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Thomas Trotman

Fax +61.3.9205.2055

Mr. Trotman is a commercial litigation and insolvency lawyer with particular experience in personal and corporate insolvency matters, tax controversy, banking and finance litigation, loan recovery and security enforcement. He provides advice to a number of major Australian banks, the Australian Taxation Office, listed and unlisted companies, financiers and Australia's preeminent insolvency accounting firms. He is known for his committed and solution-oriented approach, which in many instances results in the early resolution of matters prior to court proceedings becoming necessary.

He has represented clients in proceedings before the Federal Court of Australia, state Supreme Courts and at the district and local courts, and has experience conducting hearings at both trial and appellate levels.

Mr. Trotman can also assist clients with general commercial disputes, including contractual and equitable matters and claims arising pursuant to the Australian Consumer Law.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates Mr. Trotman worked in accounting and finance roles, most notably as a tax accountant, assisting both individuals and small and medium enterprises with their annual financial reports and tax compliance responsibilities.


  • Recognised as a Rising Star by Doyle's Guide in Commercial Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Insolvency (2019)
  • Supreme Court Exhibition Prize Winner (La Trobe University, 2015) (awarded for the best honours thesis) for the paper "The Certainty of Uncertainty: The Pitfalls of Australia's Unique Debt-Equity Rules" (also presented at the 2016 Australasian Tax Teachers Conference).

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, Law Institute of Victoria
  • Member, Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA)

Additional Information

Mr. Trotman provides editorial assistance for the Journal of Australian Taxation.

He also assists a number of charitable and not-for-profit entities in respect of various corporate, tax, leasing, trust and Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission (ACNC) issues.

Restructuring & Insolvency

  • Regularly advising ASX listed companies, insolvency accountants and institutional clients on issues relating to bankruptcy, liquidations, receiverships, winding up proceedings and applications to reinstate deregistered entities
  • Regularly drafting complex court materials and advising liquidators, receivers, administrators and government/institutional creditors in respect of applications to State and Federal courts for matters related to the conduct of external administrations
  • Regularly advising liquidators, receivers and voluntary administrators on all aspects relating to their appointment, including duties and statutory obligations, remuneration, creditor meetings, reports, voting, proofs of debt and dealing with creditors
  • Experience drafting and negotiating deeds of company arrangement on behalf of voluntary administrators
  • Extensive experience acting in applications to appoint special purpose liquidators to insolvent companies
  • Experience advising creditors in relation to personal insolvency agreements and applications to the Court to set them aside
  • Prosecuting and defending voidable transaction (eg unfair preference) claims under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Providing advice in relation to the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) ('PPSA'), including in respect of retention of title disputes and registration issues
  • Regularly drafting and negotiating deeds of settlement and deeds of forbearance for governmental, institutional and commercial clients
  • Experience drafting deed of funding and deeds of indemnity for insolvency practitioners

Banking, Finance and Debt

  • Regularly advising three of the four major Australian banks and other institutional lenders on various aspects of secured and unsecured loan recovery, enforcement of guarantees, enforcement over real and personal property, Code of Banking Practice disputes and unconscionability and misleading and deceptive conduct claims
  • Regularly drafting and negotiating deeds of forbearance

General Commercial Disputes

  • Acting in a variety of commercial litigation matters, including contractual disputes, applications for declaratory relief, property disputes and equitable claims for relief for corporate and individual clients
  • Acting for ASX-listed clients in respect of recovery of trade debts for goods sold and delivered
  • Acting for clients in proceedings to recover monies and property lost by reason of a breach of trust/fiduciary duty (ie against former agents or professional advisors)

Distressed Real Estate

  • Advising banks, insolvency accountants, liquidators, receivers and administrators in respect of:
    • planning and environment issues pertaining to distressed real property assets
    • water share and licensing complications relating to rural and regional properties
    • issues relating to mortgagee in possession sales.
  • Advising mortgagees on commercial and retail leasing with respect to secured properties

Recent Matters

 Some of Mr. Trotman's recent matters include:
  • Acting for the receivers and managers of two of Australia's failed managed investment schemes regarding the recovery of the multi-million dollar loan books in respect of loans made to grower investors
  • Successful application to set aside a personal insolvency agreement under Part X of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth): Gunns Finance Pty Ltd (Receivers And Managers Appointed) (In Liquidation) v Moss & Anor [2017] FCCA 1773
  • Successfully defended an appeal of the Moss decision to the Full Federal Court: Moss v Gunns Finance Pty Ltd (Receivers & Managers Appointed) (In liquidation) [2018] FCAFC 185
  • Successful application to appoint special purpose liquidators to a taxpayer in liquidation: Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, in the matter of ACN 154 520 199 Pty Ltd (in liq) v ACN 154 520 199 Pty Ltd (in liq) [2017] FCA 444
  • Successful application for approval of a liquidator's funding deed under section 477(2B) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth): Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, in the matter of ACN 154 520 199 Pty Ltd (in liq) v ACN 154 520 199 Pty Ltd (in liq) (No 2) [2017] FCA 755
  • Successful application to appoint special purpose liquidators to a corporate group in liquidation: Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, in the matter of Italian Prestige Jewellery Pty Limited (in liq) ACN 116 031 022 v Italian Prestige Jewellery Pty Limited [2018] FCA 983