Lancashire based entrepreneur Tim Knowles, who has a £500m property portfolio, has been disqualified from taking on any new company directorships until 2011.
Tim Knowles, managing director of First Investments, can not take on any new director roles for four years without the prior approval of the court. However the court has granted him permission to continue to run First as well as his 30 other related companies.
The decision is the end result of a five year investigation led by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry resulting from the voluntary liquidation of one of Knowles’s companies, Baysouth, in 2002, which resulted in several unpaid creditors.
Knowles had been relying on the advice of his finance director at the time, who has since left the company and been banned from holding any other directorships. The judge recognised this fact, and acknowledged that no dishonesty or financial impropriety on Knowles’s part had taken place, and as such his disqualification is within the minimum bracket.
Knowles said: ‘In the eyes of corporate law, ‘the buck stops here’ for me and I acknowledge that fully. I am only grateful for the discretion and wisdom of the Judge who heard my case and imposed a reduced period for disqualification and granted a Section 17 which means I can take my business interests forward, albeit a much chastened individual.’