Richard Johnson

Richard has specialised in debt restructuring, corporate insolvency, informal work outs and security enforcement/creditor rights work since 2003. He regularly provides advice in relation to these matters to directors, creditors, distressed investors and many of Australia’s leading insolvency practitioners.

Richard regularly provides advice to directors in relation to the insolvent trading ‘safe harbour’ regime and related restructuring/recapitalisation endeavours and he has had a number of high profile engagements in both the ASX-listed and large proprietary company contexts. His practice also encompasses directors’ duties, advice and litigation under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth), creditors’ rights and distressed acquisitions and disposals.

Richard also acts for a number of creditors and financial investors in connection with non-performing credits, distressed acquisitions and sales and the structuring and execution of loan-to-own strategies in both consensual and contested debt restructuring matters. Richard also acts in relation to regulatory investigations and commercial litigation matters arising out of financial distress.

Richard has published a number of refereed papers in relation to debt restructuring issues. Richard has been named “Lawyer of the Year” for Insolvency and Reorganisation Law in Best LawyersTM Australia 2019 edition. He is also recognised in Best LawyersTM Australia for Restructuring and Insolvency and by Doyle’s Guide in 2015 to 2023 variously as a ‘preeminent’ and ‘leading’ lawyer for this category. Richard has been recognised by Legal500 as ‘a noteworthy name in the Perth market’ and has been awarded the Fellowship by the Australia Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association.


Richard’s experience includes advising:

  • Clough Limited in relation to restructuring, recapitalisation and divestment endeavours prior to the formal recapitalisation and restructuring of the Clough Group by deed of company arrangement;
  • The liquidators of Griffin Coal in relation to all aspects of the liquidation of The Griffin Coal Mining Company Pty Limited and its related entities;
  • Directors of several ASX-listed resources operations in relation to their restructuring and recapitalisation endeavours under the protection of safe harbour. The restructuring plans entailed combinations of debt rescheduling, debt forgiveness, covenant waiver and secondary equity capital raising activities (including rights issues, accelerated rights issues and placements);
  • The receivers and managers of an ASX-listed iron ore producer in relation to complex operational and intercreditor issues and the contested debt and equity restructure of the company by way of a deed of company arrangement that provided for a combination of debt rescheduling and conversion of debt to equity;
  • BCI Minerals Ltd in relation to its interface with the voluntary administration and subsequent deed of company arrangement of WBHO Infrastructure Pty Ltd;
  • Directors of a large private company in relation to the restructuring and recapitalisation of that entity under the protection of safe harbour (by way of combination of standstill agreements, debt forgiveness, novation of liability and a cost-reduction and non-core asset sale programme);
  • An ASX-listed entity in relation to a vesting and priority dispute under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) with the administrators of a distressed mining contractor and successfully resisted those claims in the Federal Court of Australia; and
  • Shareholders in relation to corporate control matters and the liquidation of the holding company within their corporate group (i.e. the liquidation being the result of an oppression action by a minority shareholder in the holding company). This matter entailed the provision of advice to the equity directors in relation to the insolvency process and the structuring, negotiation and execution of a transaction to see them regain control of the subsidiary entities and certain intercompany debts within the corporate group.

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