Jonathan Fletcher-Wright, instructed by Primas Law, obtained a positive outcome for a former company director, in Re A Company (No CR-2023-MAN-001069) (Unreported, Manchester Business and Property Courts, 9 October 2023).

Jonathan’s client had been disqualified from acting as a director, in the aftermath of one of his companies becoming insolvent (company A). However, the client still owned and managed two other companies (companies B and C). As such, the disqualification risked causing significant harm to his two continuing, solvent businesses.

The client in this case had managed a difficult situation in a very responsible manner – he had stepped down from the board of companies B and C, arranged for a temporary director to take over, and applied to the court for leave to act under s. 17 Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

There were several factors which made it challenging to obtain leave in this case (in particular, the relatively recent disqualification, and the lack of any co-owners of companies B and C who would be adversely affected by refusing leave). However, Jonathan was able to persuade the court that, on balance, it was appropriate to make an order in favour of the director.

This is a case in which the director’s willingness to agree to appropriate safeguards with the Insolvency Service was key in reassuring the court. It shows the importance of continuing legal advice. The Insolvency Service in this case left it until quite late in the day to propose various conditions and safeguards – many of them reasonable, but some unduly onerous. The director had to react to these, and make a decision about which conditions to accept and which to fight, with the help of his solicitors and counsel.

Jonathan is experienced in directors disqualification proceedings, and is happy to accept instructions in company and shareholder disputes of all kinds.

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