Stephen Shaw and his son Andy

The limited company set up by sole trader James Shaw & Son when it purchased R Whittaker in 2018 has entered administration, with all the staff transferred over to the long-running business.

Director Andy Shaw said the incorporation of James Shaw & Son in March 2018, prior to its acquisition of Whittaker’s was “a necessity”, because it was unsure of what exactly it was buying.

Due diligence was carried out on the haulier but the limited company protected the sole trader while it worked through Whittaker’s contracts and fleet needs.

Shaw said it inherited Euro-4 and -5 trucks that were later replaced and old agreements with customers needed reviewing.

“You never really know what you’re buying, you have to lift up the bonnet and have a look around,” he said.

“We closed it down and the bit the sole trader bought out was the bit we needed to restructure.”

Stephen James Shaw is the name of the sole trader, which trades as James Shaw & Son. It holds a standard national licence for 32 HGVs and 60 trailers and operates out of a base in Newton-le-Willows.

James Shaw & Son entered administration on 20 December and insolvency practitioners at Leonard Curtis have now taken control of its affairs.

Shaw added that it intended to convert its sole trader operation into a limited company in the future and he added: “There were no redundancies. Drivers came over by TUPE and all customers came over.

“The main thing was the staff. And to be fair, if we didn’t take that company on they would have wrapped up and 30 staff would have lost their jobs.”

Leonard Curtis did not respond.