Liquidators, Insolvency Practitioners and the Official Receiver are all under a duty to report unsuitable directors to the Secretary of State to recommend their disqualification and prevent them from acting as directors for a period of time.
Upon such a recommendation being made, the Secretary of State usually writes to a director notifying them of their intended action. Following this, an Application can be issued at Court for disqualification.
It is vitally important that a director acts quickly upon receipt of such correspondence from the Insolvency Service. We regularly assist in all stages of this type of matter. Examples of how we can assist are as follows:-
- Advising directors in respect of allegations being made against them and the likely disqualification (if any) they will likely face.
- Devising a tailored strategy for directors to achieve the best possible outcome, whether it be defending the proceedings entirely or seeking a settlement in the form of an undertaking, resulting in a reduced disqualification period.
- Entering into negotiations with the Insolvency Service on behalf of directors with a view to achieving a settlement, so to avoid disqualification proceedings being issued at Court.
- Defending disqualification proceedings to reduce the disqualification period or to seek the dismissal of the application all together.
- Advising directors following a Disqualification Order being made. In certain circumstances, a director is able to apply to the Court to request permission to act as a director of a company or in a managerial role.
- Advising disqualified directors on their duties and responsibilities.
- Advising disqualified directors on ways in which they can restructure their business and affairs so to enable their businesses to continue to run without breaching the terms of their disqualification.
Defending disqualification proceedings is extremely important due to the impact such an order can have on a director’s business. Disqualified directors will be prevented from acting as director of a company and from holding a managerial role within a company for up to 15 years. Therefore, it is vital for directors to take timely advice, including when a company is struggling, to ensure that they do not fall foul of the relevant law.