Unfortunately, some firms provide guidance which is designed to benefit them or which tells the client what they wish to hear. I believe that professional counsel should not be based on revenue streams to the firm, nor should it merely pamper to the wishes of the client. Professional insights and recommendations should be unbiased and truthful (even though they may not be palatable to the client) and should provide a solution which is in the best interests of the client and other stakeholders.
Maris is a registered liquidator, a registered trustee in bankruptcy and a principal with BRI Ferrier South Australia with over 40 years’ experience in insolvency. Before joining the firm in 2009, Maris headed his own independent insolvency practice for 12 years, Maris Rudaks and Associates. He enjoyed the challenge of running his own firm and garnered a great deal of satisfaction from its success. Over this period he was engaged in numerous complex and high profile matters including the liquidation of Banksia Productions Pty Ltd, the owner of the intellectual property in Humphrey B. Bear and of Golden Chef Australia Pty Ltd, a mobile food business with 400 vans in Adelaide and Melbourne. Prior to this, Maris was a principal and senior manager in the insolvency and reconstruction divisions of Ernst and Young and KPMG Peat Marwick respectively. Maris provides services in company insolvency, business recovery and personal insolvency. He is also regularly engaged to undertake informal arrangements and investigative accountant assignments. Maris’experience has been earned predominantly within the Adelaide market. His breadth of industry experience covers agribusiness, financial services, logistics, manufacturing, property, retail and tourism and hospitality.
- Appointed as receiver over two companies which operated a major plastics recycling plant. The companies’ collected plastic refuse from the public, which it then sorted, melted and recycled into other plastic products for sale to the public. The receivership involved investigation and resolution of third party claims to security over, and ownership of, company assets (some disproved in court action); competing claims as to intellectual property; and the proportion of ownership of assets by the two companies involved. The assets of the companies were sold to another large recycling firm and the funds distributed with the court’s approval, to relevant parties.
- Appointed voluntary administrator of a substantial South Australian forestry company. The company’s administration was a direct result of non-payment of a multi-million dollar debt owed by its major customer - also under administration. As administrator of the subsequent deed of company arrangement (DOCA), he managed a scheme fund which provided for certain assets to be sold, other assets to remain in the company and for a contribution to be made by shareholders. As part of the administration, Maris was appointed to the committee of creditors for the major customer. Through his extensive investigations, Maris was able to establish and support a significant claim against the major customer not only for unpaid work, but also for damages for breach of contract, resulting in a return to the South Australian forestry company of approximately double that which would otherwise have been the case. Over an 11 year period, Maris paid a total of seven dividends to its creditors. Pursuant to the terms of the DOCA, smaller creditors were paid in full, ordinary creditors received a return of 98.3 cents in the dollar and other related parties received 71 cents in the dollar.
- Approached by the South Australian government to act as trustee of the bankrupt estate of the former managing director of the State Bank of South Australia. With losses exceeding $2 billion, the State Government initiated proceedings against the director for breach of directors’duties, obtaining a judgment for an amount exceeding $81 million. Prior to the hearing of the government’s bankruptcy application against the director, he declared himself bankrupt and the official trustee in bankruptcy was appointed trustee of the estate. Maris then worked with the official trustee to investigate the director’s affairs, including family companies and trusts. After examining thousands of documents, the investigation culminated in a public examination of the director in the Federal Court, which resulted in a seven figure settlement - a result as realistically commercial as could be achieved.
- Involved as senior manager in the receivership of a substantial private finance company. With the company in breach of its loan covenants, a receiver and manager was appointed. Subsequently, Maris was involved in conducting a complete audit of the finance company’s loan book (which included hundreds of customers), its management and then securitisation and sale of the portfolio.
- Maris was involved in the court liquidation of a subsidiary of Bond Corporation which had been stripped of its assets and left with substantial debts. Maris was part of the ensuing investigations and subsequent court actions. After extensive litigation, a significant portion of funds were recovered and repaid to creditors.
Qualifications and memberships
- Registered liquidator
- Registered trustee in bankruptcy
- Member, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
- Member, Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association
- Member, Australian Institute of Credit Management
- Graduate IPA Insolvency Course
- Bachelor of Arts (Accounting) – University of South Australia