroll  VCAT 1863 – owners corporation right of access over balcony – claim for damages following refusal of access
- Goconnect Ltd v Sino Strategic International Ltd (in liquidation)  VSCA 315 – application to set aside statutory demand – genuine dispute – loan was payable only when borrower chose to repay – supplementary affidavits
- Turner v Wallace  FCCA 3044, application by a trustee in bankruptcy to set aside transfers of property before guarantee signed – transactions to defeat potential creditors
- <Pseudonym>  FamCA 271 – Wilson J – in May 2019 Peter obtained an order from the Family Court that the liquidator of a family company prepare a report to the court in respect of the accounts of the company and certain transactions, including purported forgiveness of loans – details cannot be published at this stage
- Lee v Liang  VSC 33 – winding up on just and equitable ground
- Ballantine v Commissioner of Taxation – AAT 2019/3085 , decision 29 July 2021 – release from tax liability, serious hardship
- Davidson v Official Receiver [2021} HCATrans 208 – application for special leave – limitation period for notice under section 139ZQ of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (led by Michael Gronow QC)
- St George’s Development Company Pty Ltd (in liquidation)  VSC 295 – whether funding by joint venturers was by way of capital contribution or loan
Peter is a Conciliator on the AFL Vilification and Discrimination Panel.
He was also a member of the National Soccer League Tribunal for several years. He has represented parties at sporting and professional tribunals. Peter is a Nationally Accredited Mediator under the Australian National Mediator Accreditation Scheme. He has been appointed Mediator in a wide range of disputes. Peter is a member of the Victorian Association for Restorative Justice.
Peter received the Law Institute of Victoria 2023 President’s Award for Outstanding Service. This award is in recognition of his significant contribution to the legal profession, the community and to the Law Institute of Victoria.
Victorian Bar Committee Memberships
Commercial Bar Association
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.