HomeFWJ TakeawayResourcesWhat is the most common reason for director disqualification?

There are many grounds which give rise to disqualification as a director - but the most common by far relate to non payment of taxes to HMRC by the company. But non payment does lead to automatic disqualification - and our team has an excellent success rate in defending these types of claims. Let us help you.

I was delighted by the work done by the team at FWJ and cannot recommend them highly enough. Their legal and tactical knowledge was spot on. I can now continue to grow my business free from the worry of my original disqualification

A director we defended against a disqualification claim

The most common reason for director disqualification relates to non-payment of taxes – or Crown debts as they are often referred.

This means a failure by the company during its trading life to pay its taxes to HMRC such as

  • VAT;
  • PAYE;
  • NIC; and
  • corporation tax.

More specifically the way that these director disqualification proceedings are worded is on the basis that the company “traded to the detriment” of HMRC and preferred other creditors of the company to the HMRC.

The claims are pursuant to section 6 of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986.

It is often alleged that other parties (i.e. trade creditors and suppliers) were paid in priority or preference to the HMRC during a set period of the company’s trading (normally in the lead up to liquidation). This is very common in many instances where companies enter into liquidation because the directors often pay trade suppliers rather than the HMRC – who are effectively an involuntary creditor of the company. Trading to the detriment of HMRC is a director disqualification offence which can in turn lead to a finding of unfitness.

However, there are various defences which can be raised in respect of allegations of trading to the detriment of HMRC and at Francis Wilks & Jones we have an expert team of director disqualification legal advisers able to assist in this often complex financial area. Indeed, the team also boasts Stephen Downie, a partner at Francis Wilks & Jones who is an also an accountant and an expert in this field.


Francis Wilks & Jones is the county’s leading firm of director disqualification solicitors. We are experts in what we do with a combined 75 years’ experience in director disqualification claims. Contact one of our friendly director disqualification solicitors now for your confidential consultation.

If there was ever a star rating for law firms, Francis Wilks & Jones would score five stars plus. Professional and pro-active, they were able to understand my problem quickly, provide expert advice, outline a solution and put it into place with a successful outcome. I should have gone to them sooner

A client we successfully defended in director disqualification and insolvency related proceedings

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