HomeFWJ TakeawayDirector disqualification claimsHow to stay a director despite disqualificationHow to stay a director despite disqualification [2024 guide]

Welcome to our free industry leading guide on how to remain a director despite a disqualification order. We have 100% success rate in these applications since 2002 and also hold the record for the most companies granted permission in a single application - seventeen. We are the genuine legal experts. Call us for your free consultation today.

Francis Wilks & Jones solicitors have been defending directors from disqualification since 2002. Not only that, we have enabled many directors to continue with their careers by obtaining court permission to remain acting as a director despite being disqualified. Speak to one of our team for a free consultation today:

  • 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 particular 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 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. 
  • 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 and getting permission for them to remain acting as directors.
  • Lefteris Kallou is an associate at FWJ and has successfully defended many disqualification claims and is experienced in section 17 permission applications

In addition to the above experts, we have a dedicated team of other solicitors at FWJ with experience in director based claims. This means that we can always put together the right team for you – and maximise the chances of getting the permission from the court you need.

Absolutely excellent advice, service, professionalism and most importantly RESULTS! A sensitive case regarding disqualification was bought by the Secretary of State. After failed attempts with previous solicitor, Douglas literally saved the day and was able to secure a win for us. Highly recommended

A client facing a director disqualification

Director disqualification overview

What is Director Disqualification?
Industry Statistics on Director Disqualifications
Trends and Insights

Impacts of a director ban

What is the impact of a director disqualification ban
Managing Public Perception

Section 17 of the CDDA 1986

What is Section 17?
The Section 17 Application process explained
Why the length of the disqualification ban is so Important
Importance of the disqualification period
Criteria for granting permission
Undertakings and court conditions for permission
Compliance with Conditions

Making a Section 17 Application

Why seek the court permission?
When to make an application
The Importance of proper planning
How FWJ can help you

Case Studies over the last 20 years

Real-life Examples of Successful Applications
Lessons Learned from Past Cases
How Francis Wilks & Jones Can Help
Proven Success and Record-Breaking Case
Client Testimonials

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Mistakes to avoid during the section 17 application process
Best practices for section 17 applications

FAQs on section 17 applications

Am I ever allowed to be a director whilst disqualified?
Where will an application for permission to act as a director be heard?
Can my director disqualification application for permission be heard in a different court if I want?
Will I have to give oral evidence at court as part of my application for permission to remain a director?
What happens if I simply carry on as a director without permission?
What constitutes acting in breach of a director disqualification order?
What happens if someone else acts on my behalf?
What happens if I didn’t realise I was taking part in the management of a company?
Can my director disqualification be limited to certain areas or tasks?
Do I need a separate application for director disqualification permission, or can I do it as part of my trial in the main director disqualification proceedings?
What can I do if I am not sure if my current job means I am acting in contravention of a director disqualification order?
How long after being disqualified must I make a director disqualification application for permission to remain a director of an existing company?
What can I do if I can’t get my application heard within 21 days?
What happens if my director disqualification permission application is refused?
What does the court consider when granting director disqualification permission applications?
Does it matter if I have been involved in a number of insolvent companies?
Will the court impose any conditions on me when granting director disqualification permission?
What happens if I breach a condition of my director disqualification order?
What happens if I think I am going to breach a condition of my director disqualification permission?
What happens if the breach of a director disqualification condition is not foreseeable?
Can I remain a sole director of my business when seeking permission?
Can the conditions in my order for permission be varied at a later date?
Can the court grant permission for a limited period only?
Is there a requirement to demonstrate a “need” to be a director in the business when seeking permission?
Does it matter how long I have been disqualified for previously?
At what period of disqualification does seeking permission become impossible?
What if my conduct running other companies before my director disqualification was fine?
In how much detail will the court examine the company of which I want permission to be a director of?
Is my disqualification public knowledge?
Can the court order me to pay money back to the creditors of the company as a condition of granting me director disqualification permission?
Will the court consider a person’s general character and reputation when deciding whether to grant permission?
Is my age or state of health relevant at all when applying for permission?
Will it matter if I have “admitted” my guilt by way of an undertaking?
Is it relevant that I would be disadvantaged having to trade as a sole trader or in a partnership?
What if my suppliers will only trade with a limited company?
What if the banks will only lend to a company?

How Francis Wilks & Jones can help

Experts over the last 20 years

Francis Wilks & Jones has extensive experience in handling director disqualification cases and Section 17 applications. Our expertise ensures that your application is robust, well-supported by evidence, and strategically presented to the court. We offer:

  • Expert legal advice. Our solicitors provide comprehensive guidance on the disqualification process and the requirements for a successful Section 17 application.
  • Tailored strategy. We develop strategies specifically suited to your circumstances, enhancing your chances of a favourable outcome.
  • Detailed evidence preparation. We help gather and prepare the necessary documentation and witness statements to support your application.
  • Pre-Hearing negotiations. Our team engages in negotiations with the Secretary of State to agree on reasonable conditions, streamlining the court process.
  • Court representation. We ensure only experienced barristers in this subject matter represent you in court.
  • 100% success rate. With a 100% success record in Section 17 applications dating back to 2002 and holding the record for the most companies successfully applied for in a single application, Francis Wilks & Jones is your trusted partner in navigating director disqualification cases.
  • Good to work with. Simply put – our team are down to earth people and we are sure you will enjoy working with them!

Contact us today to discuss your situation and learn how our expert legal team can help you remain or become a director despite disqualification. Our friendly, expert lawyers are always ready to assist and offer a free initial consultation to understand your needs and provide the best possible advice.

Key contacts

Douglas McEvoy

Douglas McEvoy


Stephen Downie

Stephen Downie


Anamitra Mukhopadhyay

Anamitra Mukhopadhyay


View full team

Case studies

View all case studies

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