Devonshire hotel chain directors get lengthy bans
Brothers and sister trio Andrew Christopher Hughes, Stephen Anthony Hughes and Julie Savage were disqualified for a combined period of 28 years for misconduct as directors of Heritage Properties & Hotels Limited.
The company was a family run chain that traded through a group of four hotels; The Crab at Chieveley Hotel, Churston Court Hotel, Newbury Manor Hotel and Park House Hotel in the Devonshire area. On administration, outstanding creditor claims were £8,049,537.
The Insolvency Service’s investigation found that Andrew Hughes and Stephen Hughes despite being previously disqualified from doing so, continued to act in the management of Heritage Properties & Hotels Ltd. They negotiated loan agreements of over £3.5m and created obligations for the company which remained as outstanding liabilities in the administration.
Their sister Julie Savage failed to ensure that adequate trading and accounting records of the company were preserved and delivered for the company instead of being deliberately destroyed.
Mr Andrew Hughes was previously disqualified on 4 October 2010 and Mr Stephen Hughes was disqualified on 25 May 2006. The current disqualification means that they are banned from acting as a director or in any way managing or controlling a company till at least May 2028. Mrs Julie Savage is disqualified from acting till 2023.
David Brooks, Chief Investigator, Investigation and Enforcement Services at the Insolvency Service, said:
This investigation was hampered by the destruction of records but it was eventually possible to show the involvement of Andrew and Stephen Hughes who were acting in contravention of their disqualifications.
If people are disqualified but then act or do so through others, the consequences for them are likely to become serious including prosecution and personal liability.
Notes to Editors
Heritage Property & Hotels Ltd (HPHL), company number 06303270, was incorporated on 5 July 2007. HPHL was placed in Administration on 31 October 2014.
Mr Andrew Christopher Hughes & Mr Stephen Anthony Hughes provided disqualification undertaking to the Secretary of State which were both accepted on 2 November 2016. The disqualification commences on 23 November 2016 for a period of 10-and-a-half years until 22 May 2027.
Mrs Julie Savage provided a disqualification undertaking to the Secretary of State which was accepted on 4 November 2016. The disqualification commences on 25 November 2016 for a period of seven years until 24 November 2023.
HPHL operated as a group of four family run hotels:
- The Crab at Chieveley Hotel, Chieveley, Berkshire
- Churston Court Hotel, Brixham, Devon
- Newbury Manor Hotel, Newbury, Berkshire
- Park House Hotel, Shifnal, Shropshire
Its registered office for the greater part of six months prior to the adminsitration was situated at Churston Court Hotel, Churston, Brixham, Devon, TQ5 0JE.
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
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.
Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.
The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.
BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy that works for all, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies. The agency also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, 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: 25 November 2016
From: The Insolvency Service