How our Director Disqualification specialists persuaded the Insolvency Service to withdraw their threat of an investigation – The Client’s Story

Meticulously checking the detail of the evidence the Insolvency Service (‘IS’) intends to use in director disqualification cases, and then challenging it, is central to any such case, as this testimonial from an accountant client shows.

“The worst thing that could possibly have happened to me in my professional life, actually happened. Being a Chartered Accountant and having so practised for 25 years, my world fell apart when I was contacted by the Insolvency Service (‘IS’) who informed me that they intended to commence an investigation into my directorial conduct, following the voluntary liquidation of a Care company of which I was a Director.  

The threat of my being disqualified as a Director hung over me.  The business of the failed company had been to support damaged children. That is what we did. We did not run the company to make a profit. My family and I run it to make a difference. We were devastated when the company failed.”

The Allegation of Unfit Conduct’ made against our client

“I was acutely aware of the need to fully co-operate with the IS. I knew I needed specialist, professional advice and guidance.  It was alleged by the IS that I had made preference payments to family members and a company creditor in the run up to liquidation. That was alleged by the IS to be a legitimate basis to pursue my disqualification.

I contacted Sukhbir Mall, a Director at NDP, at the beginning of 2019 when the investigation was commenced, on the recommendation of a Solicitor friend. My Solicitor friend explained to me that a specialist Solicitor needed to be involved on my behalf. Sukhbir proved to be precisely that.

The disqualification investigation rumbled on and then turned into a threat to issue Director Disqualification proceedings against me.”

The threat of issuing Director Disqualification Proceedings is highly stressful

“This development crushed me emotionally.  It was a very distressing and turbulent period of my life. This whole episode took me away from my work and my family. I suffered panic attacks and sleepless nights. The idea that I might lose my professional status was unthinkable.

Sukhbir and his assistant, Douglas, went through this 20-month journey with me.  They held my hand all the way through and continually assured me that this case was not a case that should be pursued.  Each time the IS rejected our further written submissions, Sukhbir went back to the IS with further explanation and context, putting a new and improved context on the matters complained about.

NDP had faith in my position, even when I doubted myself and the process itself.

Sukhbir and Douglas worked with meticulous detail to consider all the circumstances of the case and piece together the strands of factual and documentary evidence that was required to persuade the IS to discontinue their investigation.” 

Third party evidence

“Witness Statements in support of my position were obtained by Sukhbir from key witnesses.   They were submitted to the IS in support of my position in a letter of representations from NDP, which letter set out why I had not engaged in Unfit Conduct, on the particular facts of this case.”

Documents

“NDP explained to me the vital importance of supporting my position with documents where possible.”

Draft evidence from the IS

“The IS sent NDP the draft evidence against me, which the IS intended to rely on in seeking my disqualification. Sukhbir managed to persuade them with key evidence that the case should not proceed and that it was not in the Public Interest to do so

Once the threat of disqualification was withdrawn, I could actually breathe again, sleep again and once again enjoy time with my family and concentrate on my work and family.

I will be forever grateful to Sukhbir and to NDP for their advice, support, help and guidance.   I would highly recommend Sukhbir who believed in me and guided me throughout.”

ML (Birmingham)

NDP’s take on this matter

  1. It is always vitally important that all the circumstances of the case and the draft evidence relied upon by the IS are looked at in meticulous detail.
  2. The IS are strangers to what went on in the company. Only the Director knows the full and true story.   Communicating that full story to the IS in a letter of representations and /or in meeting is vitally important.
  3. The IS do act fairly and impartially. They will and do abandon Director Disqualification investigations and proceedings when they are provided with the evidence and explanations to persuade them to do so.  They key is to get the representations to them in the manner required, to achieve the objectives of the client.

If you are threatened with director disqualification by the Insolvency Service, please contact us or call us on 0121 200 7040 for a FREE initial chat. The sooner you get in touch the more we can do to help.