Recent Cases

Walton v ACN 004 410 833 Limited (formerly Arrium Limited) (in liquidation) [2022] HCA 3 (16 February 2022) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Keane, Edelman and Steward JJ)


Companies – Winding up – Mandatory examination of persons about examinable affairs of corporation – Application to set aside summons for examination – Purposes for which an officer or provisional liquidator may be summoned for examination about corporation’s examinable affairs pursuant to s 596A of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – Where appellants were shareholders of corporation in liquidation – Where appellants authorised by Australian Securities and Investments Commission to make application pursuant to s 596A of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – Where appellants applied for summons for purpose of investigating potential personal claims in capacity as shareholders against former directors and auditors of corporation – Where Registrar issued summons to former director to attend court for examination – Whether appellants’ purpose foreign to purpose of s 596A of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) – Whether examination an abuse of process.

Words and phrases – “abuse of process”, “benefit of the company, its creditors, or its contributories”, “corporation in external administration”, “eligible applicant”, “enforcement of the law”, “examinable affairs”, “predominant purpose”, “public administration and compliance”, “public interest”, “purpose of the examination”, “scope and purpose of a statutory process”, “summons for examination”, “winding up”.