Media releases

Read below for our latest announcements.

Growth in BRI Ferrier’s Forensic team

17 September 2013

BRI Ferrier is expanding its’ forensic services in the Asia Pacific region with the recent appointment of Wilfred Wu to the firm’s associated office of Briscoe Wong Ferrier in Hong Kong.

Wilfred has over 15 years’ experience in various specialist advisory engagements, including investigative services, litigation support, due diligence and corporate restructuring.

Lucy Vecchio, a Director in the Sydney office of BRI Ferrier who has worked on the development of the firm’s forensic services in Sydney and Hong Kong, said “that the addition of Wilfred to the Hong Kong office would greatly enhance the skill set of our Asia Pacific forensics team, given Wilfred’s wealth of experience across a broad range of forensic services”.

According to Ian Ferrier, Chairman of BRI Ferrier, “one of our firm’s key drivers is to be constantly innovating; this appointment demonstrates the firm’s commitment to that through expanding and developing our forensic practice where there is an increasing demand for quality services from firms not limited by conflict”.

For more information contact: 

Lucy Vecchio
Director
02 8263 2300 

New Principals at BRI Ferrier

5 September 2013

As a testament to the growth of the firm, the North Queensland offices of BRI Ferrier have appointed three new principals; John Goggin, Robert Humphreys (PDF) and Glenn Parry (PDF).

John Goggin is based in the Cairns office with Robert and Glenn based in Townsville but also servicing the Mackay office. John has over 20 years’ experience in professional accounting practice, he specialises in all types of insolvency services and is a registered bankruptcy Trustee. John moved to Cairns in 2008 from Ireland where he owned and operated his own accountancy practice.

Robert has over 11 years experience in providing insolvency services and is an Official Liquidator.

Glenn has national and international experience with public accounting and commercial publicly listed firms and has significant experience in hospitality and commercial property. Glenn also heads up the Forensics practice of BRI Ferrier NQ. With his wealth of knowledge and experience in forensics, Glenn is able to provide expert opinion that provides confidence and assurance for decision makers.

"BRI Ferrier NQ has the advantage of being locally owned and operated, but has access to the skills and experience of a wide range of top professionals in offices throughout Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong" Robert Humphreys said. "For example, the group Chairman is the highly respected and well known Ian Ferrier. When you combine this national and international expertise with the in depth knowledge of our Far Northern and Northern Queensland Principals such as my colleagues, Glenn Parry, Moira Carter and Ian Jessup, as well as in our Cairns office, Glenn Miller and John Goggin, I believe we have a winning combination”.

For further information please contact John Goggin, Robert Humphreys or Glenn Parry at the contacts below:

John Groggin                               Robert Humphreys                     Glen Parry              

Mobile: 0448 056 327
Direct: (07) 4037 7002   

Mobile: 0488 072 941    
Direct: (07) 4755 3302    

Mobile: 0417 746 305    
Direct: (07) 7855 3303    

King of Knives – working through Voluntary Administration

2 September 2013

Retail expert at BRI Ferrier Antony Resnick (PDF) was recently appointed as the voluntary administrator to the King of Knives homewares retail franchise business.

King of Knives is a 25 year old business but had been struggling in the tough retail climate. A decision by the bankers to withdraw finance forced the directors into voluntary administration.

The company continues to trade through voluntary administration with the hope that a Deed of Company Arrangement will be proposed to creditors.

According to Resnick, “by trading we are preserving the goodwill of the business as a whole, preserving the prospect of continued employment for a significant number of the workforce, keeping the prospect of ongoing trade for suppliers alive and preventing the automatic closure of all stores which would negatively impact on the landlords”.

“Franchises will not be affected but we will have to close about 50% of the company owned stores so as to preserve the good number of healthy stores through carving out the unprofitable ones. The historical performance of stores has been a major factor in determining which stores to close”.

BRI Ferrier has a specialist retail team led by Resnick and was recently involved in the liquidation of the MotherCare Group of companies. “Given our ongoing exposure to the state of retail in Australia we maintain contact with many of the operators, landlords, bankers, suppliers and consultants in the industry which enables us to maximise the prospects for all the various stakeholders”.

Antony Resnick  (PDF)
antony.resnick@briferriernsw.com.au  

BRI Ferrier launches Australia’s first Insolvency App

30 July 2013

“I'm really impressed with both the content and functionality of this App. This is an invaluable tool for businesspeople to help them navigate the complexities of personal and corporate insolvency law,” Jason Harris BA LLB LLM FCSA, Senior Lecturer,UTS Faculty of Law

Innovative firm BRI Ferrier is leading the digital revolution in the insolvency profession with the release of Australia’s first Insolvency App, an up to date and on the go resource for the industry that will change the way the profession works.

Conceptualised and built by BRI Ferrier from the ground up, The Australian Insolvency App enables subscribers to access up-to-date insolvency information, news and advice on their iPad anytime, anywhere.

According to BRI Ferrier chairman Ian Ferrier “The App is an ideal resource; conveniently incorporating critical information such as the Insolvency Guide, links to industry resources, the latest notices on ASIC’s Notices website, Australian and international insolvency news articles as well as the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of insolvency experts at BRI Ferrier, all available at users fingertips.

