Former managing director Nicholas Brown agreed to a seven-year disqualification order last May as part of a Competition and Markets Authority probe into a demolition cartel which saw 10 firms fined nearly £60m.
Brown was one of four directors handed disqualification orders following the investigation.
Last July he applied to the High Court for permission to continue to act as a director and to be involved in the management of Brown and Mason Limited, and its holding company NRLB Limited, on the basis that the companies needed his continued services as a director.
The High Court issued its judgment today refusing Brown’s application after concluding that granting leave in this case “would be an overly great intrusion into the public benefit of this disqualification.”
Juliette Enser, the CMA’s Senior Director of Cartels, said: “Director disqualifications are a key tool for protecting the public – and making sure those at the top of the chain are held responsible if their companies breach competition law. Bid-rigging and other illegal, anticompetitive practices, mean that businesses and consumers can end up paying over the odds or receiving worse services.
“Personal consequences, such as director disqualification, are a powerful deterrent – something which the Court’s decision clearly recognises. By rejecting Mr Brown’s request, the Court’s judgment has shown that protecting the public should not be undermined.”
Brown may now remain in post at Brown and Mason Group Limited and NRLB Limited subject to strict conditions for a run-off period expiring on 28 July 2024 to enable transition at the companies.
After that he will not be permitted to act as a director or participate in the management of any company until 29 July 2030.