The Department for the Economy (the Department) has accepted a disqualification undertaking from the director of a company which operated in the business of the raising of swine/pigs.
The undertaking for the term of seven years was received from Maureen Litter (54) of Acre Lane, Waringstown, Craigavon in respect of her conduct as a director of M & E Production Limited (“the Company”). Proceedings against a second director are ongoing in the High Court.
The Company traded in the raising of swine/pigs from Acre Lane, Waringstown, Craigavon and went into Liquidation on 8 September 2016 with an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £127,614.
The Department accepted the disqualification undertaking from Maureen Litter on 13 February 2020 and her period of disqualification was effective from 5 March 2020 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed:
- failing to complete and swear a Statement of Affairs for M&E Production Limited
- failing to co-operate with the Liquidator and the Official Receiver as office holders
- failing to account for company assets and failing to account for the sale of the company to an associated company
- setting up and operating a 'phoenix' company in order to carry on the same business to that of M&E Production Limited.
The Department accepted 12 disqualification undertakings during the financial year 2019/20.
Notes to editors:
- Insolvency Practitioners acting as voluntary liquidators, administrative receivers and administrators have a duty to report unfit conduct to the Insolvency Service within the Department for the Economy.
- The aim of the Department is to bring disqualification proceedings against those directors of failed companies who have abused the privilege of limited liability status through negligence, incompetence or lack of commercial probity. The legislation contained in the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 (“the 2002 Order”) is for the protection of the public and trading community but its operation should not inhibit genuine enterprise.
- In cases where a person is subject to either a Disqualification Order made by the Court or a Disqualification Undertaking accepted by the Department, that person shall not be a director of a company, act as a receiver of a company's property or in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company unless he has the leave of the High Court. A disqualified person cannot obtain permission to act as an Insolvency Practitioner.
- Article 9 of the 2002 Order provides that where a director is found to be unfit he must be disqualified for a minimum period of two years, up to a maximum of fifteen years. The Courts have decided that the level of seriousness of unfit conduct can fall into three brackets with the top bracket of periods over 10 years reserved for particularly serious cases, six to 10 years reserved for cases which do not merit the top bracket and two to five years for cases where, although disqualification is mandatory, the case is less serious.
- The 2002 Order also allows directors, with the agreement of the Department, to avoid the need for a court hearing by offering an acceptable Disqualification Undertaking. This has exactly the same legal effect as a Disqualification Order made by the court, and will usually include a schedule identifying the director’s unfit conduct. The consequences of breaching a Disqualification Undertaking are the same as those for breaching a Disqualification Order.
- If anybody contravenes a Disqualification Order or breaches their Disqualification Undertaking they may be committing a criminal offence and could go to prison for up to two years or face a fine or both. Any person with information to suggest that a disqualified person has acted in contravention of this provision should contact The Insolvency Service’s Directors Disqualification Unit on 028 90 548582.
- The period of disqualification commences at the end of 21 days beginning with the day the Disqualification Undertaking was accepted by the Department.
- For media enquiries contact DFE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 37 8110.
- Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI
- Cap on recruitment of English-domiciled students unacceptable: Dodds 01 June 2020
- Economy Minister announces re-opening plan for hotels and other tourist accommodation 01 June 2020
- Economy Minister outlines next steps to rebuild the economy 29 May 2020
- Minister's opening remarks for the daily briefing - 29 May 2020 29 May 2020