The best bankruptcy lawyers and advisers in Canberra

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Courtney Noble

MV Law’s Courtney Noble, one of Canberra’s most recommended bankruptcy law experts. Photo: MV Law.

Feeling overwhelmed and stressed by mounting financial pressure? Have more debt than money coming in? Facing challenging financial circumstances that are out of your control? If so, it’s wise to seek expert advice on all your options.

While unserviceable debt may make you feel that bankruptcy is the only course of action, there are other restructuring and recovery options to explore. This is why it’s important to talk to an expert about the best way to reclaim your financial health. Professional support is vital, even if bankruptcy ends up being the most practical way to start a new leaf and relieve financial duress.

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a bankruptcy lawyer or adviser, and share where to find the best in Canberra.

What makes a great bankruptcy lawyer and adviser?

The best bankruptcy lawyers and advisers are experts who will guide and support you in many ways, and with compassion and understanding. Bankruptcy experts can, for example, assist with protecting assets from creditors. They can find alternative ways to reduce or eliminate debt. They can also guide you through bankruptcy proceedings if required.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a bankruptcy expert.

  • Qualified and experienced. Bankruptcy is complex so you want a lawyer or adviser who is qualified to help you and who has extensive experience in this specialised field. These are experts who can demonstrate their success.
  • Specialised expertise. Some bankruptcy mattes are more straightforward than others. You’ll want assistance from an expert who has the depth of knowledge you need for the type of circumstances you’re facing.
  • Reputable. Reputable bankruptcy lawyers and advisers are known for being leaders in their field. They’ll provide well thought-through advice. Check for online reviews and research what work that lawyer or adviser has done previously. Also ask colleagues, family and friends for referrals.
  • Compassionate. Debt situations, including declaring bankruptcy, can be painful and emotionally draining. You’ll want the support of a bankruptcy expert who listens, understands and is compassionate. Look for an expert that you can connect with.
  • Presents all options. Bankruptcy comes with some far reaching, and long-lasting consequences. Because of this, search for a lawyer or adviser who first explores all potential avenues and presents you with clear options. The best lawyers and advisers will ask questions and dig deep into your situation, so they can talk you through the best plan of attack.

The best bankruptcy lawyers and advisers in Canberra

Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

RSM Australia – Bankruptcy Specialists

Being able to control debt can be difficult. It can cause stress and make people feel hopeless, especially when debt spirals out of control. RSM’s award-winning Restructuring and Recovery team in Canberra works with individuals to help assess their current financial situation and consider the best options—for them, their families and businesses.

Jonathon Colbran, Frank Lo Pilato

RSM managing partner Frank Lo Pilato and RSM partner Jonathon Colbran. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Canberra’s largest and most experienced team of bankruptcy specialists is led by Frank Lo Pilato and Jonathon Colbran, both trusted and experienced registered liquidators and registered bankruptcy trustees.

The team forges meaningful and long-lasting client relationships through their compassionate, people orientated and no-nonsense approach. The first step is for RSM to work closely with clients to flesh out all options for restructuring and recovery and help limit any risks. The team aims to uncover the best solution for clients, given their circumstances, before considering bankruptcy. RSM can, for example, explore debt agreements, debt consolidation and informal debt arrangements. The team explains the pros and cons of all options.

RSM’s Restructuring and Recovery team in Canberra listens, asks the right questions, delves deep and then tailors sound solutions. Drawing on RSM’s global network and local knowledge, the team works hard to make what can be a deeply stressful time as smooth and transparent as possible. The team has helped large numbers of Canberrans resolve their debt, take back control and become profitable again. They’ve done so with compassion and understanding.

Preliminary assistance is free of charge.

Boban Stojanovic wrote on Google of RSM Canberra’s services overall, “Professional all the way.”

MV Law

Whether you're at risk of bankruptcy, already bankrupt, or a creditor who wants to recover debt from an insolvent debtor, MV Law's bankruptcy law experts are ready to help. With a thorough knowledge of each party's powers, duties and entitlements, its team is committed to protecting your interests. They have strong connections with local bankruptcy trustees, which which enables candid and productive discussions to resolve issues and achieve optimal outcomes for all parties.

MV Law is Canberra's largest independent law firm. When it comes to bankruptcy issues, you can expect to receive frank and fearless advice about the strength of your legal position, the likely outcome of any dispute, and full disclosure of all legal costs along the way. The team’s stellar qualifications speak for themselves – four of MV Law’s expert lawyers have recently been recognised amongst the best in the country, named in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2021 List. Rest assured that not only are you in extremely capable and professional hands at MV Law, but that you are also receiving the best service in the country.

As Julian Bahamon writes in their Google review, "Great company. Would recommend it to anyone looking for a solicitor in Canberra."

