Accountant quits after 'surprise' bankruptcy

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The Independent Online
THOMAS LOWNDES, a senior partner of a top-20 accountancy firm, resigned yesterday after discovering he had been made bankrupt by the Inland Revenue, apparently without his knowledge, writes John Willcock.

Mr Lowndes was a senior partner of Kidsons Impey's Chester office. He and his firm did not find out until Wednesday that a bankruptcy order had been made against him on Monday.

Kidsons said yesterday: 'Mr Lowndes' bankruptcy is a result of personal circumstances of which Kidsons Impey were unaware.

'It is in no way connected with Kidsons Impey or a reflection of the firm's financial position. Kidsons Impey accepted Mr Lowndes' resignation as partner of the firm today and Nick Robinson, the regional managing partner for Kidsons Impey North region has taken over responsibility for the management of the Chester office.'

The firm added: 'Bankruptcy is always a distressing matter for the individual concerned and we extend our sympathies to Mr Lowndes and his family.'

The Inland Revenue brought a petition for bankruptcy against Mr Lowndes in July last year, and on Monday the Official Reveiver took legal control of his assets.

The implications of bankruptcy are particularly serious for professionals including chartered accountants, who are automatically expelled from the professional bodies, the Institutes of Chartered Accountants, and barred from auditing company accounts - their main source of income.

On Wednesday, Mr Lowndes said he was unaware a bankruptcy order had been made, and confirmed that all debts would be paid in full. He also said that he was applying to have the order annulled.

As a result of the bankruptcy the Official Receiver will be able to enter Mr Lowndes' property and sell assets for the benefit of creditors.