The recent decision in the Frisken case serves as a stark reminder for insolvency practitioners in Australia that securing extensions to convening periods for creditors’ meetings isn’t a mere formality. The Courts, as emphasised by the Frisken judgment, won’t rubber-stamp such applications but instead require a substantial demonstration of necessity without harming the creditors’ interests.

Understanding Extensions to Convening Period

Insolvency practitioners have historically relied on a perceived lenient approach by the Courts towards extending the period for convening creditors’ meetings under section 439A(6) of the Corporations Act 2001. However, recent trends show a more discerning stance. Of 30 judgments since 2022, only one extension application was declined, signifying a shift in the Court’s view on these extensions.

When considering extension applications, Courts weigh two key aspects:

Need for Speed vs. Creditor Interests: Balancing the expectation of a swift administration against the Act’s objective to maximise benefits for the company, creditors, and shareholders.

Factors Influencing Extension: Past cases like Re Riv­iera Group Pty Ltd have outlined factors such as business size, offshore activities, complex corporate structures, asset disposal processes, potential business sales, and improving returns for unsecured creditors.

The Frisken Case and Its Implications

The Frisken case involved Mr Frisken, an appointed voluntary administrator for related companies, seeking a six-month extension for convening the second creditors’ meeting. However, the Court dismissed this extension application, citing several reasons:

The proposed extension lacked substantiated evidence, particularly the Director’s DOCA (Deed of Company Arrangement) proposal.

The Court expressed uncertainty over the proposed extension’s benefit, especially considering the winding down of businesses and the speculative nature of the DOCA proposal.

Criticism was directed at the delay of the application and inadequate notice given to stakeholders.

Our View: Balancing Urgency and Procedural Fairness

The Frisken judgment signifies a pivotal shift in the Court’s approach. It underscores the importance of justifying extension requests without jeopardising creditors’ interests. Judge Cheeseman’s critique of late applications and insufficient notice stresses the need for procedural fairness, ensuring stakeholders are adequately informed and provided with an opportunity to respond.

Practical Steps: For administrators, this decision underscores the necessity of presenting a well-founded case for extensions and providing timely notices. Leaving sufficient time between hearings and the convening period’s end allows for adequate report preparation if the extension is denied, upholding procedural fairness.

The Frisken case reiterates that extensions to convening periods aren’t granted as a matter of course. Administrators must substantiate the necessity of such extensions while upholding procedural fairness, ensuring the best interests of all stakeholders involved in insolvency proceedings. 

To discuss what this ruling might mean for you and your clients, reach out for a confidential discussion to 


This information and the contents of this publication, current as at the date of publication, is general in nature to offer assistance to RRI Advisory’s clients, prospective clients and stakeholders, and is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal or financial advice. If you are concerned about any topic covered, we recommend that you seek your own specific legal and financial advice before taking any action.