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走進澳洲 | 清算 Liquidation
時間:2020-04-06

前言




文康君益誠律師聯盟處理過諸多涉及澳大利亞的業務,在此基礎上聯盟成立了澳洲業務團隊,團隊成員包括多位能以英語為熟練工作語言的中國律師以及澳大利亞注冊律師,其中王欲弘律師在中澳法律、投資、貿易、移民等業務領域深耕多年,還運營著以投資業務為主的澳洲基金和澳中投資平臺。團隊國際法律顧問祝福律師擁有澳洲律師牌照近十年,作為在澳大利亞長大的華人,熟悉中澳兩國文化,處理了大量中澳跨境法律事務,經驗豐富。

澳洲業務團隊可為文康君益誠聯盟客戶提供與中國-澳大利亞有關的投資、貿易、移民、跨國婚姻、訴訟等全方位、一站式的商業和法律服務。



清算


Liquidation





上周的文章為讀者介紹了:
1. 自愿接管的程序
2. 接管人的角色
3. 接管過程中債權人的權利
4. 自愿接管程序可能的結果

Last week’s article provided our readers with an outline of:
i. the process of voluntary administration,
ii. the role of the administrator,
iii. the rights of creditors during the course of administration, and
iv. the possible outcomes of voluntary administration.

接管程序的一個結果是公司進入清算程序。如果采取這種措施,除非另作決議,否則接管人將成為清算人。

One outcome of administration is for the company to enter into liquidation, if this course of action is taken, and unless resolved otherwise, the administrator will ordinarily become the liquidator.

本文的第一部分將試圖讓讀者了解清算的目的和過程,第二部分將深入探討債權人的權利。

Part 1 of this article will then seek to provide readers with an understanding of the purpose and process of liquidation, whilst part 2 will delve into the rights of creditors.


資不抵債公司的清算

Liquidation of an insolvent company



清算的目的是,讓一個獨立于破產公司事務的有資質的人,來控制和清算該公司。與破產接管人非常相似,清算人的目標是為所有債權人提供一個公平的結果。

The purpose of liquidation is for a duly qualified person, independent of the affairs of the insolvent company, to take control and wind up its affairs. Much like the administrator, the liquidator aims to provide a fair result to all creditors.

與接管程序類似,清算有兩種類型:
1. 債權人自愿清算,以及
2. 法院命令清算

As with the process of administration, there are two types of liquidation:
i. creditors’ voluntary liquidation, and
ii. court ordered liquidation.

清算人對公司的所有債權人負有責任,包括:
?調查公司事務并向債權人報告;
?評估是否可能對公司董事提出索賠;
?確定是否進行了非商業交易,并撤銷此類交易;
?確定是否進行了有優惠的或不公平的付款,且可追回此類付款;
?調查涉及公司事務的代表、董事、員工或其他人員可能犯下的罪行,并向ASIC報告這些罪行;
?收集、保護和變現公司資產;
?將公司的變現資產分配給債權人;以及
?申請公司注銷。

The Liquidator’s duty is towards all creditors of the company and includes:
? Investigate the company’s affairs and report to the creditors;
? To assess whether any possible claims may be made against the company’s directors;
? To ascertain as to whether any uncommercial transactions have been made and for such transactions to be set aside;
? To determine whether any preferential or unfair payments were made and recoverable;
? To enquire into possible offences by representatives, directors, employees or other persons who are involved in the company’s affairs and to report such offences to ASIC;
? To collect, protect and realise the company’s assets;
? To distribute the realised assets of the company to the creditors; and
? To apply for the deregistration of the company.


注意:如果在清算期間,清算人懷疑有犯罪行為,則清算人應通過ASIC基金進一步調查,或向ASIC報告,以便進行刑事調查。

NOTE: If during the course of liquidation, the liquidator suspects offences may have been committed, the liquidator is to either further investigate the matter with ASIC funding or to report to ASIC for criminal investigations to be conducted.



有優惠的,以及不公平的付款
Preferential payments, unfair payments

在清算開始前的六個月內如發生下列情形,為所有債權人的共同利益,清算人有能力追討公司向個別債權人支付的某些款項:
1. 公司資不抵債或者債權人懷疑公司資不抵債
2. 比其他債權人提前收到債務(或部分債務)的還款。

A liquidator has the ability to recover, for the benefit of all creditors, certain payments made by the company to individual creditors. If during a six-month period prior to the start of liquidation:
i. the company is insolvent or that the creditor suspects the company is insolvent, and
ii. receives payment of their debt (or part of it) ahead of other creditors.

認定付款屬于不公平或有優惠的標準是,付款必須使債權人處于比其他無擔保債權人更有利的地位。

In order for these payments to be deemed an unfair and preferential payment, the payment must have placed the creditor in a more favourable position than other unsecured creditors.

