Beyond wrongful trading: remaining risks and responsibilities
Although the initial three-month suspension of wrongful trading provisions from 1 March 2020 was welcomed as introducing breathing space for boards of directors facing unprecedented uncertainty arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of the insolvency legislation remains in force and unchanged.
While the government referred to the provisions relating to fraudulent trading and to disqualification orders as providing continuing checks and balances, neither is very likely to be at the forefront of the minds of directors or those advising them. By contrast, the need to consider creditors under s 172 of the 2006 Act gives rise to a duty of much broader and more uncertain parameters and represents a real and remaining risk of personal liability, particularly given the current financial climate.
Gabriella McNicholas discusses the uncertainties and remaining risks facing company directors in the June edition of Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.