7 year disqualification for director who allowed company to trade while insolvent
Antony Clive Blakey, 65, of Littlehampton, West Sussex, Director of green energy research company Ultra Green Group Ltd, has been disqualified for 7 years by the Brighton County Court for causing the company to trade at unreasonable risk to creditors by incurring debts of over £629,000 when the company was insolvent and had transferred its assets overseas.
The disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service’s Investigation Team in Birmingham. The order, made on 23 July 2015, prevents Mr Blakey from acting as a director of a limited company for a period of 7 years from 13 August 2015.
Brighton based Ultra Green Group Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in January 2011 with an estimated deficiency of £2,770,180.
The Insolvency Service’s investigation found that on 28 April 2010, by which time Ultra Green Group Ltd was insolvent and unable to pay its debts as they fell due, Mr Blakey transferred the company’s contracts and all its green energy technologies to a connected overseas company for £1. Despite this Mr Blakey then caused Ultra Green Group Ltd to carry on trading and to incur new debts of over £629,000 in a failed proposal to clean up oil from the May 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. With no income and no means to generate funds in the short term, creditors were left unpaid and the company ceased trading in December 2010.
Commenting on the disqualification, Robert Clarke, Insolvent Investigations Group Leader at The Insolvency Service, said:
The disqualification of Mr Blakey sends out a clear message that when a company finds itself in an insolvent position, the primary concern of its directors should be to ensure that creditor interests are protected and debt levels minimised.
The reckless manner in which Ultra Green was used to incur liabilities in pursuit of speculative projects placed creditors at high risk and exacerbated the losses ultimately incurred.
The Insolvency Service is committed to ensuring that creditors are adequately protected from directors who show such cavalier disregard for their interests.
Notes to editors
Mr Blakey’s date of birth is 25 February 1951 and he resides in Littlehampton, West Sussex.
Ultra Green Group Ltd (CRO number 06482096) was incorporated on 24 January 2008 and traded from 7 Marlborough Place, Brighton BN1 1UB. The company was involved in the research and development of green energy technologies.
The company went into voluntary liquidation on 13 January 2011 with assets of £30,600 and liabilities of £2,800,680, and an estimated deficiency of £2,770,080.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:
- act as a director of a company
- take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
- be a receiver of a company’s property
In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations. Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions is available.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice. Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
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Published: 24 July 2015
From: The Insolvency Service