HomeCase studiesSMEs, directors & shareholdersCommercial LitigationHelping a surveyor and property developer retain his right to hold a directorship

Why the client needed our help

Our client was a surveyor and property developer who had a number of companies but had failed to file accounts and annual returns at Companies House over the course of preceding years.

Our client was subject to a further prosecution for the continuing failure to bring such accounts/returns up to date and additionally faced a risk that the Magistrates could disqualify him from acting as a director of his companies, which would mean the failure of these companies and also presented financial risks for our client, as this would extinguish his livelihood.

Our client sought advice from us a month before the second hearing, the prosecution having already been concluded with a guilty verdict and adjourned for a further hearing for sentencing.

The sentence would comprise a fine and, more importantly, potentially an Order disqualifying our client from being a director and acting in the promotion, formation and management of a limited company for a period of up to 5 years.

How we helped

We reviewed all correspondence with the Registrar of Companies, reviewed the filings at Companies House and provided advice to our client on the necessary steps to be taken to mitigate the potential sentence that could be handed down.

Unfortunately, because the verdict had already been reached, we were unable to avoid a finding of guilty, but our client’s main priority was to avoid being disqualified from acting as a director or in acting in any management capacity for any company (or unregistered company) in the UK.


One of out team attended the Court hearing to make representations on our client’s position and the considerations the Court needed to deal with in reaching a verdict on whether our client should be disqualified.

The outcome

Whilst a fine was unavoidable, we were able to persuade the Court that it was not currently appropriate to disqualify our client.
This was the best result our client could obtain and he was very appreciative of the result we extracted from what was initially a very difficult situation brought to our attention at short notice.

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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