One of the functions of the UK Insolvency Service is to investigate directors’ conduct and if appropriate to commence directors disqualification proceedings or enter into disqualification undertakings. As the Insolvency Service has recently reviewed in its Newsletter the type of conduct which led to the longest disqualification bans in 2014/2015, now would seem like a perfect opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned from the biggest offenders. The Insolvency Service’s latest quarterly statistics on enforcement outcomes for April to June 2015 also reveal that:
- 309 directors were disqualified in that period;
- the average length of disqualification was 6 years;
- the number of directors who were disqualified for between 10 and 15 years increased from 12% in the same quarter last year to 16% this year;
- the most common form of allegation was unfair treatment of HMRC compared to other creditors.
The above statistics are a firm reminder that the Insolvency Service is not afraid to seek the maximum sanctions available under the Dodgy Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 where a director’s conduct merits it. Directors beware!