Disqualification undertakings are a way of avoiding lengthy proceedings and reducing potential legal expenditure fighting a claim. However, they need to be thought through very carefully as they are not without risk - especially with the advent of Compensation order claims against directors personally. We have successfully advised directors since 2002. Let us help you too.
Francis Wilks & Jones acted with great professionalism, responding quickly to my requirements, leading to an eventual withdrawal of the claim against me and my son. I am extremely gratefulA client who approached us just two weeks before the trial of a large director disqualification claim against him and his son
We are specialists at dealing with voluntary undertakings for directors in disqualification proceedings.
- a disqualification undertaking is an agreement between an individual and the Secretary of State agreeing the grounds of unfitness and a period for which a person will be disqualified;
- it is vitally important that you obtain proper advice prior to agreeing a voluntary undertaking;
- understandably, individuals offered the “quick resolution” of a voluntary undertaking often just want to put the past behind them. However a hastily agreed undertaking can have huge effects on a former director moving forward.
Avoid unintended consequences of acting too quickly
Whilst it may be attractive to enter into a disqualification undertaking to avoid the potential legal costs for which you may be liable in contested disqualification proceedings, this can be a mistake. Aside from the consequences of not properly examining the wording of the disqualification undertaking, it can:
- seriously affect your long term future career options;
- lead to a claim by the official receiver / liquidation for proceedings against the director for
- a breach of his/her fiduciary duties under the Companies Act 2006;
- wrongful trading under the Insolvency Act 1986; and
- other statutory claims.
- ultimately, the director’s decision to avoid the legal costs involved in negotiating a disqualification undertaking may ultimately lead to a more costly claim from the official receiver.
- open a director up to a claim under the new compensation order scheme which came in to force in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. This exposes former directors to personal claims for losses sustained by all creditors in the liquidation.
How our team can help
At Francis Wilks & Jones we can advise you on
- the disqualification undertaking process;
- the steps to take to mitigate your liability whilst still avoiding the disqualification proceedings; and
- how to balance all of the above risk.
Our specialist director disqualification team is here to help you. Whatever your director disqualification enquiry, our team can help. We have the leading team of lawyers in the county – with a combined expertise of decades. Contact us today. Don’t settle for second best – we can help.
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