Friday 24 February 2017

Appleby set to probe Pierse after collapse of builder

Emmet Oliver and Dearbhail McDonald

The Director of Corporate Enforcement, Paul Appleby, is expected to investigate events at construction firm Pierse after this week's comments about the company by Mr Justice Peter Kelly.

Mr Appleby's office receives over 2,400 reports from liquidators each year and will receive a file, in the normal course, on Pierse from liquidator Simon Coyle of Mazaars. But due to the highly critical remarks about Pierse by the High Court judge, the file on Pierse is expected to get additional attention.

The scale of the debts left behind at the company is also likely to mean officers at Mr Appleby's office will be studying the file closely.

Neither Mr Appleby or Mr Coyle were prepared to comment yesterday.

The judge has already ordered Coyle to investigate the company's activities over the last 18 months, following concerns raised by creditors who are now out of pocket.



Creditors

Pierse owes up to 3,000 unsecured creditors, one of the largest number of creditors left behind from a company collapse since the crisis began.

Legal representatives for Pierse told the court creditors would be unlikely to recover any money in a liquidation.

Bank of Ireland may recover some money as a secured creditor. The focus of the liquidator's work will be to see if Pierse was trading while insolvent.

Trading whilst insolvent can lead to serious consequences for company directors who face potential civil and criminal penalties for reckless and/or fraudulent trading and may be held personally liable.

Irish Independent

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