Faculty of Business and Law: Patisserie Holdings PLC (PH)

Faculty of Business and Law

Assignment Title: Patisserie Holdings PLC (PH)  
Unit Leader:  Claire Fitzsimons/ Brendan Quirke  
 
Feedback Return Information: Via Moodle  
Assignment Task: Prepare a 1500 word report identifying the key corporate laws Patisserie Holdings was subject to prior to its collapse and critically evaluating the corporate governance/ ethical issues in relation to the fraud at and subsequent collapse of Patisserie Holdings.  
Unit Learning Outcomes Assessed.

1.      Discuss the advantages and drawbacks of different forms of business organisation.

2.      Identify the key regulations and codes applying to companies and directors

3.      Apply the legal and ethical principles examined to actual and hypothetical scenarios.

 
Assignment Details and Instructions.

 Background

 

In October 2018, significant accounting irregularities were identified at Patisserie Holdings PLC (“Patisserie Holdings”), a company listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Patisserie Holdings owned 170 stores, operating as many well-known brands including Patisserie Valerie.  Due to severe financial difficulties, Patisserie Holdings went into administration in January 2019.  The company falsely claimed to have £54m in cash, but it was alleged had overstated its cash position by £30m, failed to disclose overdrafts of nearly £10m and claimed its assets were worth £23m more than they were in reality.  Forensic accountants subsequently suggested that Patisserie Holdings’ accounts were overstated by approximately £94m.  In October 2018, Patisserie Holdings’ former Financial Director was arrested in connection with this and subsequently in June 2019 five people were arrested and questioned over alleged accounting fraud at Patisserie Holdings.

Task

You should produce a 1,500-word report in an electronic form via word. It MUST include:

·        Introduction

·        setting out what the report will cover and clearly setting the context of why this is currently an important issue (150 words)

·        Main Findings

·        the key corporate laws Patisserie Holdings was subject to, together with an evaluation of whether the Company adhered to them (200 words)

·        Identification of the main Corporate Governance requirements Patisserie Holdings should have followed, a critical evaluation of the key ways in which the Company failed to meet them and whether this was facilitated by the corporate structure (650 – 750 words).

·        Three examples of how the Company failed in its ethical behaviour and a critical evaluation of how this contributed to the overall failure (350 – 400 words)

·        Conclusion

·        A brief summary of the key corporate law and Corporate Governance regulations the Company should have complied with, the extent to which it complied with them and the main reasons for the scandal/failing.  (200 words)

The number of words included for each section above is purely as guidance to assist you rather than definitive numbers so there is flexibility within this.

 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

A key element of University-level thinking and your subsequent working life is the ability to critical analyse and evaluate information, usually from multiple sources, in order to develop an argument. This is different to descriptive writing which is used to set the background and to provide evidence rather than to develop an argument.

 

You will be expected to undertake research in the Press, academic and other professional journals,  to discuss the potential implications fully.  A large amount of research has been undertaken in respect of corporate governance and ethics.  A number of these articles will be provided to you throughout Block 4 via Moodle and listed, with links on your learning road map for each week. Others can be obtained through a search on google scholar or within the MMU library.   Reference to such articles will, therefore, be expected.  Failing to include such research or reference to it, may significantly impact your mark.

 

Further guidance to support you with the assignment will be given in weekly on demand and live sessions and there will be a weekly drop in session with one of the unit leaders should you need further support or guidance.  You will be expected to complete your assessment in stages over the week which will coincide with the learning for those weeks.

 

What you MUST do:

 

·        Use professional language in your report.

·        Engage in Live sessions

·        You must use your own words

·        You must read this assignment brief and the supporting assessment criteria!

 

What you MUST NOT do:

 

·        Do not leave completion until the last day

·        Do not submit late – see the Late Submission section for details.

 

ASSIGNMENT DETAILS AND INSTRUCTIONS.

 

The assessment criteria are detailed in the forms overleaf.  The marks will be awarded based on the assessment criteria and so it is vital that you refer to this.  There are no specified weightings for each of these criteria, nor are they equally weighted.  This is to allow a holistic view of the assignment to also be taken.

 

The coursework is to be 1,500 words in length + or – 10%, excluding citations, headings, tables/figures, references and appendices.  A 5% mark reduction will be applied for word counts outside (above or below) these limits.

 

Referencing is to follow the MMU guide aligned with the Harvard system (see MMU and library website).  A full reference list is to be shown and the body of the work should be fully cited.

