Wine Name:

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Wine investment Embassy Wine (UK) Ltd shut down in public interest

Embassy Wine (UK) Ltd, whose sole director was 28-year-old Jonothan (sic) Piper was compulsorily wounded up in the public interest on 3rd December 2014 on petition by the Insolvency Service. The Insolvency Service reported that Piper 'treated company bank accounts as effectively his own personal accounts'. I hope this means that The Insolvency Service will in time apply for Piper to be banned from serving as a UK company director.  

Press release from Insolvency Service:    

Embassy Wine (UK) Ltd, which claimed it was ‘a fine wine broker’, was wound up in the High Court on 3 December 2014, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Embassy Wine (UK) Ltd, incorporated in June 2011, claimed on its now defunct website,, that:
  • It was an expert within the wine industry
  • That investors could see 30% returns on individual bottles purchased
  • The company offered a diverse portfolio of wines for purchase, storage and onward sale on behalf of its customers.

The court found that those claims were baseless, and that the company had failed to pay promised returns to customers who had paid the company directly for wine or who had transferred their wine portfolios to be managed and sold on by the company.

The company also took in substantial deposits from customers, on the false basis that those deposits were required to lodge wines in bonded warehouses or upfront fees in order to sell on wine portfolios. No deposits and no upfront fees had been returned to any known customers. In a number of instances customers, including a 94 year-old victim at the time of his dealings with the company, had paid over sums of over £30,000 to the company. 

The court found that the company had substantively been run for the benefit of its sole director, Jonothan (sic) Piper, who treated company bank accounts as effectively his own personal accounts. Mr Piper had no previous experience in the wine industry, having been a labourer. Mr Piper failed to provide any meaningful co-operation with the investigators, and was found to have lied to investigators in respect of a number of matters, including as to how many company bank accounts there had been.

Giving judgement, Registrar Jones stated that the grounds in the Secretary of State’s petition for seeking to wind up the company were fully justified, and on that basis the company was compulsorily wound up.

Notes to Editors
Embassy Wine (UK) Ltd, Co. registration number 07686061, was incorporated on 28 June 2011.

The petition to wind up the company was presented in the High Court on 3 October 2014 under the provisions of section 124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 following confidential enquiries by Company Investigations under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985, as amended.

Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).


  1. So, as of 20th January, Peter Shakeshaft is now a board member of Provenance Fine Wines (having moved into Provenance's office last year).Provenance's accounts are now almost 4 months overdue. Do you not think Jim that Provenance's clients have a right to know what is going on there?

  2. Anon. If yiou have a look here ( you will see that according to Companies House Peter Shakeshaft was appointed a director on 14.1.2015. You might well ask why both the accounts and annual return were late. The annual return has been filed but as you say the accounts are still overdue but this predates Shakeshaft's appointment as a director.