Directors Disqualifications Defences

Protecting your directorial integrity is our priority

The privilege of trading with limited liability is something that may be removed from an individual if they are disqualified as a director of a limited company. The reasons why a director may be disqualified can vary from negligence, unfit conduct, criminal behaviour and repeat offences.

What is director's disqualification?

Director disqualification proceedings are often referred to as 'quasi-criminal' as they have a penal element to them. They are classed as civil proceedings, but they are a hybrid.  


There are various ways a director can be disqualified from acting as a director of a limited liability company. This means, you cannot be a director of a company for a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 15 years. The most common of these is to be disqualified for 'unfit conduct' as a director of an insolvent company under Section 6 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (CDDA 1986). The disqualification regime also applies to partnerships, shadow and de facto directors are also subject to provisions under the CDDA 1986. 


We understand the stress that director disqualification proceedings can have on an individual. Such proceedings require a robust strategy and bespoke advice to provide you with the comfort and certainty you need to ensure that you are in good hands. 


Our specialist team has expertise in CDDA applications and extensive experience with negotiating conditions with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) when defending directors disqualifications proceedings and in circumstances where an individual has been disqualified, we are specialists in seeking permission from the court for an individual to act as a director. The scope of our experience includes seeking permission to act as a director even after the director in question has been disqualified in some circumstances, more than once.


Time is of the essence with director disqualification proceedings as the Secretary of State will issue a press release once a disqualification order is made. It is therefore in your best interest to seek our advice at the outset so that a compelling and successful defence can be put forward on your behalf.

Why should you seek specialist director disqualification solicitors?

When facing disqualification proceedings, it is crucial to consult experienced specialist solicitors. At KaurMaxwell, our team can provide invaluable legal advice and guide you through the complex disqualification process, helping you avoid severe penalties.

What triggers director disqualification proceedings?

Director disqualification proceedings can be initiated for various reasons, including:

  • Fraudulent activities
  • Dishonesty
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Insolvency proceedings
  • Mismanagement of company funds

How can our solicitors help in director disqualification cases?

Our specialist director disqualification solicitors can offer a range of services to help you navigate the disqualification process. These include:

  • Legal advice on the disqualification proceedings
  • Representation in court to defend disqualification proceedings
  • Negotiating with BEIS
  • Preparing a director disqualification defence
  • Applying for permission to act as a director after disqualification

What are the consequences of director disqualification?

The consequences of director disqualification can be severe and far-reaching. You may face:

  • A ban from acting as a director for a minimum of 2 years and maximum of 15 years
  • Criminal charges
  • Civil penalties
  • Damage to your reputation
  • Inability to act as a director

Can you act as a director while disqualified?

No, it is illegal to act as a director while disqualified. Breaching a disqualification order can result in criminal charges and further legal complications. If you have received a disqualification order and would like to discuss further, our specialist team can assist you.

How to apply for permission to act as a director despite disqualification?

If you wish to continue acting as a director despite disqualification, you must apply to the court for permission. We can help you prepare a compelling case to reduce the period of disqualification or obtain permission to act.

Understanding the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (CDDA 1986)

The Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 is the primary legislation governing director disqualification. It outlines the procedures, penalties, and conditions under which a director can be disqualified.

6 Reasons to choose KaurMaxwell for Directors Disqualifications:

  1. Innovative Solutions: Mandeep & Maria’s ground-breaking success in directors' disqualification proceedings showcases the firm's ability to innovate and achieve unprecedented outcomes.
  2. Diverse & Comprehensive Expertise: The team at KaurMaxwell brings together diverse expertise in areas such as civil and commercial litigation, property law, employment law, and insolvency law. This multifaceted approach, ensures that clients receive well-rounded legal support.
  3. Proven Track Record: Their strategic thinking and ability to achieve desired results demonstrate a proven track record of success.
  4. Client-Centric Approach: We believe in putting our clients' needs first. Our team takes the time to understand your unique situation, providing tailored solutions that align with your goals. We're here to support you every step of the way.
  5. Global Perspective: With team members like Maria Madara, who has international experience and education from renowned institutions like Stanford, KaurMaxwell offers a global perspective that can be valuable in complex asset tracing & debt recovery matters.
  6. Multilingual Support: Our team is fluent in multiple languages: Spanish, Punjabi, Hindi, Tagalog, Gujarati, French, Twi, Kurdish and English, allowing us to serve a diverse client base with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a disqualified director be a solicitor?

No, a disqualified director generally cannot act as a solicitor. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has strict regulations, and a history of director disqualification could be considered a "character and suitability" issue. However, each case is considered on its merits, and specialist solicitors can advise on the likelihood of being able to practice law following disqualification.

What disqualifies you from being a director?

Several factors can lead to director disqualification, including:

  • Fraudulent trading
  • Dishonesty
  • Failure to keep proper accounting records
  • Failure to submit tax returns or pay taxes
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Involvement in insolvency proceedings
  • Unfit conduct as a director

How do you remove director disqualification?

Removing a director disqualification is a complex legal process that requires specialist advice. You may apply to the court for permission to act as a director despite being disqualified. However, success is not guaranteed, and you should consult specialist advice.

Who can bring director disqualification proceedings?

Director disqualification proceedings are usually initiated by the Insolvency Service, but other bodies can also bring about such proceedings. These include:

  • Companies House
  • The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

What is a disqualification undertaking?

A disqualification undertaking is a voluntary agreement where a director agrees to be disqualified from acting as a director for a specified period.

What is the process of director disqualification?

Director disqualification is a legal process that involves court proceedings and is initiated when a director's conduct is deemed to be unfit for the proper management of a company.

What is a director disqualification order?

A director disqualification order is a court order that prohibits a director from being involved in the management of a company for a specified period.