Companies House caused business to collapse over typing error

27 January 2015

The High Court’s preliminary judgment has ruled in favour of business owner, Philip Davison-Sebry, after his business Taylor and Sons Limited was wrongly recorded as being wound up in 2009. He is suing Companies House for £8.8 million. 

The 124-year-old Welsh firm entered administration, putting 250 employees out of work, after customers and suppliers believed the company no longer existed. The similar named company, Taylor and Son, was in fact the insolvent business which Companies House had failed to spot in the mix up. 

The register was corrected after three days but by then, the damage had already been done and the company had lost one of its best customers, Tata Steel. Evidence also suggests that the wrong information had been in circulation for a period of time after the correction.

Mr Justice Edis found Companies House’s mistake had been the sole reason for the company’s liquidation, stating the agency has a duty of care to ensure winding up orders are registered against the correct company. 

This is a very unfortunate case and the business owner will receive compensation for the mistake. In this day and age, information can spread very quickly online, in print and through social media and in this instance, the wrong information was shared.