Federal Court upholds ASIC’s appeal on John Gilliland

The Federal Court has set aside a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) not to disqualify John Gilliland’s self-managed super fund (SMSF) auditor registration.

Following an appeal by ASIC, the Court found that general deterrence is a relevant consideration in deciding whether to disqualify a person as an approved SMSF auditor under section 130F of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth).

The Court found that the AAT had not considered general deterrence when making its decision.

The matter has been remitted back to the AAT to have the matter re-determined.

As a result of the Federal Court’s decision, Mr Gilliland is again disqualified as an SMSF auditor, pending a final decision by the AAT.

Download the Federal Court’s reasons for decision

Background

ASIC disqualified Mr Gilliland from being an approved SMSF auditor for breaching independence requirements in auditing his own fund, the fund of an immediate family member and the fund of a close family member (refer: 18-327MR).

Mr Gilliland sought a review of ASIC’s decision by the AAT. The AAT set aside ASIC’s decision (refer: 20-208MR). ASIC subsequently appealed to the Federal Court, which handed down its decision on 30 November 2022.

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