HomeCase studiesSMEs, directors & shareholdersCommercial litigationHelping a former director to successfully defend director disqualification proceedings and get all his costs back

Why the client needed our help

Our client was a former director of a group of companies which entered into administration following the recession in 2009. The group companies undertook various activities, including after the event insurance, claims management, litigation funding and provision of other financial services and products. The reason for the administration of the group of companies was following the enforcement by the bank in relation to a cross corporate guarantees.

How we helped

Director disqualification allegations were made against our client on a number of levels and director disqualification proceedings threatened against him for disqualification for a period of eight years. Director disqualification would have severely hampered his new business ventures.

It became clear from a detailed investigation into the background of the group companies that whilst our client was a named director of the business, the accountant retained by the client was deeply involved in the day to day running of the companies and our client relied on him extensively in respect of decisions, particularly relating to financial matters.

We therefore compiled very detailed correspondence to the Secretary of State setting out the reasons why we believe their claim was fundamentally misconceived and furthermore, stressing the importance of the role of the accountant in the running of the business which we considered made him effectively a de facto director.

The Secretary of State ignored this correspondence and issued proceedings.

The outcome

Shortly after the issuing of director disqualification proceedings, the Secretary of State then discontinued and dropped the claim following further representations and evidence supplied by us.

The Secretary of State also paid the vast majority of our client’s legal costs and our client was not disqualified. This enabled him to continue with his business opportunities which he had managed to develop successfully following the difficult period after the administration of his group of companies.

I would strongly recommend using FWJ for director disqualification matters. Tactically and commercially they 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 director we defended against a disqualification claim

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Stephen Downie

Stephen Downie


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