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Thursday24 July 2014

RMJM creditors told they'll get nothing

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Creditors include £1.8 million owed to tax man

Creditors of the three RMJM companies which went into receivership nearly two months ago have been told they won’t get any of their money back.

In a letter sent by KMPG to firms owed money by RMJM Scotland, RMJM Ltd and RMJM London – referred to as ‘the companies’ – joint receiver Gary Fraser wrote: “Given the level of secured debt it is extremely unlikely that a dividend will become payable to unsecured creditors.”

KPMG also revealed RMJM owed the tax man £1.8 million in missing PAYE, NI and VAT payments. HMRC, which is not a secured creditor, had begun winding-up proceedings against RMJM Ltd and RMJM Scotland the day before they and RMJM London went into receivership on October 26.

The letter explained that the secured debt – more than £20 million – belongs to RMJM chairman Fraser Morrison (pictured) after he acquired the debt from Bank of Scotland.

“Given the level of assets owned by the companies compared to [Morrison’s] secured debt, there is no prospect of a dividend becoming payable to unsecured creditors in any of the companies.”

It is not known how many creditors there are and what the final bill will be but at the time of their receivership the three RMJM companies owed more than £400,000 between them in 27 unpaid county court judgments alone.

KPMG added the pre-pack sale – which it concluded with RMJM Architecture for £100,000 – was the best option for creditors because the alternative was a liquidator being appointed by HMRC.

It added that it ruled out selling the three businesses due to lack of interest because of “the historical and recent performance of the businesses” while any would-be buyer’s “significant due diligence” would not have been completed before HMRC wound the firms up.

KPMG also said the number of employees had crashed 75% from a peak of 1,168 in April 2009 to “around 310 currently”.

BD understands staff at the new business are still waiting for part of their November salaries and have not yet been paid their December wages. Staff in the US are also understood to be some weeks behind with their salaries as well. RMJM declined to comment.

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Readers' comments (18)

  • Disgusting.

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  • Words fail me. To know these people are still operating a business is offensive in the extreme.

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  • One assumes an ARB investigation is in the offing, given the rules around bankrupcy?

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  • ARB can do nothing ...the Morrisons are not registered architects so fall outside ARB's jurisdiction .... we all lose.

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  • I shall say this again... either RMJM are Architects - their web site states they are, or they are not. Either way the ARB should be chasing them.

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  • Ian, I think it ought to be the other way round.

    Protection of title needs to be enforced on companies, to the extent that only entities with an ARB-registered architect holding a permanent position on the parent company board can include the term 'architect' in their title, description or offer.

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  • Sadly the protection of title is useless .... ARB has clearly demonstrated that it cannot be protected. In cases such as this, with no Architects on the parent company board, companies can carry on business as Architects providing it is a registered architect who is administering the architectural work, and the company can ignore the Code of Conduct calling for honesty and integrity in relation to the management of the business. ARB is unable to take any action. Perhaps the RIBA might like to take action?

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  • Some are actually still waiting for october's salary to be paid, never mind November! It is an absolute disgrace and causing much upset, angst and worry to employees and their families.

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  • Those at the top are liars and cowards. Declan Thompson in particular is a lily livered fool that dodges calls and leaves people waiting for answers cause he doesn't have the guts to tell the truth. Disgusting!

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  • The staff who are owed salaries can only blame themselves. You know you wont get paid yet you still continue to work for rmjm. Loyalty is worth nothing and working for nothing wont put food on the table and pay the bills.

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