When a director is facing proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (as amended) expert advice is essential to make sure the correct steps are taken to ensure the best outcome possible.
These proceedings are often connected to an investigation of dishonesty or even a prosecution where acquittal does not always mean an end to an application to disqualify. Taking advice from solicitors who are expert in criminal proceedings as well as director’s disqualification gives you added backup.
The issue is whether the director was unfit to be involved in the management of a company. That is quite a different test from whether the company went bust or not. Companies go under for a wide variety of reasons. Unfitness is a question of fact. Even if the situation looks hopeless the director’s lawyers to approach the DTI to negotiate and agree a written statement of facts and the appropriate penalty.
You will be concerned because you know you have excellent mitigation including perhaps your good character and the complete absence of dishonesty on your part, you relied upon and acted upon the professional advice of others, you suffered a large loss in helping the company, the business failed due to factors outside your control and you cooperated to the fullest extent with the investigators and accepted fully where some criticism was made of decisions taken by you. None of this appears to be taken into account either in the decision to bring proceedings or with the length of disqualification being demanded.
The Court of Appeal has set guidelines for appropriate lengths of disqualification. Three to five years disqualification is suggested for ‘not so serious’ cases. More serious cases attract disqualifications in the bracket of six to ten years with the top bracket of seriousness (especially those who are being disqualified for a second time) being a ban of ten to fifteen years.
Contact Dennis Clarke by email or telephone on 01732 360999 to discuss your needs. If you need to keep the costs to the bare minimum you can ask us about our version of ‘Direct Access +’ referred to in our funding page.