Welcome to the country’s leading firm of director disqualification solicitors. We are the only law firm in the country with a dedicated Director Disqualification team.

Director Disqualification

1. What is director disqualification?

It is important for anyone faced for the first time with the threat of director disqualification proceedings to actually understand what it means. This can cover the director disqualification process, the legislation and also understanding director disqualification offences. 
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2. How to stop being disqualified as a director

If you are facing a threat of director disqualification and have received a letter from the Insolvency Service or director disqualification enquiries are being made by the Official Receiver or other government parties, it is still possible to stop a director disqualification order being made. 
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3. How is a director disqualified?

The ability to disqualify an individual as acting as a director is derived from director disqualification legislation contained in the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. 
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4. What is the most common reason for director disqualification?

Whilst there are many different grounds for director disqualification, there is one particular area which stands out as the most common ground for director disqualification pursuant to the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 – non-payment of HMRC debts.
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5. How long are directors disqualified for?

We are often asked, how long are directors disqualified for? Director disqualification orders can last for different periods of time and fall within three distinct bands. Understanding these different director disqualification periods can be very important.
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6. Can a director be a sole trader?

We are commonly asked what the position is with regard to sole traders (and partners) in the context of director disqualification claims. It is an important distinction.
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7. What are the penalties for director disqualification?

Breaching a director disqualification order is very serious indeed and the penalties are severe. Great care must be taken to ensure that you do not risk the consequences of breaching a director disqualification order.
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8. On what grounds can a director be disqualified?

There are a number of different grounds under the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 which can lead to a director disqualification order.
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I was greatly impressed with the commercial, tactical and technical ability of the team at FWJ. They quickly got to grips with a complex set of facts involving my directorship of a group of nine companies, each one named in the director disqualification proceedings against me. Through their hard work they had the proceedings against me dropped and a significant proportion of my legal fees repaid. They also helped me defend and defeat other claims by the liquidator arising from the liquidation of the group of companies. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.

AG

9. What is the effect of a director disqualification order?

If you are threatened with director disqualification proceedings or a director disqualification claim, it is important that you understand the effects and what it can mean to you.
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10. Director Disqualification – procedure for remaining a director despite disqualification

There is the ability under section 17 the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 to apply to court to remain (or become) a director of a company despite disqualification.
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11. Seeking Court Permission to become or remain a Director despite disqualification - FAQ

It is possible under section 17 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 to apply to court to become or remain a director of a company despite director disqualification. This web page looks at commonly asked questions relating to this.
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12. Negotiating Voluntary Director Disqualification Undertakings

We are specialists at dealing with voluntary Director Disqualification Undertakings. Great care needs to be taken to fully protect your position and avoid the potentially damaging consequences of signing Director Disqualification Undertakings without proper advice.
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13. Director Disqualification Undertaking - EXPLAINED

A director disqualification undertaking (also referred to as voluntary director disqualification) is a very important part of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. It enables an individual in the right circumstances to deal with threatened director disqualification proceedings in a quick and cost effective manner. However, expert director disqualification legal advice is recommended before going down this route.
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14. Director disqualification Compensation Orders – 10 frequently asked questions

Important new director disqualification legislation came in to effect in October 2016 meaning that directors subject to director disqualification orders could be held personally liable for HMRC and other debts. It is vital to be aware of the changes in Section 15A into the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 to avoid being made liable for hefty HMRC and other liabilities. Our expert director disqualification lawyers can help you take the right advice and avoid the worst of the changes.
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15. Reducing a Period of Director Disqualification

Pursuant to Section 8A of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, a Disqualified Director may at any time seek to reduce the period of Disqualification which had previously been negotiated with the Secretary of State by way of a Disqualification Undertaking.
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16. Reducing the Period of a Director Disqualification Ban – 14 Common Questions Answered

It is possible in certain circumstances to try and reduce a period of director disqualification if you are already subject to a director disqualification order. However, it is not an easy exercise and this web page deals with common questions we are asked about how to reduce a period of director disqualification.
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17. Director Disqualification - Common Questions Answered

At FWJ we get asked many different questions regarding director disqualification. Click on this page to find out some answers to the most common director disqualification questions. But whatever your question, call one of our expert solicitors now.
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I was delighted by the work done by the team at FWJ. Not only did they help me secure the time I needed to make my new business a success, they then obtained permission from the court for me to remain a director of my new business moving forward. Without that permission, my new company would have been in grave danger. As it is, I can continue to grow it free from the worry of my original disqualification. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Their legal and tactical knowledge was spot on.

