A company and its directors may commit a number of insolvency and company law offences which put them at risk of investigation by the Insolvency Service. With a remit to help deliver economic confidence and tackle financial wrongdoing, the Insolvency Service has wide ranging civil and criminal powers which enable it to investigate the activities of a limited company where it suspects serious corporate abuse.
Its investigators can become involved in a case whether or not the company is still trading and whether or not other law enforcement authorities are examining the company’s conduct. At the end of an investigation the Insolvency Service may decide to bring a criminal prosecution or use its civil powers to seek director disqualification orders, bankruptcy or debt relief restrictions.
The penalties for companies and directors found to have breached their duties or committed a criminal offence are severe and it is vital to obtain legal advice if you are the subject of an investigation by the Insolvency Service or consider you are at risk of one in the future. Steps taken at an initial stage can have a significant impact on the direction of the investigation and the outcome of any subsequent proceedings. At Kingsley Napley our understanding of how the Insolvency Service uses, and sometimes combines, the criminal and civil powers available to it enables us to guide you through the process, to ensure your rights are protected throughout and that the best possible outcome is achieved.