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Welcome to our specialist director disqualification team. We have been leading the way on disqualification defence since 2002. We provide cost effective and expert advice our clients need. Speak to our team today for a free initial consultation. Don't settle for second best.

Director disqualification solicitors

Our team of experts have been defending directors from disqualification since 2002. We are the leading UK legal experts in director disqualification law. We also offer access to accounting and tax expertise to maximise your chances of success.

  • Stephen Downie is a partner and heads up our director disqualification team. Stephen is dual qualified as both a solicitor (with higher rights) and is a qualified accountant with expertise in complex accounting and tax matters. What differentiates Francis Wilks & Jones from other solicitors is that Stephen was previously an Insolvency Examiner within the Insolvency Service, an accountant working within Insolvency Practitioner firms investigating directors’ conduct and – following qualification as a solicitor in 2006 – Stephen spent 5 years as solicitor for the Secretary of State and Official Receivers, managing director disqualification claims.  For the last 10-15 years since joining Francis Wilks & Jones, Stephen has advised and assisted Directors in defending director disqualification claims and getting them permission to continue acting as a director despite disqualification. 
  • Andy Lynch is an expert on any HMRC issues and is able to assist on any complex tax related matters. Before joining FWJ, Andy spent 18 years at HMRC in the special investigations team. He regularly defends directors on a variety of claims.
  • Doug McEvoy is an associate at FWJ with a wide range of disqualification expertise, most recently defending many directors from Bounce Back Loan and tax allegations.

Stephen was always available to provide sound advice and steadying guidance when I might have caved in under the pressure

A company director we successfully defended against disqualification

Excellent results

We are proud to share our director disqualification case studies with you – and share the testimonials we receive from happy clients. Read more in our case studies section to see how we have helped numerous other directors.  Or what our clients say about us and the testimonials they are happy to provide.

Dealing with early enquiries by the Insolvency Service

Getting your first response to the Insolvency Service correct is vital. It can make the difference between the claim going away entirely or facing disqualification. Early enquiries often start with an innocent looking letter or questionnaire. It is vital to get legal help to complete these properly. Avoid inadvertently making your position worse and increasing the chances of disqualification.

Section 16 letters

A section 16 letter is the first formal contact you will receive indicating a formal investigation by the Insolvency Service. Do not ignore this letter. It is still possible to get the claim dropped – but only with skilled legal advice. Or alternatively, we can help advise on different ways to remove the claim – for example by a voluntary disqualification undertaking.

Bounce Back Loan disqualification

Bounce Back Loan disqualification claims have seen a dramatic rise. But there are many ways to defend them – and we do this successfully for our clients. Let us help you respond – and remove the threat of any associated liquidator claims for repayment of the Bounce Back Loan, CBIL or any other type of Covid business loan.

Disqualification undertakings

A Disqualification undertaking is a straightforward way of avoid a formal disqualification claim being issued at court. However – expertlegal advice is vital to make sure the period of time offered is appropriate, negotiate a reduction in any period, water down the allegations of unfitness, and also ensure you are not held open to a Compensation Order claim later on where you have to pay significant sums back to the Secretary of State.

Compensation orders

Compensation orders were introduced as part of important changes in 2015 to the disqualification legislation. It means that directors can find themselves personally liable for paying compensation back to a company if they are disqualified. Our team can help remove this danger – and avoid paying tens of thousands back, sometimes more.

Disqualification in the Magistrates Court

This happens when the company fails to file Company accounts or other information. If this happens, then a claim will be issued out of the Magistrates Court in Cardiff.  We can defend these and arrange representation. Partner Stephen Downie is based in Cardiff – and can go to court at short notice.

Common types of director misconduct

There are many different types of misconduct the Insolvency Service will use to try and get a director ban. However, not all misconduct will lead to the necessary “finding of unfitness”. We can help review the allegations against you and advise on the strength of the claim against you.

How to remain as a director despite a disqualification ban

Did you know that you can apply to court to remain a director despite being subject to a ban. Our firm has 100%record in these applications stretching back to 2002. We help many directors keep in business with court approval. We can help you too.

Public interest winding up petition and disqualification

Sometimes companies are wound up in the “public interest” – and a director disqualification claim nearly always follows. Our expert team not only defend public interest petitions, but also disqualification claims which might follow. It is sensible to defend these cases as they can also be linked to liquidator claims as well.

Consequences of director disqualification

It is important to properly understand the consequences of disqualification – especially if you are considering accepting a voluntary undertaking to be disqualified.  We can advise you on the downsides of disqualification and how you might be able to mitigate these if a disqualification is looking inevitable.

Our director disqualification defence fees

Having carried out this work for 20+ years, we know clarity on legal fees is critical for our clients. Contact us today and we can discuss our fixed fee and hourly rate pricing with you.

Why choose Francis Wilks & Jones?

Simply put – we are the leading law firm in the country specialising in director disqualification claims. We have 20+ years under our belts and man decades of combined experience.  The team is headed by Partner and accountant Stephen Downie – who also spent time working for the Insolvency Service. Our team has strength in depth – meaning we can field the team you need to get the results you want.

And more than this, we are friendly and fun to work with.  We understand that legal proceedings are never nice – no one chooses to instruct a law firm.  But if you do – then you want to work with people you can relate to and who understand your issues. We are that firm.

Need to speak with a director disqualification solicitor about your situation?

At Francis Wilks & Jones, we have considerable experience in dealing with all aspects of director disqualification, from the initial correspondence to the trial of a disqualification claim and everything in between. Should you require any assistance, please contact our director services team who can discuss such matters with you.

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

Key contacts

Anamitra Mukhopadhyay

Anamitra Mukhopadhyay


Douglas McEvoy

Douglas McEvoy


Stephen Downie

Stephen Downie


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Case studies

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