HomeCase studiesSMEs, directors & shareholdersCommercial litigationHelping a director continue with his current business interests despite three successive company liquidations in 18 months

Why the client needed our help

Our client was a director of three separate food chains, all three went into liquidation within 18 months of each other and all three owed more than £1million to HMRC. Director disqualification proceedings were issued by the Secretary of State and it was critical to our client that he was not disqualified as he had numerous other business interests.

How we helped

We reviewed the documentation supplied by the client and undertook an intensive review of the individual companies and in particular, the differences between the trading operations of each company. The Secretary of State had sought to rely upon the last company to enter liquidation and use it as a “lead” company in order to bring in to play the conduct of our client in the previous two companies – both of which had gone into liquidation after the expiry of the 2 limitations normally available to the Secretary of State in these claims.

Director disqualification proceedings were issued against our client and extensive witness statement evidence was produced on our client’s behalf to show that each particular company was set up in an entirely different manner, with an entirely distinct business plan and trading approach, and that each company was not simply a continuation of the previous failed company. This required not only evidence from our client but also from accountants those acting in the restaurants and also 3rd party suppliers.

The outcome

The result was that The Secretary of State dropped the disqualification proceedings and paid the entirety of our client’s legal costs involved in defending the claim.

Our client subsequently went on to successfully sell his subsequent company for over $200 million and has since set up extremely successful property and retail business in this country.

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 and, through their hard work, had the proceedings against me dropped and a significant proportion of my legal fees repaid. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.

A director we defended against a disqualification claim and other claims brought by a liquidator

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Stephen Downie

Stephen Downie


Maria Koureas-Jones

Maria Koureas-Jones


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