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Directors: Prosecutions

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Mark Tami Mark Tami Opposition Pairing Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the letter of 23 September 2019 from the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility to the hon. Member for Alyn and Deeside, for what reasons it is the Government’s policy that it is rarely in the public interest to prosecute directors who abandon companies.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

A prosecuting authority must ensure that any proposed prosecution meets the tests in the code for Crown Prosecutors. They are:

  • That there is sufficient evidence an offence has been committed;
  • That there is a reasonable expectation that a conviction can be secured; and,
  • That the prosecuting authority must be satisfied that if a conviction is secured the Courts will impose more than a nominal penalty.

Abandoning a company as such is not an offence. A prosecution could only be for failing to file statutory documents: accounts or a confirmation statement. It is rarely the case that prosecuting the directors of a company that is no longer required meets the above tests.

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