You can appeal a director disqualification order. If you entered into a director disqualification undertaking, you can also apply to have the length of the disqualification reduced.
Can you appeal a Director Disqualification?
If you have recently been made subject to a director disqualification order, you might be wondering what your options are. The consequences of director disqualification can have a major impact on your life, as you will be unable to participate in the formation, running or management of a limited company for the length of your ban.
So, where can you go from here? Can you appeal a director disqualification?
The answer is yes, you can appeal a director disqualification order. However, you will need strong grounds upon which to make an appeal.
Our solicitors can advise whether you have grounds to appeal a director disqualification. It could be that the punishment is unduly harsh, or the judge made an error.
Can you reduce the length of a Director Disqualification?
If you entered into a director disqualification undertaking, then you also have the option of applying to reduce your disqualification period. This route is not possible if you defended disqualification proceedings in court. It is only available to those who have been disqualified after voluntarily agreeing to an undertaking.
These applications are made under section 8A of the Company Director Disqualification Act 1986. This gives the court the power to ‘reduce the period for which the undertaking is to be in force, or provide for it to cease to be in force’.
Like an appeal, you need to have strong grounds upon which to make the application. The court may accept a request to reduce a period of director disqualification if:
- You did not really consent to the undertaking, perhaps because you were placed under duress or undue influence
- New information has come to light that impacts the original decision
- Errors were made
- The period of disqualification was unduly harsh or oppressive
Our solicitors can manage the application on your behalf. The first step is to draft written statements that detail why the original undertaking should be varied. There will be a court hearing, during which evidence is presented by both sides. The court will then make a decision as to whether the undertaking should be reduced.
Depending on the circumstances, a reduction could have the effect of ending your director disqualification. For example, if you have served five years of a seven year disqualification and the court reduce the period by two years, then you will have served the length of the ban.
What are the other options?
Appeals and applications to reduce the period of a director disqualification undertaking are subject to the court’s discretion. These applications may not succeed, or may only result in a slightly reduced penalty.
That is why you should always seek legal advice before embarking on the appeal process. If your application does not have strong grounds, or you only have a short amount of time left to serve, it may be preferrable to apply for leave to act instead.
What is leave to act?
Leave to act is when you ask the court for permission to act as a company director, or to perform duties that you are exempt from under the terms of the disqualification. You can request leave to act, regardless of whether you have been disqualified by way of a voluntary undertaking or a court order.
You can apply for leave to act during the disqualification proceedings themselves, or at a later date. Either way, it is necessary to make an application to the court, evidencing why your request should be granted. This is something our solicitors can help you with.
Get expert legal advice
If you have been disqualified as a director, or a disqualification seems imminent, then it might not be the end of the road. There are options open to you. The best approach depends on the circumstances of your case – and what you ultimately wish to achieve.
If you choose to enter into a voluntary undertaking, then you might apply for leave to act or ask for the length of the disqualification to be reduced.
If you are disqualified by the court, then an appeal might be better.
However, if there are no grounds upon which to make an appeal, then requesting permission to act as a director will be your only option.
But if your original disqualification period is more than eight years, then the court might be reluctant to give you leave to act. In these cases, entering into a voluntary undertaking and then requesting a reduction might be the more favourable route. If you succeed, you can apply for permission to be a director.
As you can see, managing a director disqualification requires a tactical mindset. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. You need to get expert legal advice that is tailored to your own personal situation.
The solicitors at Altion Law are leading experts in director disqualification proceedings. We represent directors across the country who are either at risk of disqualification, or who are already serving a ban. We can assess your case and advise how to get the best possible outcome.
Contact us now