 

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

 

The originality of your work is key to your learning.

All submissions are submitted through Turnitin, you must check your similarity score.  Please refer to the University’s guidelines https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/student-case-management/guidance-for-students/academic-misconduct/

 

Late submission.

 

If your submission is after the deadline but within 5 days of it, your mark will be capped at 40%.  If you attempt to submit after the five day grace period, without approved exceptional factors, it will be classed as a non-submission.  You will then be offered the opportunity to resit at the next assessment opportunity as determined by the exam board, but your mark will similarly be capped.

 

Please note that your tutor cannot grant extensions to the deadline, but you can contact your Personal Tutor in the first instance for guidance.  All extension request have to be submitted with evidence to exceptional factors. This web link provides the appropriate guidance: https://www.mmu.ac.uk/student-case-management/guidance-for-students/exceptional-factors/how-do-i-submit-an-exceptional-factors-claim/

 

If you think that you are unable to submit on time due to your health or some other unforeseen issue you must contact the Student Hub and apply through formal channels for Exceptional Factors.

 

Assessment Feedback

 

You will receive feedback on your submitted work that covers your ability to be critical of information to support your argument, and how you have analysed it in context of your own development.

 

The assessment weighting = 100% of the overall mark for the Governance Ethics and Law unit and the unit will require an achievement of 40% for successful completion.

 

Hand in date: Tuesday 11th May 2021 by 21.00 pm

 
Early Career/ World Class Professional Skills (PLOs) being assessed or developed/assessed.

 

N/A on this course

 
Resources

 

Articles reporting on the basic facts and potential consequences of the fraud and collapse of Patisserie Holdings will be made available on Moodle and signposted in each week’s learning roadmap.  This will simply provide you with a background to the facts and issues at Patisserie Holdings.

 

As explained above, you will be expected to undertake research in the Press, academic and other professional journals, to discuss the potential implications fully.  A large amount of research has been undertaken in respect of corporate governance and ethics.  A number of these articles will be provided to you throughout Block 4 via Moodle and listed, with links on your learning road map for each week. Others can be obtained through a search on google scholar or within the MMU library.   Reference to such articles will, therefore, be expected.  Failing to include such research or reference to it, may significantly impact your mark.

 

Marking Criteria *

 

The assessment criteria are detailed in the forms overleaf.  The marks will be awarded based on the assessment criteria and so it is vital that you refer to these.

 

Stepped marking is applied on this unit, meaning that marks are awarded ending in a 2, 5 or 8.  For example 52, 55 and 58

 

Group Work Guidelines : N/A

 

See Moodle for Unit Specification

 

This unit will provide you with a basic understanding of corporate law for different corporate structures and will evaluate corporate governance and, in particular, the importance of internal control and ethical considerations in corporate governance.

 

Governance, Ethics and Law Coursework 2021 – assignment marking criteria*

 

Assessment descriptor Less than 30% Less than 30 -40% 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70-80% Over 80%
Context

 

Clear recognition and demonstration of the importance of governance and ethical issues in the current environment.

The introduction makes no reference to any context or the current environment. The introduction makes little reference to any context or the current environment The introduction recognises some contextual issues relating to the current environment, but these are very limited. The introduction recognises some of the key contextual issues relating to the current environment, but these could have been explained more clearly. Most of the key contextual issues relating to the current environment have been identified and discussed reasonably well. Most of the key contextual issues relating to the current environment have been identified, discussed well and supported by real-life examples. The key contextual issues relating to the current environment have been identified, discussed well and fully supported by real-life examples.
Corporate Law

Demonstrating a clear understanding of the corporate structure of Patisserie Holdings (“PH”) and accordingly the laws it was subject to and whether these laws were adhered to.

