Tunbridge Wells legal advisory company ordered into liquidation.
Legal Support And Assistance Limited, has been ordered into liquidation in the High Court on grounds of public interest following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Legal Support And Assistance Limited, a company based in Tunbridge Wells that provided legal advice, often related to insolvency matters, has been ordered into liquidation in the High Court on grounds of public interest following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
The company’s sole director is Mr Gerard Hyde, a struck-off solicitor (see note 2). Mr Hyde informed the investigation that most of the company’s clients were aware of his being struck-off the roll of solicitors.
Due to the company’s inadequate records, the investigation was unable to establish what all of the company’s transactions related to, in particular receipts of £326,514 and payments of £242,141 in respect of 7 clients (representing 75 per cent and 56 per cent respectively of the company’s overall income and expenditure).
The court heard how most of the transactions related to entities that appeared to be connected with a Mr Kevin Sykes (see note 3).
Welcoming the court’s winding up decision Chris Mayhew, Company Investigations Supervisor, said:
“The Insolvency Service will not allow companies to operate in this way and will investigate abuses and close down companies if they are found to be operating, as here, against the public interest”.
Notes to Editors:
Legal Support And Assistance Limited (07846349) was incorporated on 14 November 2011. The registered office of the company from incorporation to 25 January 2012 was at 52 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 5BT and thereafter to present date at Pantiles Chambers, 85 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1XP. The recorded directors have been Mr Paul Turner from incorporation to 25 January 2012 and thereafter to present date Mr Gerard Joseph Hyde. No secretary is shown to have been appointed. The company’s share capital is shown to be one ordinary share of £1 held by Mr Hyde.
Mr Hyde, who was a solicitor, was struck off the Roll of Solicitors on 9 December 2008 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal: http://www.solicitorstribunal.org.uk/Content/documents/10063-2008%20-%20Hyde.pdf
A bankruptcy order was made against Mr Sykes on 26 April 1993 and his discharge from bankruptcy remains suspended. He was also disqualified from acting in the management of companies for 15 years commencing on 2 November 2005 under section 2 of the Company directors Disqualification Act 1986 following his conviction for admitted fraudulent trading as a “creditor resistance strategist” operating under the business name “White Knight”.
The petition to wind up the company was presented in the High Court on 31 October 2014 under the provisions of section 124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 following confidential enquiries carried out by Company Investigations under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985, as amended.
The grounds to wind up the company were failure to maintain, preserve and/or deliver up adequate accounting records, lack of commercial probity and lack of transparency.
In ordering the companies into liquidation on 4 February 2015 Mr Registrar Jones said:
I am satisfied from the evidence that I have referred to, without needing to deal with the other grounds relied upon by the petition, that this is a case where it is just and equitable to wind up the company because a company providing legal services should not be operating in circumstances where it does not keep proper books and records and consistently does not do s.
Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (“BIS”). Further information about live company investigations can be found on our website at: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-a-limited-company
The Insolvency Service also administers the insolvency regime investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. The Service also 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 is available at: http://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service
By virtue of the winding up order all public enquiries concerning the affairs of the companies should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit , 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT. Telephone: 0207 637 1110 Email: email@example.com
Media Enquiries only should be directed to: Kathryn Montague, Media Relations Manager on 020 7674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Press Officer on 020 7596 6187.
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Published: 27 March 2015
From: The Insolvency Service