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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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    Anonymous

    Redmans Solicitors were consistently prompt, efficient and professional from the start of my reaching out to them for support in relation to contentious negotiations of an employment matter that continued for almost two months resulting in a positive settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill was diligent, thorough, empathetic and objective in his advice and guidance, showing deep and broad knowledge of the law and legal processes plus extensive practical experience in handling complex matters, resulting in clear and pragmatic advice in ambiguous circumstances that resulted in a very good outcome. I fully recommend Chris Hadrill and Redmans Solicitors! I have made this review anonymous purely because of the confidentiality obligations in the settlement agreement concluded.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Michelle W

    Redmans solicitors provided legal support and advice for a settlement agreement. Excellent customer service, very professional. The senior associate solicitor kept me updated throughout the process, showed empathy and the agreement was signed-off / completed within the agreed timeline.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Mark W

    Redmans Solicitors were extremely professional and helpful! Chris Hadrill handled my case and was an amazing help! His guidance, advice and understanding to my redundancy settlement were always clear, concise and very helpful and I am very grateful to him, and glad I found Redmans to help with my settlement. I highly recommend them!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Alison M

    Very happy with the advice I received

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    I found everything about the company to be extremely professional and efficient. During my initial contact with Chris, he listened well and was reassuring, so I felt confident that my case would be well handled. Caroline was excellent at explaining all the legal points and answering my questions, as well as being very supportive and understanding throughout the process. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 1 month ago

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    Very efficient and professional service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 1 month ago

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    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

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    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

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    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 1 month ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 1 month ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I found dealing with Redmans a pleasure. I got to speak to someone quickly, the advice was profferred promplty and the service was not 'pushy'. In addition, the administration was excellent. What more could you ask for?

    Posted 1 month ago

    ALISDAIR L

    Redmans did a brilliant job regarding my redundancy agreement. I miss read an extra charge which wasnt the case so doing a new review to clarify. I would recommend Redmans for any employment law issues you may have.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Christos G

    Great legal advice and quick correspondence. Very supportive and helpful through the entire process. Thank you Redmans!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Chris Hadrill advised me on a redundancy settlement agreement. He was very responsive, easy to deal with and gave me good advice at a stressful time.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Zara M

    Rana at Redmans gave me support and confidence I needed to ensure a wrong, was put right. I couldn’t recommend enough.

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