Shepherd Cox Ltd in Administration
Following a hearing on 1st September 2020, Shepherd Cox Ltd was finally placed into administration by the court.
Shepherd Cox Ltd is one of the most important Shepherd Cox companies in the group. It was the company which marketed and promoted the sale of hotel rooms to investors. It is also believed to be one of the companies which is likely to have diverted investors’ money into its bank accounts for dispersal to other schemes.
That theory appears to be supported by the fact that the company directors, Lee Bramzell and Nick Carlile, preferred a liquidation over an administration. They appointed Mr Taylor of Begbies Traynor to liquidate the company. Mr Taylor has been appointed by these directors before in 2015. They used his services to force two Hotel Options companies into administration and to buy the freeholds to the hotels from the administration for £20,000 and £60,000. This was despite investors making an offer to buy those freeholds in order to salvage something from their investments. The investors were surprised to find that the freeholds had been sold very quickly to the same people who had not only appointed the administrator, but who had actually sold them the rooms in the first place ! Needless to say Shepherd Cox defaulted on their promises to investors.
The attempted liquidation of Shepherd Cox Ltd in July was withdrawn after they realised there was a Court Order preventing any of the Shepherd Cox companies being dissolved. Shepherd Cox Ltd had tried to persuade the court that it was owed millions of pounds, but that the company had little chance of recovering that money from the people/companies they had given it to. They were therefore prepared to write it off.
It will now be very interesting to learn exactly who they had given the money to. What’s the betting it will include other companies linked to the directors, or paid direct to themselves, or to friends and family ? It’s almost always the case that when directors try to write off large debts it is because some of the debts are owed by themselves and/or friends and/or family members.
Several other companies linked to the directors of Shepherd Cox Ltd were also placed into administration. One of those was a residential property development company owned by Mr Bramzell and Mr Carlile – D and B Investment Properties Ltd. The fact that this was even in court in the first place suggests that this residential development company had been given money from one or more of the original six hotel companies and hadn’t paid it back. It’s shocking to think that investors had been denied their rental payments for two years because the money that could have paid them was being used by another Bramzell/Carlile company just to enrich themselves.
Another company placed into administration was Shepherd Cox Hotels (Croft On Tees) Ltd. This company is now just a shell company because it originally owned the tenancy on The Croft Hotel, but is no longer associated with that hotel. The owner of The Croft Hotel contacted us to request that we notify the public that the hotel has not been involved with Shepherd Cox for a long time. This is what he had to say:
“In December 2017 (after being introduced to Shepherd Cox by Christies) I leased the hotel to them (big mistake!!). After huge problems I took the hotel back from them in June 2019”.
The Croft Hotel is unaffected by the actions being taken against the Shepherd Cox companies and we wish the owner every success. Here is a link to The Croft Hotel website. It looks a lovely place.
To view our previous article on Shepherd Cox please click here.