Insolvency Service to send for senior lawyers and forensic accountants
The demise of British Home Stores hasn’t only created a hole in the British retail landscape. It has left most of its staff out of pocket with their pension schemes taking a hit. In the last month, the Insolvency Service has called in senior lawyers and forensic accountants.
In a response to a letter by the chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Frank Field, the Insolvency Service’s Chief Executive Sarah Albon said: “We have largely completed the information-gathering first phase of the investigation, where we secured company records and made initial contact with directors and third parties to obtain information.”
The investigation is expected to take two years. The complexity of the case could make the two-year deadline seem optimistic. They have acquired specialist IT equipment, due to the amount of electronic data they need to cover.
Albon also added: “should our investigation find grounds for disqualification action against former directors we will be in a position to commence proceedings significantly earlier than April 2019”. With pension payments taking a hit, Frank Field was pleased to see the Insolvency Service raise their game.
Forensic Assessment, 20 February 2017.
Image of British Home Stores’ Chester branch by John S. Turner, 2016. Creative Commons 2.0 License: Share Alike-Attribution.