GT

18. Conduct Giving Rise to a Finding of "Unfitness" Pursuant to Section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 is the most commonly relied on section of the director disqualification legislation to seek a director disqualification order against someone. In this section we summarise common grounds for a finding of unfitness pursuant to section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986.
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19. 10 Common Mistakes in Director Disqualification Proceedings

In Director Disqualification proceedings great care needs to be taken from the earliest stages to avoid mistakes as otherwise it can lead to a Director Disqualification order being made in circumstances where it could have been avoided. We can help you avoid these common Director Disqualification mistakes and maximise your chances of successfully defending director disqualification proceedings.
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20. How to avoid Breaching a Director Disqualification Order

If you face being disqualified, whether that be by way of a Disqualification Order or a Disqualification Undertaking, then you need to plan your current company affairs well in advance of any such Disqualification. The same is true if you have been disqualified – you need to make sure you do not breach the terms of the director disqualification order.
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21. On What Grounds Can A Director Be Disqualified? - A General Guide on Unfitness

Unfitness is governed by section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. There are various grounds upon which an individual can be shown to have been acting in an unfit capacity and which can lead to the making of a director disqualification order. Understanding the different director disqualification offences is very important if you are facing director disqualification proceedings.
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22. Director Disqualification Grounds - Non Payment of HMRC and other creditors

Unfitness is governed by section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. There are various grounds upon which an individual can be shown to have been acting in an unfit capacity and which can lead to the making of a director disqualification order. Non-payment of HMRC is the most common ground for disqualification. Having expert director disqualification solicitor advice is vital if you are facing these types of allegations.
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23. Director Disqualification Grounds - Incompetence

A director can be subject to a director disqualification order for incompetence. Director disqualification for this area covers a wide range of matters and expert legal advice is recommended.
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24. Director Disqualification Offence – Inactivity or Failure to act

A director can be subject to a director disqualification order for inactivity or failure to act. Director disqualification for this area covers a wide range of matters and expert director disqualification legal advice is recommended.
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25. Director Disqualification Offence – the duty to keep informed and supervise

All directors should be aware of their general duty to keep informed and supervise. Failure to do so can lead to director disqualification proceedings pursuant to section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986.
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26. Director Disqualification reasons – inappropriate delegation of responsibilities

We are often asked what happens when a director delegates responsibilities to others in the company of a similar standing or level. Does this absolve the director if things later go wrong due to mistakes made by the other person to whom the task was delegated? It is a director disqualification breach.
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27. Director disqualification reasons – Phoenix companies and reusing company names

The Insolvency Act 1986 set about adopting a procedure to prevent individuals as directors from repeatedly allowing companies to fail and immediately recommencing trading in the same name. These were and often continue to be referred to as Phoenix Companies and abuse of the rules can lead to director disqualification proceedings.
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I contacted Francis Wilks & Jones just over one month before the trial of a large claim against me and my son. Francis Wilks & Jones acted with great professionalism, responding quickly to my requirements leading to an eventual withdrawal of the claim against us both. I am sincerely grateful to Stephen Downie and Andy Wilks at Francis Wilks & Jones for bringing us to where we are. The world is a much happier place today!

A Director

28. Director Disqualification Offences – repeatedly failing companies

The courts do not treat all directors equally in circumstances where they have had a series of previous company failures. They make a distinction is often made between “honest” and “bad” Phoenix Companies. In the context of director disqualification proceedings it is important to understand the difference.
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29. Director Disqualification Offences – continuation of a failed business model

A director can be disqualified if the successor company’s business is simply a mere continuation of a failed business model with no real prospects of success. Understanding this risk is important in the context of director disqualification proceedings.
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30. Director Be Disqualified Grounds - Excessive Pay & Dividends

Unfitness is governed by section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. There are various grounds upon which an individual can be shown to have been acting in an unfit capacity and which can lead to the making of a director disqualification order. Excessive pay and remuneration is one of these. Understanding the issues can be very important if you are facing director disqualification proceedings.
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31. Director Be Disqualified Grounds - Misappropriation of Company Assets

Unfitness is governed by section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. There are various grounds upon which an individual can be shown to have been acting in an unfit capacity and which can lead to the making of a director disqualification order. Misappropriation of company assets is one of these. Understanding the issues can be very important if you are facing director disqualification proceedings.
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32. Director Be Disqualified Grounds - Failure to File Statutory Information & Company Documents

Unfitness is governed by section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. There are various grounds upon which an individual can be shown to have been acting in an unfit capacity and which can lead to the making of a director disqualification order. Failure to file statutory information (including tax returns and Companies House documentation) and the failure to maintain or preserve company documentation / accounting records are some of these. Understanding the issues can be very important if you are facing director disqualification proceedings.
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33. Director Disqualification Grounds - Dishonest Conduct

If a directors’ conduct is found to be dishonest, then it is highly likely that the person will be subject to a lengthy director disqualification period. A single allegation of dishonesty will suffice for director disqualification purposes. It is a key determiner of a director disqualification offence.
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34. Director disqualification hearing