“Importantly, users can also post their own questions on issues not covered in the guide to BRIF – it’s smarter than “SIRI”. Just ask the question and a panel of BRI Ferrier experts will respond with 24-hours. Frequently asked questions will be uploaded and updated so the App will be evolving and growing in relevance and content.

“We are offering the App to participants in the insolvency, banking, legal, accounting, insurance industries and government and are convinced that over time it will change the way professionals work.

“As is the case with all successful new technologies, this version of the App is just the beginning and we anticipate that the demand for more digital based resources will increase,” Mr Ferrier explained.

Full review by Jason Harris

"The App works very intuitively. It was easy to navigate and enabled me to find relevant information quickly and easily. This is particularly impressive given the wide scope of the topics in the guide and the hundreds of FAQs involved. BRI Ferrier is to be congratulated on creating an App that is very good at cutting to the core of the legal and accounting issues in insolvency without dwelling on technical legal points. In fact, the topics cover the majority of significant areas that business people are likely to ask about insolvency law and practice.

There are a wide variety of common issues with concise, practical answers. You can find what you want without having to wade through volumes of irrelevant materials.

The topic coverage is broad and should cover most common queries. The guide entries provide clear explanations in language that business people can understand.

Using the search function was simple and gave me links to relevant information and the layout is clear. I always knew where I was, and what to look for.

Links to outside websites and news are particularly helpful. This is really is a one stop shop for practical insolvency advice."


Download the Australian Insolvency App from the Apple App Store. Contact appfeedback@briferriernsw.com.au for your free trial.

Mothercare administrator urging Aussie retailers to innovate

9 July 2013

When ASX listed Mothercare Australia Group folded earlier this year, administrator BRI Ferrier’s Antony Resnick says it was a wake-up call to all struggling Aussie retailers that they must innovate or perish.

And while a perfect storm of high rent and wages costs and online competitors might be making it tough for many, Mr Resnick maintains that if retailers genuinely innovate they will carve out a successful future as many international brands have demonstrated.

It is interesting to note also that while Mothercare globally continues to trade in 55 countries and many in depressed economies, the Australian operation is the only one to go into administration at a time when Australia is considered to have one of the strongest economies in the OECD.

“This of course adds strength to the argument that rent and wages are too high but that’s not the whole story,” Mr Resnick says. “To be competitive Aussie retailers have to run a lean operation, outsource what they are not good at and most importantly, innovate. In short, they have to make shopping a titillating experience.

“If you want to entice the right customer base, you have to be exciting. There is an ever increasing need for effective merchandising - it must be eye-catching. Customers should be enticed into a store on the basis that they will both look forward to and enjoy the experience. This can be achieved through the customisation of products and personalising the experience.

“Take Apple for example. The try before you buy live opportunities are tremendous and the overall ease of dealing with well “connected” staff makes the experience exciting and professional. In Nike stores in London and New York you can become a shoe designer and walk out with a personalised outcome in under half an hour. The excitement is frenetic and well received.

“Equally Abercrombie & Fitch stores in those cities have lines of people wanting to have a photo with the guy with the six pack at the front door before going in to a store that resembles a disco with loud music and staff dancing. Now that’s exciting,” Mr Resnick says.

And retailers need to be ruthless when it comes to running the business. If wage and labour costs are each more than 20 per cent of turnover the business is unsustainable. In addition, retailers should try to avoid large footprint stores with too many staff where a smaller showroom may suffice. The old adage about knowing your customer has never been more relevant than it is today. If a retailer has a thorough understanding of their customers and what they want, they will know that it is not necessary to have their store open for extended hours seven days a week or have an overly large footprint which will just drive up rental costs.

“There is no doubt that some retailers are in trouble but there are enormous opportunities for many of these struggling businesses to turn themselves around. Innovation in Australia is being spear headed by international brands like Zara and Ikea and we need more Australian brands to take their lead,” Mr Resnick concluded.

When ASX listed Mothercare Australia Group folded earlier this year, administrator BRI Ferrier’s Antony Resnick says it was a wake-up call to all struggling Aussie retailers that they must innovate or perish.

And while a perfect storm of high rent and wages costs and online competitors might be making it tough for many, Mr Resnick maintains that if retailers genuinely innovate they will carve out a successful future as many international brands have demonstrated.

It is interesting to note also that while Mothercare globally continues to trade in 55 countries and many in depressed economies, the Australian operation is the only one to go into administration at a time when Australia is considered to have one of the strongest economies in the OECD.

“This of course adds strength to the argument that rent and wages are too high but that’s not the whole story,” Mr Resnick says. “To be competitive Aussie retailers have to run a lean operation, outsource what they are not good at and most importantly, innovate. In short, they have to make shopping a titillating experience.

“If you want to entice the right customer base, you have to be exciting. There is an ever increasing need for effective merchandising - it must be eye-catching. Customers should be enticed into a store on the basis that they will both look forward to and enjoy the experience. This can be achieved through the customisation of products and personalising the experience.

