The collapse of the Willmott Forests Group in late 2010 has had profound effects on investors which continue to this day.

The recent settlement of the Federal Court Class Action in relation to the 2007 and later Willmott Schemes has led to renewed recovery action by the Commonwealth bank, its wholly owned subsidiary MIS Funding No.1 Pty Ltd and Willmott Finance (in liquidation) (receivers appointed).

Mackay Lawyers & Advisors is uniquely positioned to assist individuals and companies who borrowed to invest in Willmott in responding to recovery action, pre-litigation activity by the lenders, or in proactively addressing risks posed by loans before those loans mature or recovery action is commenced.

Our senior lawyers have unrivalled experience in Willmott Forests and helping clients respond to the complex legal, commercial and practical issues they face and in neutralising the threats they pose to their livelihoods and wealth.

If you are a Willmott borrower, or you know someone who is, and need our help, click here to connect and register your details.


Dan has worked on Willmott Forests since October 2010 (shortly after Willmott Forests Ltd went into external administration) acting for a range of parties affected by the insolvency of Willmott Forests Limited, including responsible entities, investment vehicles, companies, incorporated associations, Investor Representative Groups, financial planning and accounting practices, investors, creditors, borrowers and individuals.

Some of the key matters Dan has been involved in have been:

  • Acting for the Willmott Growers Group Inc and Primary Securities Ltd in the successful removal of the insolvent Willmott Forests Ltd as responsible entity of the Willmott Forests 1995-1999 Project, replacing it with Primary Securities and continuing the scheme (one of the few successful rescues of a forestry managed investment scheme)

  • Acting for Primary Securities in Willmott Forests Ltd (Receivers & Managers appointed) (in liquidation) v Primary Securities Ltd [2013] VSC 574 and successfully counterclaiming for orders regarding the operation of section 601FS and 601FT of the Corporations Act 2001, which were critical to the continuation of the scheme

  • Acting for the Willmott Growers Group Inc in the High Court in Willmott Growers Group Inc v Willmott Forests Limited (Receivers and Managers Appointed) (In Liquidation) [2013] HCA 51

More recently, Dan has acted:

  • For a number of individual investor borrowers in defending recovery proceedings brought by a Commonwealth Bank subsidiary for recovery of investment loans

  • ­Advising a number of investors in relation to the Willmott Class Action and its implications

  • ­Acting for a number of investors in later Willmott Schemes in reaching commercial settlement and/or early exit from investment loans with a CBA subsidiary

  • For Primary in defending a strategic attack by the liquidators of Willmott Forests on the leases underpinning the Willmott Forests 1995-1999 Project, which resolved in June 2017 with the project’s leases intact and with Primary purchasing from Willmott Forests the land on which the project operates and guaranteeing the continuation of the project

Yu-chiao has worked on Willmott since as early as May 2011.  He worked alongside Dan in the successful restructure of the Willmott Forests 1995-1999 Project and later acted for a number of investor borrowers in court proceedings brought to recover loans in relation to the failed and worthless investment.

Like Dan, Yu-chiao also brings experience gained acting for investors in various other investments collapses, including Gunns and Timbercorp.