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Leading the way on director disqualification claims since 2002, our team is the No. 1 provider of legal advice in the UK. Whether it is early advice, responding to Insolvency letters, formal defence, bounce back loans, negotiating undertakings, defending compensation orders or applying to court to remain a director - we have seen it all. Speak to our team today. Don't settle for second best.

Director disqualification proceedings

Our director disqualification team is headed up by partner Stephen Downie.

Stephen is an experience lawyer and qualified accountant. He can also draw in his experience working at the Insolvency Service. He is backed by the country’s most experienced team of disqualification lawyer.

His team has helped advise and defend 100s of directors on disqualification related matters. Please review the many case studies of our successes over the years – there is no situation we haven’t come across before.

One of the most astute appointments I have ever made

A company director we successfully defended against disqualification

We can help you with the following

Dealing with early enquiries by the Insolvency Service

Early enquiries from the Insolvency Service often start with an innocent looking letter or questionnaire from the Insolvency Service asking about the company which went in to liquidation. It is vital to fill these questionnaires out correctly.

Often, directors (with the best of intentions) respond without realising that their answers can then be used against them in legal proceedings. We can help you avoid mistakes and avoid potential lengthy legal proceedings.

Bounce Back Loan disqualification

Bounce Back Loan disqualification claims are on the rise at the moment. The government has ordered that the Insolvency Service try and recover bounce back loans and also disqualify former directors. Our brilliant team is already advising numerous directors threatened with bounce back loan disqualification.

We can help deal with early enquires from the Insolvency Service, completing questionnaires, defending disqualification claims and defending any claims to repay the bounce back loan – either form the liquidator or the Secretary of State.

Section 16 letters

A section 16 letter must not be ignored. It is the first formal contact you will receive from the Secretary of State indicating formal investigation by the Insolvency Service. Early advice can be critical in dealing with these methods properly. Even though the letter states that formal proceedings are likely, it is still possible to get the threat dropped. Or alternatively deal with the matter by way of a voluntary disqualification undertaking.

Disqualification undertakings

Disqualification undertakings are a straightforward way of accepting a formal period of disqualification without going to a court trial.

However, legal advice is vital to avoid common mistakes and potentially leave yourself open for a compensation order – meaning a claim against you personally to pay significant money back to the insolvent company.

We can help reduce the period of disqualification as well – meaning you can apply later on to remain a director of a company despite formal disqualification. We have a 100% success rate in these applications dating back to 2002.

Compensation orders

Compensation orders were introduced as part of important changes in 2015 to the disqualification legislation. It means that directors may find themselves personally liable for paying compensation back to a company if they are disqualified.

It is vital to try and take advice before giving director disqualification undertakings to avoid potential personal liability later on in the form of a compensation order. These claims can be defended or negotiated by our expert legal team.

Disqualification in the Magistrates Court

Magistrates Court Disqualification can happen where a company fails to file accounts and other statutory information. These cases are usually heard in Cardiff Magistrates Court.

We can provide expert assistance in defending such cases and the partner heading the disqualification team is based in Cardiff – meaning attendance is very straightforward.  

Common allegations of misconduct leading to director disqualification

Director Misconduct must be proved for there to be a disqualification order.

We have 20 years’ experience dealing with the different types of allegations of misconduct which lead to disqualification. And how best to defend each case. If you have been approached by the Insolvency Service or Secretary of State, our team can quickly advise on whether the allegations made are likely to succeed or can be defended.

Obtaining court permission to remain as a director despite a disqualification order

Did you know it is possible to remain acting as a director despite disqualification?

These applications are commonly known as “Section 17 applications” and our firm boasts a 100% record going back to 2002 in obtaining court permission for directors to remain acting as a director despite a formal disqualification order or undertaking.

No other firm comes near in terms of our expertise on these applications. Our team can quickly advise you on the prospects of success and what you need to do to keep acting as a director

Public interest winding up petitions and disqualification

Disqualification can follow on from a public interest winding up petition. These are winding up petitions commenced by the Secretary of State on the grounds of trying to protect the public from a type of wrongdoing. They are by their nature very serious applications.

Not only can we help defend the winding up petition proceedings but also any disqualification proceedings and claims by insolvency practitioners which inevitably follow if the company is in fact wound up in the public interest.

Consequences of director disqualification

There are serious personal consequences of disqualification for any individual banned from being a director. These include:

Our director services team are experts in advising on all the ramifications of a disqualification order and how best to protect a director from the worst consequences. Good planning coupled with our expert legal advice can often head off many of these threatened claims.

Director disqualification solicitors

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

Maria Koureas-Jones

Maria Koureas-Jones


Carly Moore-Martin

Carly Moore-Martin

Senior Associate

Stephen Downie

Stephen Downie


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Case studies

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