Sunderland businessman handed 11-year directorship ban after ignoring disqualification

A Sunderland businessman has been banned from becoming a company director for an extra 11 years after reappointing himself while serving an existing disqualification.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:43 am

Derek Milligan, 40, also known as Derrek Milligan, was the sole director of DMNE Limited and of Dockyard Sunderland when the Insolvency Service began an investigation into his activities with DMNE.

The service discovered he had failed to deliver up any accounting records of DMNE, in breach of both his statutory duties and a court order.

Following a creditor’s petition at court, Milligan was made bankrupt in August 2015 and resigned as a director of Dockyard Sunderland.

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Milligan was originally banned from holding directorships in September 2015

In September 2015, he agreed to sign a seven-year disqualification undertaking that banned him from acting as a director from October 2015 to October 2022.

Despite being advised to seek legal advice, Milligan appointed himself a director of Dockyard Sunderland in July 2017, which had been renamed HCA Litigation Limited.

He did not have the permission of the court to act as a director of HCA Litigation or to be involved in its management.

Milligan signed the company’s 2017 accounts filed at Companies House in October that year, and he also instructed solicitors about the lease on the trading premises.

Less than a year later, Sunderland City Council learned the company had absconded from the trading premises. The resulting rent arrears led to a winding up order in May 2018.

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Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, the case was heard in Newcastle County Court on 14 September 2021, where Derek Milligan was disqualified for a further 11 years.

The new disqualification order prevents Derek Milligan from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company without the permission of the court.

Rob Clarke, Chief Investigator of the Insolvency Service, said: “Derek Milligan knew the restrictions he was under when he agreed to a disqualification undertaking.

"He couldn’t be a director or be involved in managing a company without the court’s approval. Yet he still re-appointed himself.

“It’s imperative that companies’ dealings are transparent, so other businesses know exactly who is managing the company.

"Anyone trying to hide their involvement will be removed from the corporate arena for a lengthy period and could very possibly face criminal prosecution.”

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