股利及資金分配
Dividends and payments

清算人的清算成本排在資金分配的第一順位。如果有剩余資金,則支付給有擔保債權人、有優先權的無擔保債權人(雇員),最后支付給其他無擔保債權人和股東。

一般來說,分配資金的次序如下:
1. 清算的成本和費用,包括清算人的費用;
2. 拖欠員工的工資和退休金;
3. 拖欠的員工休假補償金(例如,未修完的年休假、病假或長期服務假期津貼);
4. 員工經濟補償金;
5. 無擔保的債權人;
6. 股東。
The liquidator is entitled to the payment of its costs prior to any payments are made to the creditors. If there are funds left over, then payments are made to secured creditors, unsecured creditors with priority (employees), and finally to other unsecured creditors and shareholders.

Generally, the order in which funds are distributed is:
1. costs and expenses of the liquidation, including liquidators’ fees
2. outstanding employee wages and superannuation
3. other outstanding employee benefits such as annual leave, sick leave, long service leave,
4. employee retrenchment payments,
5. unsecured creditors, and
6. Shareholders.

在上一個分類中的債權人均已獲得償付后,才能對后一順序分配資金。如果沒有足夠的資金全額支付一個類別,那么可用的資金將按比例支付。

We note that each category of creditors is to be paid prior to any dividends are made available to the next. If there are insufficient funds to pay a category in full, then the available funds are paid on a pro rata basis.

發生債務違約時,有擔保債權人的權利與無擔保債權人不同。

有擔保債權人是指,那些對公司部分或全部資產擁有擔保權益,以擔保公司所欠債務的人。這種擔保權益通常是抵押或質押的形式。

We note however that the rights of secured creditors differ from those of unsecured creditors when it comes to debt defaults.

A secured creditor is someone who has a security interest over some or all of the company’s assets, to secure a debt owed by the company. This security commonly takes the form of a mortgage or charge.

公司違反其擔保物權項下的義務,有擔保債權人有權指定獨立的接管人出售部分或全部擔保資產,以償還債務。

If a company defaults on its obligations under a security interest, secured creditors have the right to appoint an independent receiver to sell some or all of the charged assets to allow the repayment of the debt.

如果接管人已指定且已兌現的金額不能完全清償債務,則有擔保的債權人有權:
?在債權人會議上對差額進行表決;
?與無擔保債權人一同參與股息發放。

If a receiver has been appointed and the amount realized cannot fully repay the debt, then a secured creditor is entitled to:
?vote at creditors’ meetings for the amount of the shortfall;
?participate in any dividend to unsecured creditors on a similar basis.

關于債權人類型及其權利的細節將在本文的第2部分中討論。

Specifics in relation to the type of creditors and their rights will be discussed in Part 2 of this article.

清算的結果
Conclusion of liquidation

將公司的資產全部變現和分配,并向ASIC提交適當的報告后,清算程序及清算人的作用才算結束。

The process of liquidation and the role of the liquidator comes to an end after the company’s assets has been fully realised and distribute, with the appropriate reports made to ASIC.

在自愿清算中,清算人必須召開最后一次聯席會議,并在會議中說明清算的過程,以及公司財產是如何處置的。最后一次會議的通知提交給ASIC后,公司將在三個月后自動注銷。

在法院下令清算的情況下,不需要召開最后一次會議。一旦清算人決定公司的事務已完全清算,他們可:
1. 請求法院裁定;
2. 請求法院裁定并請求ASIC將公司注銷;
3. 在沒有足夠的資產來獲得注銷公司的法院裁定的情況下,要求ASIC注銷公司。

In a voluntary liquidation, the liquidator must hold a final joint meeting accounting for how the liquidation has been conducted and how company property has been disposed of. A notice of this final meeting is to be lodged with ASIC and the company will be automatically deregistered after a further three months period.

In a court ordered liquidation, this final meeting is not required to be held. Once the liquidator decides that the company’s affairs have been fully wound up, they may:
? seek an order for release from the court
? seek an order for release and that ASIC deregister the company, or
? if there are insufficient assets to obtain a court order for the company’s deregistration, request that ASIC deregister the company.

注銷后,公司將不再存續。
A company ceases to exist after it has been deregistered.

以上是關于清算的第一部分。第二部分將重點介紹債權人的類型及其權利。

This concludes part 1 of this article. Part 2 will focus on the type of creditors and their rights.

延伸

閱讀

在澳投資
澳大利亞的重點產業
外國投資審查委員會的作用
投資澳大利亞農業
對澳投資的稅務問題
澳洲家事法院眼中的家庭全權信托
董事欺詐:法律后果與司法救濟
信托:恰當的運用和切實的考慮


澳大利亞法律框架下的合同落空原則及不可抗力條款


自愿接管制度:接管人、債權人以及可能的后果

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Our experience comes from a history of working with Chinese and Australian multinationals engaged in bilateral trade and cross border investments.

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