Our solicitors can help you defend a director disqualification. The first step is to raise a defensive challenge to the Section 16 letter, outlining why you should not be disqualified. If this response is not sufficient to dismiss the claim, then a Director Disqualification can be defended in court.
If you are facing director disqualification proceedings and need expert legal advice, call us today on 01908 414990, email us at email@example.com or complete our free enquiry form and we will call you back.
What are your options?
If you have been sent a Section 16 letter threatening Director Disqualification, you have two options:
- Accept wrongdoing and enter into a voluntary Director Disqualification undertaking
- Defend the allegations
Defending the allegations: responding to the Section 16 letter
If you choose to defend the allegations, then the initial step is to provide a detailed response to the Section 16 letter. This should set out why you acted in the way you did, why are not guilty of director misconduct, and evidence supporting both of these facts.
Raising a defensive challenge requires careful consideration. Unfortunately, Section 16 letters typically demand a response within a very short time frame, often within 10 days. If so, it may be necessary to negotiate an extension.
In some cases, the response is sufficient to successfully dispute the Director Disqualification. If so, the claim will be dropped and no further action to disqualify you will be taken. This will be the end of the matter, which will no doubt be a huge relief.
Defending the allegations: defending yourself in court
If the Secretary of State pursues the director disqualification, your next opportunity to defend the allegations is in court. Each side has the chance to present their evidence and call witnesses. You can ask a solicitor or barrister to represent you.
The aim is to persuade the judge that you are not guilty of director misconduct. It is vitally important to present evidence that supports your position. You can also call into question the veracity of the Secretary of State’s evidence, thereby undermining the case against you.
The preparation of your defence is key to success. This is not like a criminal charge where there are complete defences you can call upon. Rather, it is necessary to show that you did not engage in unfit conduct as a director, making a disqualification disproportional and unjust.
How can our Director Disqualification solicitors help?
The best way to defend a Director Disqualification claim depends on the facts of the case. Our solicitors are highly experienced at defending director disqualification claims. We can assess your situation and advise how to raise a successful defence.
Our first step is to work alongside you to gather evidence in support of your case. Using this information, we will draft a thorough response to the Section 16 letter, detailing why your conduct cannot be deemed ‘unfit’. Sometimes, a director’s behaviour is misconstrued as inappropriate. We can explain your actions, clearing up any misunderstandings.
Often, a well-executed response to a Section 16 letter will see that the proceedings are withdrawn. This is the best possible result, as the case is dismissed before it reaches court. This saves you the worry and expense of further legal action.
However, if director disqualification proceedings do continue to a court hearing, we will set about preparing your defence. This involves meticulously combing through the evidence to prove that you complied with your director duties.
What are the alternatives?
We only advise that you defend a director disqualification if you have a realistic prospect of success. Otherwise, it may be preferable to accept wrongdoing and enter into a voluntary Director Disqualification Undertaking.
The Section 16 letter likely specifies the length of the disqualification being sought. It is possible to negotiate this number down. Accepting a voluntary undertaking may also result in a modest reduction in the penalty.
We can negotiate on your behalf. This includes negotiations regarding the length of the disqualification and any other conditions, such as the payment of a compensation order. We can then get permission from the court to enable you to continue work as a director.
Sometimes, accepting a director disqualification undertaking and then applying for leave to act is the best option. But not always. If you can defend the disqualification proceedings, then your reputation and your liberty will remain intact.
Director Disqualification proceedings lawyer
If the Insolvency Service or other UK authority is currently taking action against you as a director, we can help. We offer expert legal support to directors facing disqualification. We can advise you on how to get the best possible outcome.
We recommend that you contact us as soon as you receive a Section 16 letter. There are often very tight deadlines at play. We will work to resolve the issue as quickly and as efficiently as possible.