In an ex tempore judgment delivered on 25 February 2020 in the High Court in Manchester, HHJ Halliwell granted leave, subject to compliance with conditions, to three directors to continue to act as directors of a shop-fitting business based in the North-West notwithstanding each having given disqualification undertakings prohibiting them from acting as directors for a period of six years following the insolvent liquidation of a previous trading company with a deficit to creditors in seven figures. The application was unusual in that it was positively opposed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The judgment examines in detail the test for permission to act (which was met) and relevant factors, including deterrence and the meaning of public protection in the context of disqualification and permission to act cases, as considered in the authorities.
The successful applicants were represented by Louis Doyle who will receive his Letters of Patent as a newly-appointed Queen’s Counsel at the swearing-in ceremony for new silks at Westminster Hall in London on 16 March 2020.
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