Press release

The show’s over for disqualified director

Eleanor Mary Wilson, director of a community arts centre and music venue, has been disqualified from acting as a director for five years.

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The sole director of a community centre for arts and live music in Hackney has been disqualified from acting as a director of a limited company for a period of five years for failing to pay tax and failing to properly maintain and/or deliver up the company’s accounting records.

The High Court of Justice made an Order disqualifying Eleanor Mary Wilson for 5 years, on 11 May 2016, after Ms Wilson failed to attend or respond to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills’ application for the Disqualification Order.

An Insolvency Service investigation found that Ms Wilson had been the sole director of Passing Clouds Limited from March 2011 and that she failed to deliver up accounting records to explain cash withdrawals and transactions debiting the company bank account totalling more that £80,000.

The company also failed to pay sufficient monies to HMRC in respect of VAT and PAYE/NIC throughout its period of trading which resulted in a debt due to HMRC of more than £170,000.

Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North, which is part of 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 their 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 she cannot now carry on in business other than at her own risk.

Furthermore, directors who fail to submit returns or pay their taxes gain an unfair advantage over other businesses who are doing the right thing and paying the money they owe.

Notes to editors

Passing Clouds Limited (CRO No. 07586030) was placed into creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 15 August 2013 with assets £5,000 and liabilities £181,539, leaving a deficiency of £176,539, of which £172,809 was due to HMRC. The company traded as a community arts centre and live music venue from Hackney, London.

A Disqualification Order was made in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division on 11 May 2016 which disqualified Eleanor Mary Wilson from acting as a director for a period of 5 years. The order comes into effect on 01 June 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

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 can be found here.

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 12 August 2016