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One of the interesting aspects of employment law is that its boundaries overlap into other “areas” of law – health and safety, personal injury, intellectual property, commercial law, corporate law and criminal law (among others). A good employment lawyer will have a relative grasp of all of these areas (although they won’t obviously be expected to be an expert in these areas as well… employment law is complicated enough!). Every lawyer enjoys learning about the criminal law when they’re a student; it’s arguably the most interesting area of law – behind employment law, of course. The overlap between the two areas of law is therefore worth taking a look at and we’ll start doing so in this introductory post, which will examine the potential criminal liability of company directors for actions (or omissions) that they undertake. It will do so by examining the following elements:

  1. What is financial crime?
  2. What potential criminal liability can company directors incur?
  3. How can directors avoid criminal liability?

What is financial crime?

Financial crime is a crime against property, normally involving the unlawful conversion of property (belonging to one legal or natural person) to one’s own personal use and benefit.

What potential criminal liability can company directors incur?

  • Fraudulent trading (s.993 Companies Act 2006) – fraudulent trading occurs if a person carries on the business of a company with intent to defraud creditors or carries on the business of a company for a fraudulent purpose.
  • False accounting (s.17 Theft Act 1968) – under the Theft Act 1968 it is an offence for an person, dishonestly and with a view to gain for himself or another, or with intent to cause loss to another, destroys, conceals or falsifies any account of recording required for accounting purposes
  • Wrongful trading (s.214 Insolvency Act 1986) – wrongful trading occurs where the directors of a company continue to trade when they knew or should have known that there was no reasonable prospect of the company involving insolvent liquidation and the company then goes into insolvent liquidation
  • Misfeasance (common law) – misfeasance occurs if a director takes inappropriate action or gives intentionally incorrect advice whilst acting for the company

How can directors avoid criminal liability?

Directors should take professional advice from qualified lawyers and accountants to avoid potential criminal liability for their acts whilst a director. In order to avoid the potential for criminal behaviour the business should have transparent and accountable administrative processes which allow for the rapid identification and resolution of potentially negligent of criminal behaviour.

Redmans Solicitors are employment law solicitors based in Richmond and the City of London.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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Testimonials

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143 Reviews

Liz P

An excellent professional service was provided by Chris Hadrill and Mel Chin. Efficient and trustworthy - would highly recommend this company.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Redmans Solicitors were great. They were able to advice me quickly and efficiently! I would recommend them, as a good solicitors to use.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Extremely efficient. Mel made a difficult situation bearable and gave good clear guidance thoughout.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Thanks Chris and Sacha I was reassured throughout the process and a happy outcome

Posted 3 weeks ago

Edward F

Good and clear employment advice

Posted 3 weeks ago

Richard O

Chris at Redmans is my go-to legal expert when it comes to employee-related matters. His depth of knowledge, experience and considered approach to problems and their solutions is highly valuable. I cannot recommend Redmans highly enough.

Posted 1 month ago

Rory Y

They provide me with timely and clear advice!

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Steven C

Redmans handled my settlement with my employer quickly, decisively and to a standard that I was very happy with. I would in similar circumstances contract them again

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Transparent. Clear communication. Prompt reply’s. Saves lot of time. Very satisfied.

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Anonymous

Chris and Sacha did a fantastic job and negotiated a significant better settlement agreement

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Dino D

I did get a very swift and god service from Redmans

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Stephanie H

Clear, prompt, effective support from Chris which has been very much appreciated. Thank you again.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I would highly recommend Redmans Solicitors, the team were very friendly and my case was dealt with professionally and efficiently. Thank you!

Posted 2 months ago

Shane M

Very professional, welcome advice at a crucial time. Always available and reasonable cost.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

My case was relatively straight-forward. But even so, working with Redmans was easy, quick, professional & clear. Many thanks

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

The team were very helpful and answered all my questions regarding my redundancy. Initially I had a call with one of the representatives who escalated my request to a suitable employment solicitor. We arranged a call to discuss the settlement and she helped answer all my questions. We then mainly contacted through email which helped resolve the settlement quickly and convently. Thanks for all the help.

Posted 2 months ago

Djaouida T

You have good communication.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional. A highly recommended company for employment related issues.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very professional service.

Posted 2 months ago

Brittany

I was very grateful for Redmans to treat my case with respect and discretion. At the time, I was very new to London and it was meaningful to have someone on my side and win the case for me. Without any doubt, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to anyone who is in need of it.

Posted 10 months ago

Jake L

Chris is very professional and calm. Very attentive and patient, been a positive experience having Chris represent me, and would recommend him.

Posted 1 year ago