In 2014, Results Legal was instructed by the trustee in Bankruptcy of former horse racing and breeding magnate, Lee James Fleming, who had previously run a horse stud in southern Victoria that was home to Bel Esprit – the sire of undefeated mare Black Caviar.
At the time of our instruction, the estate held uncollected book debts in the sum of $3.7 million dollars spread across over 350 accounts, some of which had been outstanding since 2010. To complicate matters, these debts were substantiated by extremely limited and often conflicting documentary evidence.
The account holders were spread across all seven states domestically with several debtors also based internationally in the Asia-Pacific region.
These obstacles to recovery were further compounded by the very nature of the horse industry itself which has its own distinct laws, customs and practices.
Utilising our specialised knowledge of insolvency, and working in concert with the Trustee, Results Legal was able to create a broad recovery strategy which incorporated:
- detailed reporting and file management;
- streamlined and customised litigation processes for the recovery of simple book debts; and
- tailored advice and strategies for the recovery of large and factually complex claims of the estate.
The above strategy was delivered in the context of achieving the best possible result for creditors and in accordance with the following guiding principles:
- consider each file on its legal and factual merits to determine the prospects of recovery;
- make early, informed decisions regarding the commerciality of pursuing recovery; and
- drive litigation with efficiently and with purpose.
The above strategy resulted in successful realisation of bankruptcy estate assets and was instrumental in facilitating payment of two significant dividends to creditors.