Business Law Section

Forsyth/Pose Scholarship Recipients

Peter Scott graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2013 with a combined Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours in Law. Peter is currently a tax lawyer in the Sydney office of Arnold Bloch Leibler. He provides strategic and technical advice to a diverse range of Australian and international clients, including high net worth individuals, some of Australia's largest family groups, and public corporations.

He advises across most areas of tax with a particular focus on corporate and international tax, mergers & acquisitions, employee incentives, the taxation of trusts, and the management of tax audits and disputes with the ATO.

Peter was awarded the 2016 Forsyth Pose Scholarship for his paper ‘Insecure Creditors and the Commissioner of Taxation: the Crown Priority Zombie’. Drawing on his experience working on insolvency related tax issues at Arnold Bloch Leibler, Peter’s paper examines the extent to which the purported removal of Crown priority in the 1980s and early 1990s has been successful. He argues that the Commissioner of Taxation remains in a very privileged position vis-à-vis other creditors in the context of insolvent companies, and is often able to assert effective priority over both secured and unsecured creditors. In this context, Peter concludes that both secured and unsecured creditors might more aptly be described as ‘insecure creditors’.

Joel Emery graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the Australian National University in December 2014. He undertook research with Professor Miranda Stewart at the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the ANU, in the areas of corporate tax avoidance, BEPS, and the taxation of new technologies, with a particular focus on digital currencies. Joel now works in the Tax and Legal team at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Since joining PwC, Joel has continued to pursue his research interests in the implications of new technology on the Australian and international tax systems, and on responses to tax avoidance.

Joel was awarded the 2015 Forsyth Pose Scholarship for his paper 'Decoding the Regulatory Enigma: How Australian Regulators should Respond to the Tax Challenges Presented by Bitcoin'. Drawing on international experience, this paper examines the two major tax challenges presented by Bitcoin and similar digital currencies: ascertaining how they should be treated by Australian tax law, and designing a system for their effective regulation. The paper argues that not only is treating Bitcoin as money a defensible interpretation of the current law, but, more importantly, a regulatory approach that fosters the development of digital currency businesses, which act as intermediaries to digital currency transactions, may provide an effective solution to the long-term regulations of such technologies.

Joel's paper can be accessed here.

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