Baker Deane & Nutt

Baker Deane & Nutt (also known as BDN Lawyers) is a full service law firm that has helped Canberrans resolve issues like bankruptcy for more than 150 years. With so much experience, you can trust its team to help you make informed decisions about your debt.

Whether you need advice, guidance, or representation, BDN Lawyers delivers tailor-made legal services that will help you secure the best possible outcome. Committed to demystifying complicated legal situations, BDN can help you navigate your way to financial freedom.

Mike Hutchings shared his experience with Baker Deane & Nutt via Google, "Professional, efficient and friendly. Spent time following up and explaining details we were unsure of and made all necessary arrangements to organise our affairs in a timely manner. Definitely recommend."

Kamy Saeedi Law

With over a decade’s legal service within Canberra, Kamy Saeedi Law have built an enviable reputation as one of the leading legal counsels in the region. They boast a balanced team of highly experienced partners and talented young lawyers who are passionate about helping people.

Their remarkably talented team are fuelled by a genuine desire to achieve the best possible outcome for each, and every client. So, when it comes to matters of insolvency and bankruptcy, they understand just how delicate this fine line can be.

With an extensive knowledge of the courts and legal systems, and the emotional toil that financial matters impose, the team at Kamy Saeedi Law are both hardworking and compassionate. Importantly, they recognise that each client’s circumstance is unique. They also believe that the best way to move forward is to fully understand available options.

Whether you are at risk of trading insolvently, seeking formal debt agreements, or considering bankruptcy, Kamy Saeedi Law will push the boundaries to present the best possible options. And, when it comes bankruptcy law, they will do all that they can help you reclaim your financial health.

Kamy Saeedi Law is dedicated to the Canberra community, and prides itself on being accessible to everyone. They offer honest, upfront, representation, high calibre legal advice, and a comprehensive emergency service.

If you are concerned about the ongoing costs of working with a lawyer when you’re already in financial difficulty, you can breathe easier knowing that Kamy Saeedi Law provides ongoing detailed cost estimates as your matter progresses.

Charmain Roberts shared this feedback on Kamy Saeedi Law on Facebook, "Outstanding guidance and assistance during a highly stressful time. Highly recommend this team who are always trying to achieve the best outcome."

Emergency After Hours Contact: 1800 531 467

BAL Lawyers

Located in the heart of Canberra, BAL Lawyers boasts a strong reputation and impressive track record for achieving positive client outcomes in all aspects of commercial law - including bankruptcy issues.

Its commercial law team strives to serve clients with efficiency and integrity, and is committed to always meeting the highest standards of performance. The team also leverages the expertise of BAL Lawyers' real estate, planning and employment law experts to ensure that you receive personalised advice that considers every relevant aspect of your financial situation.

Andrew Senti shared this great review on Bradley Allen Love Lawyers, "I was very impressed with the overall experience at BAL. Specifically, the services provided by both Ian Meagher and Katie Innes we’re fantastic. I have recommended BAL to a number of people and will continue to do so."

If you’re looking for more information on bankruptcy related services in Canberra, you might like our article on the best law firms, best insolvency and liquidation services, best commercial lawyers , best business advisers, best chartered accountants, best tax accountants and the best financial planners Canberra has to offer.

Your experience with bankruptcy lawyers and advisers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the bankruptcy lawyers or advisers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that offers protection to individuals or businesses who are unable to pay their debts. Bankruptcy can provide relief from most debts, allowing individuals to make a fresh start. It can be entered into on a debtors or creditors basis, with the bankruptcy period typically lasting for three years and one day.

What protections does bankruptcy provide?

Bankruptcy provides protection from being pursued by most creditors, aside from those who are entitled to take action. It also releases most debts, however there are some exclusions. This is why it’s important to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer or adviser before you decide to declare bankruptcy.

What is a bankruptcy trustee?

A bankruptcy trustee is a person or body who manages an individual or business estate. A trustee can be an Official Trustee from the Australian Financial and Security Authority or a registered trustee. Their role is to investigate financials, realise assets, and, where possible, pay creditors of the bankrupt’s estate.

What happens to assets once declared bankrupt?

Once bankruptcy is declared, assets are managed by a Trustee. The Trustee takes control of all assets within set limits. Assets can include things like cash, property, shares, vehicles, and jewellery. Money gathered from these assets is used to settle debts. Some assets are exempt, such as clothing, furniture essentials, life insurance, funds held in superannuation, and damages or compensation payments.

What are the consequences of declaring bankruptcy?

In addition to a Trustee managing your estate, additional consequences may apply. These include, but are not limited to: restricted employment and whether you can run a business; travel restrictions; potential challenges obtaining credit; and permanently appearing on the National Personal Insolvency Index.

Where can I get further advice?

If you’re experiencing financial challenges and considering bankruptcy, first seek professional advice from a lawyer or advisor who specialises in such matters. You may learn about other restructuring or recovery options that will help you relieve financial stress, without having to take that final step to declare bankruptcy.

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