HomeCase studiesSMEs, directors & shareholdersCommercial litigationHelping a disqualified director gain permission to remain in place as a director of another company

Why the client needed our help

Our clients were a husband and wife who ran a logistics company which faced financial difficulties and subsequently entered into insolvency proceedings. Subsequently director disqualification proceedings were brought against them both.

Although they had a comprehensive defence to the disqualification proceedings, the economics of facing lengthy set of legal proceedings put off our clients and they eventually offered to be disqualified by way of a director disqualification undertaking, which is a voluntary mechanism and acts to limit or avoid legal costs that would otherwise have been payable by them.

The disqualification undertaking commenced 21 days from the date it was accepted by the Secretary of State.

However, the husband had an ongoing company which he had set up after the previous failure, and which was doing very well. Accordingly, he required court permission to continue acting as a director of this company, despite the disqualification undertaking.

How we helped

We drafted all necessary witness statements, reviewed all relevant documents and prepared our client’s application which was heard at Court on an emergency basis and before the director disqualification undertaking came into effect.

The work comprised of collating all relevant documents on the new company, assessing accounts, assessing tax matters, and dealing with necessary enquiries to comfort the Court that the previously alleged misconduct could not be repeated. We also drafted the application, our client’s affidavit evidence, issued the proceedings at Court, served them, engaged and briefed a barrister and dealt with the subsequent comprehensive exchanges with the solicitors acting for the Secretary of State.

Of particular concern to the Secretary of State was the current position as regards tax repayments and a time-to-pay agreement in place between the new company and HMRC (which did not form any part of the misconduct in the previous company). On this basis the secretary of State objected to our client’s application at the hearing.

The outcome

Permission to remain a director despite disqualification was obtained for the client – who was delighted and whose livelihood was rescued as a result. Whilst certain conditions were attached to the Order permitting our client to continue acting as a director, in summary our client had been successful and had achieved his objectives.


“We are extremely happy with the service provided to us by FWJ (Stephen Downie).

They assisted and lead us through a very lengthy and involved process involving a director disqualification and obtaining leave to be a director. 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”

A company director facing disqualification and loss of his livlihood

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