Ilford Tower v Equity One Mortgage [2014] VSCA 16

The borrower alleged fraud and the director of the borrower sought leave to represent the company.

The general rule is a corporation, can only take a step in proceedings by their solicitor unless given leave.

It was brought to the Court’s attention that the ASIC extract listed a property in Malvern as a former registered address of the company. A National Personal Insolvency search revealed that a person of the same name of the same Malvern address was an undischarged bankrupt. A notice of disqualification from managing corporations sent by ASIC to the same person was produced to the Court.

The director neither conceded nor denied that it was him to whom these documents referred, but the court found the inference that these documents referred to him was compelling.

During the course of the application the director was invited to put to the Court the matters he wished to advance.

It was apparent that the director had little grasp of how to present factual material in a way admissible to the Court.

The question whether the company had the resources to enable it to brief solicitors and counsel. Te director informed the Court that the company had sufficient funds to obtain representation. He submitted that its reluctance to obtain alternative representation was not due to financial considerations, but rather because he had doubts about the willingness of solicitors and counsel generally to follow the company’s instructions in relation to the conduct of the appeal. He believed he could do it himself better.

Accordingly the Court refused leave.

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