Director Disqualification investigations can happen to anyone. Including Solicitors.
This is the story of how NDP’s Sukhbir Mall and Richard Shepherd persuaded the Insolvency Service to drop their investigation against a Solicitor client.
Our client takes up the story:
“I am a practicing Solicitor. My limited company business failed and fell into liquidation. The Insolvency Service (‘IS’) wrote to me, notifying me of their intention to commence an investigation into my conduct. I could not afford to be disqualified as a director. I was in a very dark place.
Having practised law for over 12 years, I was completely horrified to receive such a letter from the IS following the liquidation of the legal practice I had been a Partner in.
From the moment I received that letter, my life was on pause. I feared the worst. Losing my Practising Certificate, losing my legal business from which I earn a living and being humiliated amongst my fellow legal professionals were unimaginable but suddenly very real prospects.
The allegation of Unfit Conduct made against me by the IS was that ‘I caused my business to trade to the detriment of HM Revenue & Customs’. I did not believe that I had done that. What to do?”
What to do? I was referred to the director disqualification specialists at Neil Davies and Partners
“I was aware from discussions with Solicitor and Barrister colleagues that Neil Davies & Partners (‘NDP’) were the leading Solicitors for representing Directors who find themselves faced with Director Disqualification and related proceedings.
I contacted Sukhbir Mall, a partner/director of NDP and his colleague Richard Shepherd. These guys were truly brilliant. Their advice, support and strategy in dealing with the IS claims was invaluable. They never minced their words and they told it to me exactly as it was.
I worked closely with Sukhbir and Richard. They liaised effectively and sensibly with the IS. They eventually managed to persuade the IS that this ‘was not expedient in the public interest’ (the legal test) to commence Director Disqualification proceedings against me, on proper consider of all the particular facts of this case.”
The devil is in the detail
“I came to appreciate, as my Defence case was compiled by NDP, that enormous attention to detail went into interpreting and contextualising the documentary and statistical material relied on by the IS, to try and make good their case against me.
That involved (as I came to witness) a targeted and focused quasi-forensic interrogation of the conduct of the company and its history of paying its creditors, by NDP.
NDP made very detailed written representations to the IS as to why a continuing investigation into my conduct as Director was not required. Email exchanges then ensued between NDP and the IS.”
The outcome – the Insolvency Service drops their investigation
“After months of sleepless nights, I received a call from Sukhbir late one evening, telling me that the IS did not now propose to commence Director Disqualification proceedings against me, based on the written representations that NDP had made on my behalf. An unbearable weight was immediately lifted off my shoulders.”
NDP supported me all along the way
“I cannot recommend NDP any higher. Sukhbir and Richard were on my side right from the beginning and navigated me through a very difficult period in my life. I also appreciated the Partner led approach from Sukhbir. He was very approachable, knowledgeable, and always on the end of the telephone.”
Contact us if You are Threatened with Director Disqualification
Receiving a letter from the Insolvency Service outlining their intention to investigate a director, following liquidation, with a view to bringing director disqualification proceedings against them is a highly stressful situation for the recipient. Our experienced and award-winning team of director disqualification specialists has defended over 200 directors who have been threatened with disqualification. We have succeeded in reducing the length of the disqualification or removing the threat of it entirely in most cases.