No consideration of the corporate structure of PH and very limited identification of the relevant laws which is purely descriptive. Limited consideration of the corporate structure of PH, but no link between that and the identification of relevant laws. Discussion is purely descriptive. Limited consideration of the corporate structure of PH, but link between that and identification of relevant laws is fairly limited and discussion is purely descriptive. The corporate structure of PH has been considered and the relevant laws identified but this is more descriptive and limited discussion on whether the laws were adhered to. The corporate structure of PH has been considered and the relevant laws identified with some evaluation and discussion on whether the laws were adhered to. Clear consideration of the corporate structure of PH and the relevant laws identified with good evaluation and discussion on whether the laws were adhered to. Excellent consideration of the corporate structure of PH and the relevant laws identified with full evaluation and discussion on whether the laws were adhered to
Corporate Governance

 

A clear demonstration of the corporate governance requirements that PH should have followed based on its corporate structure, a critical evaluation of the extent to which it followed these and whether the corporate structure allowed the company to avoid governance regulations

No consideration of the corporate governance requirements PH should specifically have followed, but rather a broad descriptive explanation of corporate governance in general and no consideration about the ways PH failed to follow corporate governance. No consideration of the corporate governance requirements PH should specifically have followed, but rather a broad descriptive explanation of corporate governance in general, although there is some attempt at discussion as to ways PH failed to follow these. Limited consideration of the corporate governance requirements PH should specifically have followed, but rather a broad descriptive explanation of corporate governance in general, although there is some attempt at discussion as to ways PH failed to follow these. Limited consideration of the corporate governance requirements PH should specifically have followed, but more of a broad descriptive explanation of corporate governance, although there is a reasonable attempt at discussion as to ways PH failed to follow these. Some consideration of the corporate governance requirements PH should specifically have followed, with  a reasonable attempt at evaluating ways PH failed to follow these and the resultant consequences. Clear consideration of the corporate governance requirements PH should specifically have followed, with  a good attempt at evaluating ways PH failed to follow these and the resultant consequences. Full consideration of the corporate governance requirements PH should specifically have followed, with excellent evaluation of the ways PH failed to follow these and the resultant consequences.
Ethics

 

Inclusion of 3 examples of ethical issues, together with a critical evaluation of how these contributed to the corporate failure.

 

No ethical issues identified but a very descriptive discussion on ethics in general Ethical issues discussed very broadly and vaguely with no specific ethical issues identified.  Section is purely descriptive. Ethical issues discussed broadly rather than clear specific examples being discussed and section is mainly descriptive. Some relevant specific ethical issues have been identified but discussion tends to be more descriptive and little support as to why these are considered issues. 3 relevant specific ethical issues have been identified with some evaluation of these issues and some support provided as to why they are issues. 3 relevant specific ethical issues have been identified with good evaluation of these issues, clear evidence as to why they are issues and some practical examples referred to. 3 relevant specific ethical issues identified with excellent evaluation of these issues, clear evidence why they are issues and relevant practical examples referred to for each issue.
Conclusion

 

Appropriate and balanced discussion of the key issues highlighted within the body of the report, with an overall conclusion regarding the main reasons for the fraud and subsequent collapse of PH.

Conclusion does not refer to issues discussed within the report nor provide any overall conclusion. Conclusion refers to very few of the issues discussed within the report and these are not the important ones nor is any conclusion provided. There is limited reference within the conclusion to the issues discussed within the report and overall conclusion is vague. Some of the issues  within the report are discussed within the conclusion and an overall conclusion is included, but the link between the two is not clear The conclusion discusses the key issues identified within the report and develops from this an appropriate conclusion, although this could be supported further. The conclusion highlights and discusses the key issues from the report and provides a well-supported conclusion based on this. The conclusion has clearly identified all the key issues within the report to develop a well-thought out and supported overall conclusion.
Evidence of research

 

Provides evidence of independent research from a variety of sources through the number of sources, proper referencing and inclusion of appropriate and correct citations.

No references included Very limited references included. Insufficient references, report is poorly cited and references are in an incorrect format. Sufficient references, but insufficient citations within report and some references in incorrect format. Adequate range of references.  Reasonable citations within the report and references largely in correct format. Very good range of references.  References largely in correct format and generally correctly cited within the report Extensive range of references, all in correct format and well cited throughout the report.
Presentation

 

Appropriate language and style of writing, with fine attention to detail of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Very poor presentation and communication, with poor language choice and style of writing and continuous spelling and punctuation errors.  As a result it is difficult to understand the report. Very poor presentation and communication, with poor language choice and style of writing and many spelling and punctuation errors. Poor presentation, structure, communications and use of language, with a number of grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors. Adequate presentation and language used, but structure could have been improved and there are spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors. Good presentation and communication.  The structure for the coursework and the language used are both appropriate. With few grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors. Excellent presentation and communication, with appropriate language, style of writing and an excellent structure.  Very few if any spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. An outstanding standard of presentation and communication with an appropriate structure and no noticeable errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar.