Liquidator seeks orders to disqualify brothers from managing companies

THE liquidator of the company which operated the Bang Cafe restaurant in Dublin, wound up with debts of €2.4 million, is proceeding with his bid for orders under Section 160 of the Companies Act disqualifying brothers Simon and Christian Stokes from involvement in the management of any company on grounds of unfitness.

Both brothers consented last March to orders under Section 150 of the Companies Act restricting them, for a period of five years, acting as directors of companies unless those companies meet minimal capital requirements.

Yesterday, Bernard Dunleavy, for Tom Murray, liquidator of Mayfair Properties Ltd (which operated Bang Cafe) said his client intended to proceed with the Section 160 application.

Counsel said he was concerned, while the court had been told the brothers wanted discovery of certain documents for any Section 160 hearing, that no reply to the liquidator’s affidavit of last December had been received to identify the issues in dispute and no motion for discovery had been brought to date.

Mr Murray believed the documents referred to in letters to him were neither relevant nor necessary for the purpose of deciding the Section 160 matter, counsel said.

Mr Murray was also concerned the matter might not be dealt with before the end of the legal year on July 31.

Counsel for the brothers said that they intended to proceed with a motion for discovery and were informed only on April 11 last the Section 160 matter was proceeding.

Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan said April 11 was some time ago. While the brothers should not be shut out from being allowed inspect documents in circumstances where there was a challenge to what they did, a reply to the liquidator’s affidavit must be provided by June 11 and any motion for discovery must be issued and made returnable to June 27, she said.

Mayfair was incorporated in 1997, began trading in 1999 and operated Bang Cafe at Merrion Row, Dublin until it was wound up in January last year.

In an affidavit, Mr Murray previously outlined several concerns about the operation of Mayfair including outstanding payments of €477,996 to the Revenue; a history of under-declaring Revenue returns and personal use of company credit cards.

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