Belfast Telegraph

Limavady Directors agree to disqualification

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (the Department) has accepted disqualification undertakings for seven years from the directors of joinery and renovation company.

The undertakings came from Damian Francis Mullan (43) and Roisin Mullan (44) both of Mill Road, Drumsurn, Limavady, in respect of their conduct as directors of D F Mullan Joinery Limited (the Company).

The Company carried on the business of joinery and renovation work including supply and fit of kitchens and other furniture from Ballyquin Road, Dungiven, Co. Londonderry and went into liquidation on 10 November 2010 with estimated total assets available for preferential creditors of £37,840, liabilities to floating charge holders of £157,422, liabilities to unsecured creditors of £259,729, and an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £379,311. After taking into account the losses incurred by members (the shareholders) of the Company the total estimated deficiency was £379,313.

The Department accepted the disqualification undertakings from the directors on 18 October 2013 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed:

· causing and permitting the Company to retain £184,051 properly due to the Crown consisting of £69,372 in respect of PAYE for the years 2008/09 to 2010/11; £40,109 in respect of NIC for the years 2009/10 and 2010/11; £8,682 in respect of CIS for the year 2010/11; and £65,888 in respect of VAT for the years 2008/09 to 2010/11;

· causing and permitting themselves to be paid excessive remuneration from the Company to the detriment of the general body of creditors.

The Department has accepted 80 Disqualification Undertakings and the Court has made 10 orders disqualifying directors in the financial year commencing 1 April 2013.

Notes to editors: 

1. The directors are married.

2. Insolvency Practitioners acting as voluntary liquidators, administrative receivers and administrators have a duty to report unfit conduct to the Insolvency Service within the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. 

3. The aim of the Department is to bring disqualification proceedings against those directors of failed companies who have abused the privilege of limited liability status through negligence, incompetence or lack of commercial probity. The legislation contained in the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 (“the 2002 Order”) is for the protection of the public and trading community but its operation should not inhibit genuine enterprise. 

4. In cases where a person is subject to either a Disqualification Order made by the Court or a Disqualification Undertaking accepted by the Department, that person shall not be a director of a company, act as a receiver of a company's property or in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management of a company unless he has the leave of the High Court. A disqualified person cannot obtain permission to act as an Insolvency Practitioner. 

5. Article 9 of the 2002 Order provides that where a director is found to be unfit he must be disqualified for a minimum period of two years, up to a maximum of fifteen years. The Courts have decided that the level of seriousness of unfit conduct can fall into three brackets with the top bracket of periods over ten years reserved for particularly serious cases, six to ten years reserved for cases which do not merit the top bracket and two to five years for cases where, although disqualification is mandatory, the case is less serious. 

6. The 2002 Order also allows directors, with the agreement of the Department, to avoid the need for a court hearing by offering an acceptable Disqualification Undertaking. This has exactly the same legal effect as a Disqualification Order made by the court, and will usually include a schedule identifying the director’s unfit conduct. The consequences of breaching a Disqualification Undertaking are the same as those for breaching a Disqualification Order. 

7. If anybody contravenes a Disqualification Order or breaches their Disqualification Undertaking they may be committing a criminal offence and could go to prison for up to two years or face a fine or both. Any person with information to suggest that a disqualified person has acted in contravention of this provision should contact The Insolvency Service’s Directors Disqualification Unit on 028 9054 8582. 

8. The period of disqualification commences at the end of 21 days beginning with the day the Disqualification Undertaking was accepted by the Department. 

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