Paul Buitendag Partner

Meet Paul

Paul specialises in large scale and complex legal and commercial disputes, including in the insolvency, engineering and construction industries.

He successfully led disputes in Australia and New Zealand and multiple commercial disputes in South Africa, where he was managing partner of a law firm in Pretoria for over 14 years.

Paul is a pre-eminent insolvency lawyer, whose expertise includes advising liquidators, administrators, banks and creditors on receiverships, deeds of company arrangements, insolvent trading, voidable transactions, unfair preferences, proof of debt claims, as well as enforcing securities. He advises on all aspects of workouts, recovery and reconstructions including representing insolvency appointees and borrowers and restructuring of managed investment schemes.

He is renowned for identifying and offering cost-effective and commercially sound alternatives to litigation. Clients value Paul’s unique and unparalleled 'big picture' perspective, his strategic advice and his teams’ ability to manage the complexities of their disputes and deliver commercial outcomes.

Paul is recommended for Dispute Resolution in Asia Pacific Legal 500 2018.

Experience

General

Gunns (in liq)

Acting for the liquidators and its group of companies on three claims with a combined value of approximately $150 million arising from the collapse of one of Australia’s largest timber and forestry management companies, namely: a claim against the former auditors, KPMG, for professional negligence and breach of contract in relation to their conduct of their audit in the 2009 and 2010 financial years a claim against the directors and officers in respect of misstatements in the 2010 annual report substantial voidable preference claims against numerous creditors.

Australian Property Custodian Holdings (in liq)

Acted for the liquidators in a claim of more than $100 million plus of one of the largest retirement village collapses in Australia, Prime Retirement and Aged Care Property Trust (in liq) regarding: the restructure and sale of rights to manage 12 retirement villages including claims for breaches of fiduciary duties against former accountants, lawyers and corporate advisors for knowing receipt of trust property claims against former auditors, Pitcher Partners, for professional negligence and breach of contract claims against the former directors and officers of the company for insolvent trading.

Bill Express (in liq)

Acted for the liquidators of one of Australia’s largest pre-paid phone card and bill payment facility collapses, regarding claims against former auditors, Pitcher Partners and KPMG, for professional negligence and misleading or deceptive conduct for in excess of $200 million as well as against the former directors and officers of the company for insolvent trading.

Botanic Homes (in liq)

Acting for liquidators of a domestic building company regarding: obligations under developer contracts completion of properties, insurance and building permit issues, intellectual property, sale of property and equipment, validity of security sale of assets, including display homes subject to obligations novated to purchasers.

Jones the Grocer Stores

Acting for a private equity fund, as major shareholder and Deed Proponent, regarding the restructure of one of its businesses in Australia, through a voluntary administration, proposed DOCA and a transfer of share application pursuant to section 444GA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Tree Minders

Advised a voluntary administrator, later the Deed Administrator, in the turnaround of a significant regional labour hire business. The matter involved extending the convening period, drafting a DOCA (and a creditor’s trust deed). The company was rehabilitated successfully and control returned to its directors.

East Rand Proprietary Mines (ERPM)

Acted in the implementation of the scheme of arrangement of ERPM, one of the largest Gold Mines in SA. This involved successfully restructuring the corporation to the benefit of creditors as well as implementing an employees’ trust and negotiating equity shareholding with the employees.

Protea Tyres (National Franchise)

Opposed the appointment of an administrator of a retail and manufacturing corporation. As the lead partner, implemented a scheme of arrangement and assisted auditors, KPMG, with the financial restructure and business turnaround plan.

Inductotherm Group (a division of Indel Group)

Managed international large scale litigation for an engineering company specialising in induction heating, melting, hot rolling and other processed electronic engineering methods regarding a dispute against NZ Steel Ltd (a former subsidiary of Blue Scope Steel) for repudiation and termination of contracts.

Mancala Holdings

Advising a company specialising in international mining services, shaft excavation, and engineering services on risk avoidance strategies involving, multi-jurisdictional disputes with various mining service suppliers and listed mining companies such as Bass Metals in relation to contractual disputes.

Recognition

Recommended in Dispute Resolution and Restructuring & Insolvency Law.
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
Listed as a leading lawyer in Insolvency and Reorganisation Law
Best Lawyers Australia, 2020

Career & qualifications

Qualifications

  • B Proc, Law, University of Pretoria

Memberships

  • Law Society of Gauteng
  • Law Institute of Victoria

Insights Read more insight

Dispute Resolution Update - February 2019

Our 2019 Half Year Dispute Resolution update details our significant case developments and wins, including our listing as a Band 1 Practice for Dispute Resolution in the Asia Pacific Legal 500 for...

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To adjourn, or not to adjourn: applications by administrators to adjourn winding up applications

It is not uncommon for administrators to be appointed in the period between a company being served with a creditor’s winding up application and the date on which that application is to be heard...

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