On 5 October 2021, Melbourne Law School hosted the 2021 Harold Ford Memorial Lecture "Commercial trusts and the liability of beneficiaries: are commercial trusts a satisfactory vehicle to be used in modern day commerce?" presented by Chief Justice Bathurst.
Despite the trust not having its origins in commerce, despite the passage of almost 40 years since Professor Harold Ford published ‘Trading Trusts and Creditors’ Rights’, despite numerous calls for reform, there remains no comprehensive legislative regime governing what is colloquially described as the insolvency of commercial trusts.
This lecture will examine the adequacy of the current regime in Australia as it concerns the liability of beneficiaries in the event of the insolvency of commercial trusts. It will examine the question of whether the 1901 decision of Hardoon v Belilios has any relevance to the problems facing commercial trusts today.
The Harold Ford Memorial Lecture 2021 is generously supported by Clayton Utz.
2021 Harold Ford Memorial Lecture
This lecture is named in honour of Melbourne Law School’s distinguished alumnus, Professor Harold Ford, who passed away in September 2012. Professor Ford spent almost his entire career at Melbourne Law School following his appointment to the Law School in 1949. He was Dean of the Law School in 1964 and from 1967 to 1973. He is remembered as a gifted teacher by several generations of law students.
Professor Ford also made many important contributions to law reform and co-authored a leading text titled Principles of the Law of Trusts and other influential books. The Harold Ford Memorial Lecture celebrates the many contributions of Professor Ford to Melbourne Law School, the legal profession, and to the development of corporate law and trusts law.
The Honourable T F Bathurst AC
17th Chief Justice of New South Wales
Thomas Frederick Bathurst was appointed Chief Justice of New South Wales on 1 June 2011. Graduating with degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney in 1971, he went on to practise as a solicitor in 1972. He was admitted as a barrister in 1977, specialising in corporate law and litigation and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987. His considerable experience in corporate law saw his appointment as a member of the Australian Government’s Takeovers Panel (2006-2011).
Prior to his appointment to the bench, the Chief Justice served as President of both the Australian Bar Association (2008-2010) and the New South Wales Bar Association (2009-2011), the Executive Committee of which he was a member from 2002.
The Chief Justice was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2014 and elected as an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple in October 2016.