Michael has extensive years of insolvency and restructuring experience and takes appointment in compulsory/official liquidation, provisional liquidation, voluntary liquidation, receivership and personal bankruptcy. Michael is an appointment taker of appointments from the High Court of Hong Kong, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, the Supreme Court of Bermuda and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the High Court of Justice Virgin Islands.
He is highly skilled in tracing, preservation and recovery of assets in Hong Kong, PRC, Singapore, Cayman Islands, BVI and internationally, stabilising financially distressed companies, financial and operational restructuring and formulating and implementing enforcement and/or restructuring strategies and resolving disputes with commercial and amicable solutions.
He also has extensive experience in investigations of fraud, false financial statements and defalcation in liquidation and establishing recovery strategies for creditors. He has also been appointed as expert witness in legal proceedings and arbitration proceedings including as an accounting expert, distressed companies valuation expert and fraudulent transactions expert. Michael also takes appointment as independent forensic accountant and assists corporate clients and their independent committee to address their concerns or queries in respect of specific transactions.
Michael’s experience covers various industries including investment funds, healthcare and hospitals, property investment and development, hotel and recreation clubs, manufacturing, construction and engineering service, dairy production, waste treatment plant, and agricultural plantation . His work often has a cross border focus in relation to assets and operations in Hong Kong, PRC, Macau, Singapore, Indonesia and the United States.
Michael is a legal practitioner admitted in Australia and a Certified Public Accountant.
Professional Affiliations and Academic Qualifications
- Awarded the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants specialist designation in insolvency, SD (Insolvency)
- Registered Appointment Taker with the Official Receiver’s Office in Hong Kong
- Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Member of the Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Member of Certified Public Accountants, Australia
- Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of Australian Capital Territory, Australia
- Bachelor of Law, University of Melbourne, Australia
- Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne, Australia
- Appointed first as provisional liquidator and subsequently liquidator by the HK court of a Cayman company, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The company is engaged in medical services and the manufacture and sale of Chinese medicines in PRC. Our work included investigating the company’s financial affairs, establishing the whereabouts of the HKD5 billion raised through bond and equity issuance, allegations of fraud in its financial reporting, investigating the conduct of the directors, officers and advisers and formulating any legal remedies available to the company.
- Appointed Liquidator by the BVI court of a BVI company following the company’s default of a USD290 million loan. The company is an investing holding company holding majority interest in a PRC dairy farming, liquid milk and milk powder production group which is listed in the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Our work included working with the PRC bankruptcy administrator and the Provisional Liquidators of the Listco in relation to a global restructuring of the group. We also undertook investigation in relation to the use and whereabouts of the loan proceeds of USD511 million and pursued recovery and realisation of the company’s assets.
- Appointed Liquidators to a substantial PRC drink manufacturing and wholesaling group. Changed the legal representatives and directors of the Group’s onshore subsidiaries and as officeholders applied to local Courts for the judicial re-organisation of these onshore subsidiaries in order to safeguard the assets and business from creditor enforcement action and to initiate a restructuring of the Group. Established communication channels with local governments in order to promote the judicial re-organisation process, defended various attempts to enforce against or auction Taizinai assets in various jurisdictions.
- Appointed as Liquidators of a BVI intermediate holding company by an agribusiness company incorporated in Singapore and listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The BVI company’s single asset was a 90% shareholding of an Indonesian company that owns a palm oil plantation and mill. Our work involved taking control of the BVI holding company, establishing the financial positions of the BVI and Indonesian companies and their estimate realisable value, associated security and encumbrance and managing the sale of the assets and business of the Indonesian subsidiary.
- Appointed Joint Official Liquidators by the Cayman Court of a registered fund which received subscriptions of over USD32 million for investment in Hong Kong stocks. Our work included investigation of the fund administrator and litigation against the founders of the fund in relation to questionable payments of over USD16 million and fund flow tracing in order to establish the whereabouts of the proceeds. We also adjudicated the rights of the stakeholders including shareholders, redeeming shareholders, subscribers and creditors.
Expert Work and Litigation Support
- Appointed as an Expert in legal proceedings at the High Court of Hong Kong, SAR and prepared a solo expert report and joint expert statements with two other experts. The dispute arose after completion of sale of target company, the buyer discovered different booking and accounting entries in relation to a shareholder contribution at various version of financial records at various point of time.
- Appointed as an Expert in arbitration proceedings to prepare expert report in respect of a series of back-to-back LCD and LED display trading transactions which were guaranteed by a guarantor. The dispute arose when the guarantor discovered that purported trading transactions did not genuinely exist and take place.
- Appointed as an Expert in arbitration proceedings and prepared a valuation report in respect of a carpet tackstrip business in Jiangsu province. The dispute arose following the asset purchase of the business after it transpired that revenues were far less than those represented in the business’ financial statements prior to closing. The report estimated the forecast revenue, profit and EBITDA of the business for each financial year in a five year period.
- Prepared expert report in relation to the legal proceedings commenced by the Liquidators of one of the largest corporate collapses in Australia in respect of various substantial preference payments to creditors when the companies were insolvent.
- Prepared expert report to the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division in relation to a US$1.1 billion non performing loan portfolio transaction in the PRC.
- Prepared expert report and analysis in legal proceedings in respect of Chinese non- performing loan transactions. Our work includes investigation of all aspects of the NPL transactions, preparation of a resultant expert report and possibly required to provide testimonies at a trial hearing before the United Stated District Court Central District of California.
- Appointed as Receivers over the charged assets, being 38.8% of the issued share capital of Lerthai Group Limited following the default of senior notes. Lerthai is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange and engaged in commercial operation and development of real estate.
- A British Virgin Islands incorporated company defaulted on a secured term loan of HKD224.5 million. We were appointed by the secured lender (a PRC stated own bank) as the Receivers of the charged shares (approximately 24% of issued capital) of a company listed in the HKEX.
- Appointed Receivers by international lenders to the Cayman holding company of a real estate group in PRC following a payment default of a USD150m convertible loan. Prior to appointment, we formulated a detailed workplan with the lenders in relation to each of the offshore and onshore enforcement steps to be undertaken by the Receivers and the associated timeline and considered various scenarios in relation to taking control and preserving the value of 23 operating entities in the group.
- Appointed receiver to the shares of a BVI holding company of a cross border payment services and currency exchange services group which has valuable payment licenses, businesses and operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, London, Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco. We were appointed by a shareholder following a default of profit guarantee given by the ultimate holding company.
- Receivers over a company operating a golf course, clubhouse and hunting lodge in Zhuhai, PRC. Our work required taking control of the business and assets of the company through a (disputed) change of legal representative in PRC, stabilising and maintaining its operations whilst attempting to sell the business through expressions of interest internationally. We successfully changed the legal representative, took control of the premises and books and records and facilitated a due diligence review by potential investors and the subsequent sale of the business.
Financial and operational restructuring and enforcement of security, including investigation, preservation and realization of assets for investors, lenders and companies.
Cross Border Insolvency
Assisting stakeholders, including creditors, investors and management, to identify solutions in contentious situations.