Lotus FD shown corporate black flag

The finance director of the former leading Formula One operator Team Lotus was last week disqualified from acting as a company director for eight years.

Chartered accountant James McDougall received the High Court ban, along with two other former Team Lotus directors, Peter Collins and Peter Godfrey, after the court found their business conduct between January 1991 and October 1994 unacceptable.

The directors were disqualified for running TTL Realisations, formerly Team Lotus, when it was clear the company would become insolvent. When the company was wound up by the court in February it had debts of more than #12m.

They also set up a similarly named separate company based in Gibraltar to receive insurance money due to the real company.

This caused Team Lotus, which boasted drivers such as Johnny Herbert and Alessandro Zanardi, to issue a debenture for some of its assets to a second Gibraltar-registered company beneficially owned by Collins and Wright. The move placed the Gibraltar company in a better position than other creditors in the event of Team Lotus? liquidation.

Robson Rhodes was appointed administrator in September 1994 and sold the business to David Hunt, brother of the late Formula One driver James Hunt.

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