HIH denies wrongdoing over Blake payment

As the HIH scandal continues to unfold before the royal commission, former finance manager Bill Howard has denied he knew about the company's imminent collapse when he made payouts to advisers in the insurance giant's final days

A submission presented to the commission said that Howard did not know that HIH was due to go into liquidation when he paid law firm Blake Dawson Waldron A$1m (£364,000) on the previous day – money that the firm has since returned.

Justice Neville Owen will spend two weeks hearing from those adversely named in the final submission tabled last week. It is not yet known whether Blake Dawson will make a presentation. Owen is to present a final report to the government at the end of February.