With more and more firms falling into financial difficulty, it becomes apparent that an increasing number of people find that their livelihood will be at risk. The latest example of this can be seen in the fact that a director of a liquidated florist shop has been banned from being a director for five years. It should be noted though that the reason for the disqualification of Michael Ferguson has more to do with his poor standard of behaviour as opposed to anything he may have done while acting as a director. It is an important less in life because sometimes being a bad human can cause you a lot of problems.
The florist company was placed into liquidation in May of 2013 with a formal dissolving of the company taking place in January of 2015. This was a shame given that the company had been operating as a family run firm for more than 30 years but as many businesses have found, there is no room for sentiment in business. There is a need to make sure that bills are paid and that the business behaves above board and in a legal manner.
It is best to behave properly
The fact that there are question marks over the running of the business and a failure to co-operate with the liquidator is the reason that Michael Ferguson has been banned from being a company director. It is understandable that business people will have problems with liquidators. These are professionals coming into a company right at the end of its lifetime and they are responsible for dividing it up and tearing it apart. No one is going to be overly hospitable to someone coming in with a formal remit to close down a firm but equally, it is not the fault of the liquidator. They are merely doing their job and it needs to be reinforced that people blocking or hindering the work of liquidators will find that they will be punished for their actions.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment stated that that they accused Mr Ferguson of “causing and permitting the company to fail to maintain and/or preserve and/or deliver up adequate accounting records.” The ban on him being a director also comes on the back of what they classed as a “failure to fully co-operate with the liquidator” in addition to failing to “adequately respond to the liquidator’s queries and provide information in relation to the operation of the business.”
A long running Firm has gone bust
The Department also stated that they “accepted the disqualification undertaking from Michael Ferguson June 23, 2015 based on the following unfit conduct which solely for the purposes of the disqualification procedure was not disputed”. As of yet, there has been no response from Mr Ferguson, which is certainly a sad end to the company which was set up in 1975. The company grew to the position of being the largest retail florist chain in the north of Ireland. There was a point when the company had 15 stores in Belfast alone and they also had stores in Newtonabbey and Lisburn. None of these stores are still in operation and the company has been experiencing trouble and difficult for a number of years.
Back in 2011, Malcolm Ferguson of the company stated that the difficult weather conditions over the Christmas period had been a massive blow to the company and he had been declared bankrupt. Other family members continued the business focusing on the online market and for a spell; it looked as though things were on the rise for the firm. In 2013, an interview with a local newspaper suggested that things were on the up for the company. Family member David Ferguson spoke about the switch to online retailing and said that the “move has been great for our business, and we have increased our staffing levels as a result. “Our move back to east Belfast has really brought Ferguson’s full circle. We left the high street as the internet boomed. But in more recent times customers have embraced local shops and are showing more support to local businesses in their community. For the moment, we have the perfect balance.”
The key phrase in that interview was clearly “for the moment” with the firm soon experiencing difficulties again. This is where the role of a highly experienced and qualified solicitor will have been of benefit. If you are struggling, getting advice and guidance from the experts as quickly as possible makes a lot of sense.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.