The Intersection of Companies and Trusts
Free Public Lecture
Woodward Conference Centre
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
T: 9035 1111
Harold Ford Memorial Lecture 2019
In 1981, Professor Harold Ford wrote an article on 'Trading Trusts and Creditors’ Rights'. In it, he described trading trusts, an intersection of companies and trusts that had emerged in the decade prior as an increasingly popular alternative to the proprietary company, as a 'commercial monstrosity'. It has been nearly 40 years since those comments yet there is still no coherent and unified approach by Australian courts as to their treatment under Australian company law, nor is there any clear treatment of them in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
On 5 February 2019, the High Court heard the appeal of what is commonly known as the Amerind matter. In the context of this appeal and other recent significant case law, this speech examines the development of the law on trading trusts, specifically on the issue of trust property in an insolvency administration.
About Professor Harold Ford
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 inaugural lecture was held in 2013 and hosted by the Centre for Corporate Law.
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. In 1974, the first edition of Principles of Company Law was published (now called Ford, Austin and Ramsay's Principles of Corporations Law and in its 16th edition with Dr Robert Austin and Professor Ian Ramsay as the authors). Professor Ford also co-authored a leading text titled Principles of the Law of Trusts and other influential books. Professor Ford made many important contributions to law reform, including chairing the Companies and Securities Law Review Committtee from 1984 to 1990.
The Honourable Chief Justice James Allsop AO, Federal Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia
The Honourable Chief Justice James Allsop AO, Federal Court of Australia
Federal Court of Australia
From 1981 to 2001 Chief Justice Allsop practised at the Bar in New South Wales and elsewhere in Australia. He was appointed Senior Counsel in New South Wales in 1994 and Queen’s Counsel in Western Australia in 1998. From 7 May 2001 to 1 June 2008 he served as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, undertaking the roles of trial and appellate judge on a full range of Federal Court work. From 2 June 2008 to 28 February 2013, Chief Justice Allsop was President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. He was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia as of 1 March 2013. From 1981 to 2014 Chief Justice Allsop taught parttime at the University of Sydney as a tutor and lecturer in property, equity, bankruptcy, insolvency, corporate finance and maritime law. From 2015 to 2018 he taught maritime law parttime at the University of Queensland. From 20052009, he was a member of the board of World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden. From 2008 to 2011 he was a member of the Board of the Australian Maritime College. On January 2010, he was elected as an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple. On 19 March 2013 he was elected a member of the American Law Institute. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. He is President of the Francis Forbes Society for Australian Legal History. From 2018 he was appointed Inaugural Patron of the Australian Insurance Law Association. From 2019 Chair of ACICA Judicial Liaison Committee. From 2019 he accepted membership on Asian Business Law Institute (ABLI) Board of Governors representing the Australian Judiciary.