A liquidator applied for an order that he be appointed receiver of trust property for the purpose of enforcing the company’s right of indemnity and exoneration (as former trustee of the trust). The application was opposed by creditors and beneficiaries of the trust on the grounds of apprehended bias; an alternative receiver was proposed.
Replying on established principle (see Ebner v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy (2000) 205 CLR 337), the respondents contended that, in the eyes of the fair-minded lay observer, apprehended bias arose on 2 grounds: by reason of the dealings between the company, the company’s solicitors, and the liquidator (which had occurred prior to the company’s liquidation); and by reason of an alleged referral arrangement between the company’s solicitors and the liquidator (see Bank of Queensland Ltd & Anor v Ross Auto Auctions Pty Ltd (in liq) (receivers & managers appointed) & Anor  QSC 347).
Daubney J found that the evidence did not establish apprehended bias, and his Honour ordered that the liquidator be appointed receiver.
Anthony Messina appeared for the applicant, instructed by Mullins.
The judgment is published here.