The High Court has made a disqualification Order against the director of a freight transport business.
The Order was made for 6 years against Daniel Loughran (34) of McRorys Road, Newtownhamilton, Newry, Co Down, in respect of his conduct as a director of McRorys Transport Ltd (“the Company”).
The Company was involved in freight transport by road with a registered office at 2 McRorys Road, Newtownhamilton, Newry, Co Down, BT35 0BD. The Company went into Liquidation on 13 February 2020 with an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £75,303.57. There was a total of £2 owing as Share Capital, resulting in an estimated deficiency as regards members of £75,305.57.
The Court made the Disqualification Order against Daniel Loughran on 13 September 2023 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed:
- Failing to co-operate with the liquidator and as a result the liquidator was unable to carry out his investigations into the affairs of the Company;
- Breaching his fiduciary duty to the Company and / or causing and permitting the misfeasance of company funds by not returning monies totalling £45,681.67 properly owned by the Company. He has personally gained by accepting money properly owned by the Company at a time when he knew that the company was in liquidation. Furthermore, as he has failed to co-operate with the liquidator, the liquidator has been unable to retrieve these funds and as a result, the liquidator has had to petition for his bankruptcy;
- Failing to comply with Companies Act 2006 in that annual accounts for the year ended 30 September 2017 were filed late and annual accounts for the year ended 30 September 2018 were never filed; and
- Causing and permitting the Company to fail to comply with Companies Act 2006 in that confirmation statements for the periods ending 22 June 2017 and 22 June 2018 were not filed within the prescribed periods and the confirmation statement for the period ending 22 June 2019 was never filed.
The Department has accepted seven Disqualification Undertakings and the Court has made five Disqualification Orders in the financial year commencing 1st April 2023.
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 ten years reserved for particularly serious cases, six to ten 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 email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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