If you directed a company that has gone into liquidation, you may be personally investigated by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (“BIS”). BIS may seek your disqualification as a director, which can have serious repercussions on your ability to be involved in the management of companies, including any companies you already direct.
When could I face directors disqualification?
You may be disqualified from acting as a director in circumstances including:
- Trading a company when it cannot pay its debts;
- Not paying money due to HMRC;
- Using the company’s money or other assets for yourself;
- Failing to cooperate with the company’s liquidator;
- Failing to keep proper records and accounts or failing to lodge them with Companies House.
We understand that running a company is far from black and white. There are many cases where BIS seek to disqualify directors with the benefit of hindsight. We can advise you whether your conduct really has fallen below the standards the courts expect of company directors or whether you have a defence against directors disqualification proceedings.
How can George Green help me?
Directors disqualification proceedings start with enquiries from the Insolvency Service, which usually take the form of a standard questionnaire. However, your answers to this questionnaire often form the basis of the case against you and what you say in this document will be cross referenced against what you say at court.
Our specialist solicitors can help you with the Insolvency Service’s enquiries. By undertaking a detailed legal review, we can ensure that the response supports what you may say at court rather than undermining it. This is the first opportunity to convince the Insolvency Service not to bring directors disqualification proceedings against you.
In some cases, your company’s circumstances may mean that you are unable to avoid a disqualification order. Our expertise and reputation mean that we can negotiate favourable settlement terms with BIS that enable you to limit your period of disqualification or level of compensation. Our experience allows us to deploy the right tactics at the right time to persuade BIS to settle.
In certain cases, where it has not been possible to reach an acceptable compromise with BIS, you may have little choice but to defend yourself at court. Unlike many solicitors, we have considerable trial experience and are used to representing clients through every stage of directors disqualification proceedings.
What if I am disqualified?
If you are a disqualified director, including when you have agreed to a period of disqualification, you may not act in the management of a company. That also has a wider effect on certain school governorships and local authority positions.
Our solicitors have experience of obtaining the court’s permission for disqualified directors to continue to act in certain position subject to certain conditions.