By Tim Corfield.
– In 2015/16 there were 1,208 director disqualifications compared to 1,210 in 2014/15 – an increase of two!
– The average period of a director’s disqualification was 5.9 years for 2015/16 – an increase of just over 3 months from 2014/15.
– In Q1 of 2016, there were a total of 390 director disqualifications. This represented a 56% increase compared to Q1 in 2015 and the highest quarterly total since Q2 of 2010.
– An investigation into a director can be a lengthy process. The average time between insolvency and disqualification is around 2 years.
– There has been a gradual decrease in the number of directors per company investigated, from 1.5 directors per company in 2009/10 to 1.3 in 2015/16, therefore fewer disqualifications for a given number of investigations.
– For companies in compulsory liquidation (being wound up by the court) the Official Receiver will carry out enquiries into potential director’s misconduct and seek the authority of the Secretary of State to bring disqualification proceedings if appropriate.
– For any other insolvency process the appointed insolvency practitioner has a statutory duty to report misconduct issues to the Insolvency Service who would make further enquiries as to whether disqualification proceedings were appropriate.
– It is also possible for a director of a company that is actively trading to be investigated as part of an Insolvency Service investigation, which could result in disqualification if appropriate.
Make sure you don’t have a client that appears in these statistics! As soon as an insolvency situation appears possible please let us at Griffin and King help your client make the right decisions. For a director to be able to say that he sought advice off suitably qualified professionals as soon as he became aware of the company position is the start of a good defence should he later find himself the subject of an Insolvency Service enquiry.