There are a number of different types of hearings involved in director disqualification claims. It is important that proper preparation is made for the hearing to ensure that difficulties do not arise due to a failure to prepare properly for them.
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35. Director disqualification letter

Director disqualification claims are usually begun by way of a director disqualification letter commonly known as a Section 16 letter. This is a letter sent by the Insolvency Service pursuant to Section 16 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986.
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36. Director Disqualification Companies House Magistrates Claims

A company does not have to enter into insolvency proceedings for a Director to be disqualified. The Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 provides an authority to Criminal Courts to disqualify Directors and this includes claims in the Magistrates Court.
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37. Director disqualification legislation

The key director disqualification legislation is included in the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. This Act covers all aspects of the statutory director disqualifications regime.
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Based on my personal experience, I would strongly recommend using FWJ for director disqualification matters. Not only did the team handle the original claim against me and deal with that by way of an undertaking, they also successfully got me leave to remain a director of my existing business for the remaining period of my disqualification. Tactically and commercially Andy Wilks and the team played it just right and I am now able to get on with my business life without the worry of disqualification hanging over me. A great result.

TP

38. Director disqualification barrister

It is very important that you have a proper team of legal advisers in place if you intend to contest a director disqualification claim. Essential to that team is an expert director disqualification barrister. At Francis Wilks & Jones we have long working relationships with director disqualification barristers who are experts in this specialist field.
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39. Director disqualification solicitors

Having the right expert solicitors hugely enhances your prospects of success whatever the nature of your director disqualification claim. Francis Wilks & Jones are genuinely the country’s leading expert director disqualification lawyers with a combined legal experience of over 50 years. We have a dedicated team able to advise on all aspects of director disqualification claims. Our experience is unsurpassed in the country.
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40. Director disqualification process - pre-issue considerations

The director disqualification process follows a similar format in most cases. However, proper knowledge and understanding of that director disqualification format is very important in order to maximise your prospects of successfully defending the allegations against you.
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41. Director disqualification process – post-issue considerations

The process of director disqualification claims follows a similar format in most cases. However, proper knowledge and understanding of that format is very important in order to maximise your prospects of successfully defending the allegations against you.
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42. Director Disqualification – what is a director?

It is often asked in the context of director disqualification proceedings – what is a director? It is important if someone is accused of possible director disqualification offences that he/she fully understands whether they were in fact a director.
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43. Director disqualification and professional advice

Professionals such as accountants and lawyers can be concerned as to whether the provision of professional advice by them to a limited company could end up with director disqualification allegations against them if that company subsequently goes into liquidation.
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44. What is meant by being involved in the "management" of a company?

It is important for any individual who is not formally appointed as a director and who might be facing a director disqualification claim to fully understand what is meant by being involved in the management of a company.
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45. The Concept of Individual and Collective Responsibility

It is important to understand that the management of a company is vested in its directors. The running of the company can only be conducted through its directors. This can have important implications in director disqualification proceedings.
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46. Can a director be disqualified for matters which preceded his/her appointment?

This is a question we are often asked and one which is often misunderstood. Our expert legal guidance can help you in this tricky area of the director disqualification regime.
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47. Can a disqualified director be a shareholder?

We are often asked whether the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 applies to shareholders. It is a very important question the answer to which is not as straightforward as it looks. We would strongly advise you take expert director disqualification legal advice on this often tricky area of the director disqualification regime.
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48. Can a non-executive director be disqualified?

We are often asked whether the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 applies to non-executive directors. It is a very important question, the answer to which is not as straightforward as it looks. We would strongly advise you take expert legal advice on this often tricky area of the director disqualification regime.
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49. Director disqualification time limit

There are specific time limits in place for the commencement of director disqualification proceedings against an individual. These are included in the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 and have recently been supplemented by Section 108 of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
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I approached Francis Wilks & Jones facing the prospect of prosecution by the Registrar of Companies and a very real prospect of disqualification as a Director by the Court. I found Francis Wilks & Jones very experienced in dealing with this type of prosecution, they were able to review the evidence, advise and deal with matters such that they exceeded my expectations by not only avoiding an order for my disqualification as a Director, but they also negotiated a complete withdrawal of the prosecution.

A Director

50. Director disqualification legislation

The key director disqualification legislation is included in the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. This Act covers all aspects of the statutory director disqualifications regime.
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51. What is the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986?

The Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 is a piece of director disqualification legislation specifically enacted to enable the Secretary of State to disqualify directors / individuals from acting as directors in certain circumstances.
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52. Section 1 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 1 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification orders.
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53. Section 1A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 1A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification undertakings.
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54. Section 2 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 2 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification on conviction of an indictable offence.
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55. Section 3 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 3 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification for persistent breaches of companies legislation.
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56. Section 4 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 4 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification for fraud in winding up.
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57. Section 5 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 5 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification on summary conviction.
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58. Section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the duty of director disqualification court to disqualify unfit directors of insolvent companies.
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This has been such a relief and weight off my mind after many years and I am very grateful to FWJ. I strongly recommend instructing them at the very earliest opportunity to help guide you in the best possible way to hopefully avoiding proceedings or at least to taking the best steps at the right time to minimise the potential severity, impact and overall costs of any proceedings. Timely advice, realistic expectations, prioritisation and logical legal presentation were key.

A Director

59. Section 7 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 7 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification orders, director disqualification undertaking and director disqualification reporting provisions
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60. Section 8 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 8 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification after investigation of a company.
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61. Section 8A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 8A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to variation of director disqualification undertakings and reduction in director disqualification periods.
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62. Section 9 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 9 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to matters determining unfitness of directors in director disqualification claims.
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63. Section 9A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 9A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification competition orders.
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64. Section 9B of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 9B of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification competition undertakings.
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65. Section 9C of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 9C of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification competition investigations.
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66. Section 10 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 10 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification provisions for participation in wrongful trading.
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67. Section 11 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 11 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification and undischarged bankrupts
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68. Section 12A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 12A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification orders in Northern Ireland.
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69. Section 12B of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 12B of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification undertakings in Northern Ireland.
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The exquisite pain of having former colleagues make false allegation after false allegation against you has to be experienced to be believed; but Andy Wilks' vast knowledge, attention to detail and dogged determination won through in the end.

SW

70. Section 13 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 13 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification criminal penalties.
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71. Section 14 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 14 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to director disqualification offences by corporate bodies.
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72. Section 15 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 15 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to personal liability for company's debts where a person acts while disqualified.
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73. Section 16 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 16 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to applications for director disqualification orders.
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74. Section 17 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 17 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to applications for permission to remain or become a director despite director disqualification.
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75. Section 18 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 18 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the register of director disqualification orders and director disqualification undertakings.
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76. Section 20 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 20 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the admissibility in evidence of statements in director disqualification proceedings.
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The Disqualification Claim continued for about two years through to Trial and FWJ were able to consider and take us on by means of other types of funding arrangements. The proceedings at Trial lead to a Dismissal of the Disqualification Claim as a result of the hard work of FWJ, and I am more than happy to recommend their services, particularly when it comes to considering complicated issues or complex proceedings.

Directors

77. Section 20A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 20A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the legal professional privilege in director disqualification proceedings.
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78. Section 21 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 21 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the interaction of the Insolvency Act 1986 with the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986.
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79. Section 22 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 22 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the interpretation of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986.
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80. Section 22A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 22A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the application of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 to building societies.
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81. Section 22B of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 22B of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the application of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 to incorporated friendly societies.
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82. Section 22C of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 22C of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the application of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 to NHS Foundation Trusts.
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83. Section 22D of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986

Section 22D of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 sets out general provisions relating to the application of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 to open-ended investment companies.
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84. Director disqualification reform

Recent reforms have come into place on director disqualification legislation. The original director disqualification legislation was contained in the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986 and this has now been enhanced and supplemented following the introduction of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
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85. Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act – changes to director disqualification legislation – Part 1

A new Act known as the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act came into force in October 2015. Whilst it was wide ranging in effect, some of the legislation related to changes in the director disqualification legislation. This webpage looks at section 110 of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and director disqualification compensation orders.
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86. Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act – changes to director disqualification legislation - Part 2

A new Act known as the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act came into force in October 2015. Whilst it was wide ranging in effect, some of the legislation related to changes in the director disqualification legislation. This webpage looks at the changes relating to convictions abroad as set out in section 104 of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
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... this culminated in a substantially reduced disqualification period whilst simultaneously FWJ conducted an application for leave to be granted to continue act as a director of our family business, despite the disqualification. We would strongly recommend FWJ to anyone in our situation

Company Directors

87. Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act – changes to director disqualification legislation - Part 3

A new Act known as the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act came into force in October 2015. Whilst it was wide ranging in effect, some of the legislation related to changes in the director disqualification legislation. This webpage looks at section 105 of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and liability for people instructing unfit directors.
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88. Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act – changes to director disqualification legislation - Part 4

A new Act known as the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act came into force in October 2015. Whilst it was wide ranging in effect, some of the legislation related to changes in the director disqualification legislation. This webpage looks at section 106 of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and new factors the court must take in to account in director disqualification proceedings.
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89. Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act – changes to director disqualification legislation - Part 5

A new Act known as the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act came into force in October 2015. Whilst it was wide ranging in effect, some of the legislation related to changes in the director disqualification legislation. This webpage looks at section 107 of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the changes to the reporting criteria of liquidators in terms of the former directors conduct.
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