Mr. John Howes is a member of the Treasury Solicitor's staff. Between 1994 and 1998 he had conduct, on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry (Companies Investigation Branch), of disqualification proceedings against the former Directors of Astra Holdings plc. These were pursuant to section 8 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. Those proceedings were finally discontinued on the instructions of the DTI in 1998. Mr. Howes was not involved in any consequential proceedings before the Accountants Joint Disciplinary Scheme ("JDS") Tribunal. Moreover he did not attend a meeting with the members of the JDS Tribunal on 2 December 1999 or at any other time.