More rogue directors held to account

25 Jun 2014 | 09:58 am | 1 min. read

•Director disqualifications on the rise following insolvency service crack down Data obtained from the UK Insolvency Service by international law firm Pinsent Masons show that the number of director disqualifications in England, Wales and Scotland have increased by 25% in the past year. 1208 directors were disqualified in 2013-14 compared to 969 in 2012-13.

This follows a three year decline in disqualifications.

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information act, show that the number of company directors being investigated and disqualified has increased 25% over the past year.

Last year also saw a 19% increase in the number of director disqualification proceedings issued by the Insolvency Service in England and Wales and Scotland .

The findings come as business secretary, Vince Cable, continues to call for tougher laws to crack down on 'dodgy directors'.

Disqualification proceedings are most commonly brought where a company has become insolvent and there is evidence that the directors’ conduct makes them unfit to be concerned in the management of a company.  Misconduct can range from serious incompetence to recklessness and fraud.

Steve Cottee a partner in Pinsent Masons’ Restructuring team, says:

"It is interesting to see such a significant rise in the number of director disqualifications and orders from last year. It may be a sign that the insolvency Service are taking a more robust approach to rogue directors. In any event it is certainly a warning for directors to act in accordance with their fiduciary  duties and behave responsibly to creditors."

Disqualified Directors can face bans of up to 15 years depending on the nature and severity of the offence. Disqualifications bar individuals from being a director of a company; acting as receiver of a company's property; or being concerned in or taking part in the promotion, formation or management of a company. 

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