Press release

Landlords banned after abusing insolvency laws to keep pub open

Two pub landlords from Cheshire have been disqualified after they abused insolvency laws to avoid paying debts, while continuing to keep their pub open.

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Coard Hulse and Philip Roy Dawson ran The Saracens Head pub in Lymm, between 2006 and 2016.

But over a 10-year period, eight different companies were registered as the corporate entities to run the pub.

When one of the registered companies became insolvent, the two pub landlords would register a new company and carry on running the pub without making any significant changes to their operations.

As the new company did not take on the previous company’s debts, it meant Coard Hulse and Philip Dawson would avoid paying their creditors.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service found that Coard Hulse and Philip Dawson either were, or acted as, directors of each of the companies and most of the companies traded for one year or less before going into liquidation.

The eight companies were placed into liquidation between August 2008 and October 2016, with creditors losing out to an estimated total of £335,000.

The disqualifications started from 27 February 2018 and prevent Coard Hulse and Philip Dawson from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company until February 2025.

Robert Clarke, of the Insolvency Service, said:

The undertakings signed by Mr Hulse and Mr Dawson send a clear message to other company directors that if you fail to learn from previous company failures and run businesses where creditors lose out in this way, you will be investigated by the Insolvency Service. As a result, you will be stripped of the protection of limited liability for a lengthy period.

Notes to editors

Mr Coard Hulse’s date of birth is May 1974 and he resides in Wilmslow.

Mr Philip Roy Dawson’s date of birth is January 1970 and he resides in Wilmslow.

All companies traded as a public house from Paddock Lane, Warburton, Lymm, WA13 9TH:

  • D & H Pub Limited was incorporated on 8 July 2008 and was placed into Liquidation on 15 June 2009.
  • Rockstone Limited was incorporated on 27 February 2009 and was placed into Liquidation on 6 July 2010.
  • Inntreprenur Cheshire Limited was incorporated on 24 May 2010 and was placed into Liquidation on 16 November 2012.
  • Eastermoor Limited was incorporated on 10 February 2011 and was placed into Liquidation on 26 January 2012.
  • Selva Cheshire Limited was incorporated on 25 May 2011and was placed into Liquidation on 16 November 2012.
  • Exonet Solutions Limited was incorporated on 8 July 2008 and was placed into Liquidation on 15 June 2009.
  • Tuco Inn Limited was incorporated on 8 October 2014 July 2008 and was placed into Liquidation on 23 February 2016.
  • Alpha Tauri Limited was incorporated on 15 January 2016 and was placed into Liquidation on 20 October 2016.

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 6 April 2018