Phoenix activity: Regulatory challenges and the law
Matthew, Anne F. (2015) Phoenix activity: Regulatory challenges and the law. In Insolvency & Tax: Smoke and Mirrors: 3rd Annual Business Law Symposium, 2 November 2015, Brisbane, Qld. (Unpublished)
Remedying the mischief of phoenix activity is of practical importance. The benefits include continued confidence in our economy, law that inspires best practice among directors, and law that is articulated in a manner such that penalties act as a sufficient deterrent and the regulatory system is able to detect offenders and bring them to account. Any further reforms must accommodate and tolerate legal phoenix activity. Phoenix activity pushes tolerance of entrepreneurial activity to its absolute limits. The wisest approach would be to front end the reforms so as to alleviate the considerable detection and enforcement burden upon regulatory bodies. There is little doubt that breach of the existing law is difficult and expensive to detect; and this is a significant burden when regulators have shrinking budgets and are rapidly losing feet on the ground. This front end approach may need to include restrictions on access to limited liability. The more limited liability is misused, the stronger the argument to limit access to limited liability. This paper proposes that such an approach is a legitimate next step for a robust and mature capitalist economy.
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