Corporate Debtors and Creditors | A Solution for the ‘New Normal’

COVID-19 lockdowns may be gradually easing, but anxiety about the world’s social and economic prospects is only intensifying. There is good reason to be concerned: a sharp economic downturn has already begun, and we could be facing the worst depression since the 1930s. But, while this outcome is likely, it is not unavoidable.

To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country must participate, and every industry, from manufacturing and banking to tech, must be transformed. In short – as the World Economic Forum puts it – we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism.

The ‘great reset’ can be extended to creditors, in particular, who have doubtless realised  that a mechanical approach to the recovery of debt may be a futile and unsuccessful exercise. The consequences of COVID-19 and the lockdowns will have adversely affected the ability of many businesses to settle their debts and so creative measures are required to recover claims whilst protecting business relationships. And certainly, these business relationships will remain crucial in the ‘new normal’ economy.

At Barnard Inc. our teams are cognisant of our role in the ‘great reset.’ We have a duty to consider our clients’ commercial interests before adopting certain legal strategies, and these strategies must be tailored to reflect the prevailing ‘reset’ philosophy while protecting our clients’ proprietary interests.

Whilst liquidation and business rescue proceedings remain an option for suitable candidates, creditors (and bona fide debtors) may now require subscribing to an innovative mechanism to negotiate and arrange their debt affairs.

Our team has considerable experience in legal matters related to assisting creditors with the recovery of substantial debts. We are also able to introduce corporate debtors to smart, legal commercial avenues – which may be on the basis of legal recourse alone, or in combination with the introduction to strategic finance partners – to enable them to take care of their debts.

CORPORATE SERVICES OFFERED BY OUR TEAM

  • Legal audit consultation to ascertain exposure and suitable approach
  • Negotiate and settle on payment plans
  • Negotiate and compromise with creditors in terms of section 155 of the Companies Act
  • Negotiate and compromise with SARS in terms of section 200 of the Tax Administration Act
  • Mediate disputes between debtors and creditors
  • Introduction to private equity funding partners
  • Corporate restructures, transactions and concomitant due diligences
  • Business Rescue Proceedings and post commencement finance introductions
  • Liquidations

CONTACT OUR TEAM TODAY

THE TEAM

JAN PRETORIUS | CONSULTANT

Jan Pretorius started his legal career in 1979 at the Master’s Office in Bloemfontein as an estate controller and commenced his articles at Symington & De Kok, Bloemfontein. He was admitted as an attorney in 1985 and became a partner at Symington & De Kok.

He relocated to Pretoria where he started his own firm and practiced as Pretorius & Wilsnach Inc until 2014. He spent the majority of his career attending to deceased and insolvent estates.

Jan was involved as liquidator in various well-known big property development companies like Bester Homes (Pty) Ltd (R 400 million), Abdul Razak Family Trust (R 70 million), The Hills Development (R 380 million) near Pretoria and related companies to mention a few. He also chaired various creditor meetings and acted as a receiver in a scheme of arrangements under the old and new Companies Act. Jan has mediated various dissolutions of partnerships.

He also mediated various informal debt settlements where businesses struggled financially and assisted in restructuring those businesses with the aim of future trading or closed down others with little loss to creditors. In addition, Jan assisted a commercial bank with their insolvent deceased estates on a national level.

During the years, Jan acted as director and non-executive director in companies associated with a certain listed company and he currently holds office as trustee in various Employee and Family Trusts.

Jan is now a consultant at Barnard Incorporated.

KOOS BENADIE | DIRECTOR

After obtaining his LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Pretoria, as well as lecturing in Commercial Law at this University, Koos commenced his articles of clerkship at Roestoff Venter and Kruse Incorporated where he was also admitted as an Attorney of the High Court in 2008.

Since his admission as an attorney, Koos practiced at the law firms NEA Incorporated and NVS Incorporated and became a specialist in the fields of Company Law and Insolvency Law.

In 2013 Koos attained his certificate in the Advanced Course for Business Rescue Practice (cum laude) and was licensed as a certified Business Rescue Practitioner.

In 2016 Koos attained his certificate in the B-BBEE management development programme (cum laude) through Wits Business school and have overseen various B-BBEE restructures.

Koos has been involved in various company restructures, business rescue proceedings, liquidation proceedings and related matters over the past 12 years of his career. Koos currently serves as a Director of Barnard Incorporated and heads up its Commercial Law department.

Koos will be an integral partner in advising and assisting corporate entities during the current tough economic environment.

ANDRIES STANDER | DIRECTOR

Subsequent to obtaining his BCom Law (cum laude) and LLB degrees at the University of North West, Andries commenced his articles at Hannes Gouws and Partners Incorporated where he was also admitted as an attorney in 2009.

It did not take long after commencing his articles of clerkship for Andries to realise that he has a keen interest in litigation. During this period and his years prior to joining Barnard Incorporated in 2011, Andries served major clients in the banking sector and gained valuable experience in credit law litigation and negotiation of payment structures and plans.

In 2013 Andries was appointed as a director at Barnard Incorporated and in 2014 he was accredited as a Court Annexed Mediator.

In 2015 Andries obtained his Advanced Certificate in Insolvency Litigation and Administration Practice from the University of Pretoria. He is a firm believer of “knowledge is power” which he implements to seek solutions for challenging legal disputes and has successfully negotiated various divorce and commercial settlements under challenging circumstances.

Today, as senior director of the Litigation Department of Barnard Incorporated, Andries’ focus is primarily aimed at commercial dispute resolution.

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