“Take Apple for example. The try before you buy live opportunities are tremendous and the overall ease of dealing with well “connected” staff makes the experience exciting and professional. In Nike stores in London and New York you can become a shoe designer and walk out with a personalised outcome in under half an hour. The excitement is frenetic and well received.

“Equally Abercrombie & Fitch stores in those cities have lines of people wanting to have a photo with the guy with the six pack at the front door before going in to a store that resembles a disco with loud music and staff dancing. Now that’s exciting,” Mr Resnick says.

And retailers need to be ruthless when it comes to running the business. If wage and labour costs are each more than 20 per cent of turnover the business is unsustainable. In addition, retailers should try to avoid large footprint stores with too many staff where a smaller showroom may suffice. The old adage about knowing your customer has never been more relevant than it is today. If a retailer has a thorough understanding of their customers and what they want, they will know that it is not necessary to have their store open for extended hours seven days a week or have an overly large footprint which will just drive up rental costs.

“There is no doubt that some retailers are in trouble but there are enormous opportunities for many of these struggling businesses to turn themselves around. Innovation in Australia is being spear headed by international brands like Zara and Ikea and we need more Australian brands to take their lead,” Mr Resnick concluded.

When ASX listed Mothercare Australia Group folded earlier this year, administrator BRI Ferrier’s Antony Resnick says it was a wake-up call to all struggling Aussie retailers that they must innovate or perish.

And while a perfect storm of high rent and wages costs and online competitors might be making it tough for many, Mr Resnick maintains that if retailers genuinely innovate they will carve out a successful future as many international brands have demonstrated.

It is interesting to note also that while Mothercare globally continues to trade in 55 countries and many in depressed economies, the Australian operation is the only one to go into administration at a time when Australia is considered to have one of the strongest economies in the OECD.

“This of course adds strength to the argument that rent and wages are too high but that’s not the whole story,” Mr Resnick says. “To be competitive Aussie retailers have to run a lean operation, outsource what they are not good at and most importantly, innovate. In short, they have to make shopping a titillating experience.

“If you want to entice the right customer base, you have to be exciting. There is an ever increasing need for effective merchandising - it must be eye-catching. Customers should be enticed into a store on the basis that they will both look forward to and enjoy the experience. This can be achieved through the customisation of products and personalising the experience.

“Take Apple for example. The try before you buy live opportunities are tremendous and the overall ease of dealing with well “connected” staff makes the experience exciting and professional. In Nike stores in London and New York you can become a shoe designer and walk out with a personalised outcome in under half an hour. The excitement is frenetic and well received.

“Equally Abercrombie & Fitch stores in those cities have lines of people wanting to have a photo with the guy with the six pack at the front door before going in to a store that resembles a disco with loud music and staff dancing. Now that’s exciting,” Mr Resnick says.

And retailers need to be ruthless when it comes to running the business. If wage and labour costs are each more than 20 per cent of turnover the business is unsustainable. In addition, retailers should try to avoid large footprint stores with too many staff where a smaller showroom may suffice. The old adage about knowing your customer has never been more relevant than it is today. If a retailer has a thorough understanding of their customers and what they want, they will know that it is not necessary to have their store open for extended hours seven days a week or have an overly large footprint which will just drive up rental costs.

“There is no doubt that some retailers are in trouble but there are enormous opportunities for many of these struggling businesses to turn themselves around. Innovation in Australia is being spear headed by international brands like Zara and Ikea and we need more Australian brands to take their lead,” Mr Resnick concluded.

antony.resnick@briferriernsw.com.au

+61 2 8263 2386

National Buildplan Group

9 April 2013

Martin Green and Peter Krejci of BRI Ferrier have today been appointed as Voluntary Administrators of construction company National Buildplan Group Pty Ltd. The appointment follows a resolution by the company’s Director.

The Voluntary Administrators have commenced an urgent assessment of the financial position of the company. In the interim it has ceased work on its construction projects.

A meeting of creditors will be held on Thursday 18 April at a time and location to be advised shortly.

Creditors are also advised to consult the current matters page of the BRI Ferrier website where further updates will be provided as they are available.

Mothercare Australia

28 February 2013

Brian Silvia and Antony Resnick of BRI Ferrier’s Sydney office were appointed Voluntary Administrators of Mothercare Australia Limited, a currently suspended ASX-listed company, and of three subsidiaries, Skansen Pty Ltd, Skansen KCG Pty Ltd and Baby on a Budget Pty Limited, on the evening of 29 January 2013.

The companies trade under the names “Mothercare Australia” (under licence from Mothercare PLC of the UK), Kids Central, Early Learning Centre and Baby on a Budget from 47 shops in Australia and New Zealand, employing over 500 staff. The companies share head office facilities at the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, Sydney, as well as warehouse facilities.

The appointment follows the withdrawal of Myer Family Company Holdings Limited from a conditional contract to purchase the business, announced in October 2012. Mothercare Australia’s shares have been suspended since the announcement of the sale.

The Administrators are continuing to trade the businesses while assessing the viability of individual outlets and options for the sale of the businesses, or parts of them, as a going concern.

Further information will be made available on the current matters page of the BRI Ferrier website as the Administration proceeds.