A Bradford solicitor has been disqualified from acting as a company director for seven years after failing to pay £0.6m in tax.
John Wilson of legal services firm Lawyours LLP was banned by the High Court sitting in Leeds following an investigation by The Insolvency Service.
Lawyours was wound up on 23 June 2010 following a petition from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over tax arrears of £600,000. Lawyours was the office services arm of Wilson’s legal firm.
John Curbison, the official receiver responsible for the investigation said: “The court found that Mr Wilson caused his company to fail to meet its statutory obligations to pay tax which could have been used for public services.
“Mr Wilson compounded his actions by entering into a transaction for the benefit of his associated business at a time Lawyours was under threat of winding up by HMRC. “
The court found that the billing between Lawyours and Wilson’s legal firm was “not at all efficient”, leaving Lawyours insufficient income to meet its tax bill.
Wilson had allowed Lawyours to trade without paying all its tax obligations over a 20-month period, despite receiving insolvency advice, resulting in the company owing HMRC £605,517 for PAYE/NIC and VAT by 23 June 2010.
The court also heard that Wilson allowed Lawyours to credit £700,000 to his legal firm after it was faced with the threat of being wound up by HMRC in August 2009.
The trial judge, His Honour Judge Kaye (QC), described this payment as “A fair reflection of Mr Wilson’s own lack of business, financial and managerial competence”.