Press release

Failure to preserve and deliver up records leads to 6-year director disqualification

Cornelius Anthony O’Grady, the director of Polar Scaffolding (Bristol) Ltd (Polar), which traded as a scaffolding provider in Birmingham, has been disqualified from acting as a company director for 6 years, for failing to ensure the company preserved or delivered up adequate accounting records.

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Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Mr O’Grady (51) gave an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills in which he did not dispute that he failed to ensure the company preserved or delivered up adequate accounting records.

Mr O’ Grady’s disqualification from 13 February 2015 means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 2021.

Neither Polar’s Liquidator nor the Insolvency Service were able to verify what had become of over £150,000 in assets of the company or whether Mr O’Grady was repaid over £70,000 the company allegedly owed him between the last accounts and Liquidation.

Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors have a duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency. Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety.

This director has paid the price for failing to do that, as he cannot now carry on in business other than at his own risk.

Notes to editors

The company entered Creditors Voluntary Liquidation on 20 February 2013 with nil assets and liabilities of £143,080. Mr Cornelius Anthony O’Grady (DOB: 08 July 1963) of Birmingham was the registered director from 22 January 2009 until the date of the Liquidation.

The disqualification undertaking for Mr Cornelius Anthony O’Grady was accepted by the Secretary of State on 23 January 2015 and comes into force on 13 February 2015.

Cornelius Anthony’s date of birth is 8 July 1963.

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.

Published 30 January 2015