HomeCase studiesSMEs, directors & shareholdersCommercial LitigationDefending a complex public interest winding up petition and director disqualification proceedings

Why the client needed our help

Our clients, two UK companies and one overseas company, had been presented with a public interest winding up petition issued by the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. They disputed the petition and wished to have their hearing adjourned and the threat of immediate winding up removed so that they could defend the allegations made against them.

How we helped

We were able to successfully seek an adjournment of the initial winding up hearing and indeed delay matters for approximately 18 months until the matter was determined at a five-day High Court hearing. This involved a detailed review of large amounts of documents and filing substantial witness statements on behalf of the directors of the companies, together with instructing specialist counsel to represent the companies at the trial.

The outcome

Although the court ultimately determined that the companies should be wound up in the public interest, we were able to delay matters for a significant period of time, allowing the client to put together a strong case for trial and defend the subsequent director disqualification proceedings. This also enabled the client to continue trading and not face the immediate threat of being wound up by the Secretary of State.

FWJ exceeded my expectations by not only avoiding an order for my disqualification as a director but also negotiating a complete withdrawal of the prosecution. This has been such a relief and weight off my mind after many years and I am very grateful to them. I strongly recommend instructing them at the very earliest opportunity. Timely advice, realistic expectations, prioritisation and logical legal presentation were key.

A company director we successfully defended against a director disqualification claim by the Registrar of Companies

Key contacts

Stephen Downie

Stephen Downie

Partner

Carly Moore-Martin

Carly Moore-Martin

Senior Associate

Maria Koureas-Jones

Maria Koureas-Jones

Partner

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