Press release

Director of failed pharmacy is dispensed a 9 year disqualification order

Mr Baber Yaqub has been disqualified for nine years for his conduct as a director of Yaqub Pharmacy Limited trading as Brunton’s Chemist (“Yaqub Pharmacy”) in allowing the company to trade while insolvent.

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The ban follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Mr Yaqub (47), has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, which means that he is prevented until February 2024, from becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

The investigation found Mr Yaqub had caused Yaqub Pharmacy to trade whilst insolvent between at least February 2011 and March 2013. By February 2011, Yaqub Pharmacy had no assets of value and overdue unsecured liabilities of at least £596,437.

The company had been receiving financial support from an associated company of which Mr Yaqub was also director. When the associated company was placed in compulsory Liquidation in February 2011, Yaqub Pharmacy was already trading at a loss and no longer had the support of the associated company, which had previously settled substantial debts incurred by Yaqub Pharmacy. Yaqub Pharmacy was also substantially indebted to the associated company in respect of intercompany loans.

Between February 2011 and March 2013, Yaqub Pharmacy incurred additional unsecured liabilities of at least £216,546. In the absence of payment, many of these creditors were forced to resort to formal recovery action such as County Court Judgements.

The company was placed in administration in March 2013, with unsecured liabilities of at least £813,983.

During the course of both the administration and investigation, Mr Yaqub offered no explanation as to his actions.

Commenting on the case, Marc Symons, Deputy Head of Company Investigations at the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors have a statutory duty to ensure their companies maintain proper accounting records. Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his or her duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation to mask impropriety.

This disqualification should is a reminder to others tempted to operate in a misleading way and seek to gain an unfair advantage on competitors, by trading while insolvent, that the Insolvency service will rigorously pursue enforcement action to remove them from the market place for a lengthy period to protect the public.

Notes to editors

Yaqub Pharmacy Limited (CRO No. 05368614) traded as Bruntons Chemist from premises at 240 Earls Court Road, Earls Court, London SW5 9AA

Yaqub Pharmacy Limited was placed in Administration on 11 April 2013.

Mr Baber Yaqub is of London and his date of birth is 17 December 1967.

The director offered an undertaking on 31.3.2015, which was accepted on behalf of the Secretary of State on 10.4.2015. 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.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 2nd Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester, M1 3BN. Tel: 0161 234 8531 Email: piu.north@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.

Published 22 June 2015