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Tyne and Wear director agrees to disqualification

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (the Department) has accepted a disqualification undertaking for five years from Brian Bulent Hepurker (46) of Hadrian Court, Ponteland, Tyne and Wear, in respect of his conduct as a director of SMP Ireland Limited.

SMP Ireland Limited carried on the business of manufacture of doner kebabs for the retail market from 32 Drumcairn Road, Armagh and went into liquidation on 3 September 2004 with assets of £Nil, liabilities of £42,889.54 and an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £42,889.54. After taking into account the losses incurred by members (shareholders, including the directors) of the company the total deficiency was £142,891.54.

In cases where a director offers a disqualification undertaking acceptable to the Department, thus avoiding a full hearing of the matter before the court, a shorter period of disqualification than would otherwise be appropriate is normally imposed.

The Department accepted the disqualification undertaking from Brian Bulent Hepurker on 28 November 2007 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed:

  • Failing to co-operate with the Official Receiver as and when required;
  • Failing to account for fixed assets of £208,828 and current assets of £295,366 as disclosed in SMP Ireland Limited draft accounts for year end 31 August 2002;
  • Failing to maintain or deliver up sufficient accounting records to fulfil the requirements of Article 229(1) of the Companies (NI) Order 1986;
  • Failing to preserve or deliver up statutory books and records for SMP Ireland Limited.

Brian Bulent Hepurker applied for leave to act as a director of Babek Enterprises Limited and SMP (GB) Limited. Leave to act was granted by the Court on 29 November 2007 subject to certain specified conditions.

The Department has accepted 22 Disqualification Undertakings and the Court has made 18 Disqualification Orders in the financial year commencing 1 April 2007.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Official Receiver, when a company is wound up by the Court, has a duty to investigate the causes of failure and report any unfit conduct to the Insolvency Service within the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 2 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 90 548516.
  7. The period of disqualification commences at the end of 21 days beginning with the day the Order was made by the Court.
  8. For media enquiries contact DETI Press Office on 028 9052 9297.
  9. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.