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Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986

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15 Personal liability for company’s debts where person acts while disqualified. E+W+S

(1)A person is personally responsible for all the relevant debts of a company if at any time—

(a)in contravention of a disqualification order or [F1disqualification undertaking or in contravention] of section 11 [F2, 11A] [F3, 12A or 12B] of this Act he is involved in the management of the company, F4...

[F5(b)as a person who is involved in the management of the company, he acts or is willing to act on instructions given without the leave of the court by a person whom he knows at that time—

(i)to be the subject of a disqualification order made or disqualification undertaking accepted under this Act or under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002, or

(ii)to be an undischarged bankrupt] [F6, or

(c)as a person who is involved in the management of the company, they act or are willing to act on instructions where—

(i)the instructions are given by a person whom they know at that time to be subject to director disqualification sanctions (within the meaning of section 11A),

(ii)the giving of the instructions does not fall within any exception from section 11A(1) created by virtue of section 15(3A) of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, and

(iii)the instructions are not authorised,

(but see subsection (3A)).]

(2)Where a person is personally responsible under this section for the relevant debts of a company, he is jointly and severally liable in respect of those debts with the company and any other person who, whether under this section or otherwise, is so liable.

(3)For the purposes of this section the relevant debts of a company are—

(a)in relation to a person who is personally responsible under paragraph (a) of subsection (1), such debts and other liabilities of the company as are incurred at a time when that person was involved in the management of the company, and

(b)in relation to a person who is personally responsible under paragraph (b) [F7or (c)] of that subsection, such debts and other liabilities of the company as are incurred at a time when that person was acting or was willing to act on instructions given as mentioned in that paragraph.

[F8(3A)But—

(a)a person who is subject to director disqualification sanctions (within the meaning of section 11A) is not personally responsible under subsection (1)(a) for any relevant debts of the company incurred at a time when the person did not know and could not reasonably have been expected to know that they were subject to director disqualification sanctions;

(b)a person is not personally responsible under subsection (1)(c) for any relevant debts of the company incurred at a time when the person reasonably believed that the instructions were authorised.]

(4)For the purposes of this section, a person is involved in the management of a company if he is a director of the company or if he is concerned, whether directly or indirectly, or takes part, in the management of the company.

[F9(5)For the purposes of this section a person who, as a person involved in the management of a company, has at any time acted on instructions given without the leave of the court by a person whom he knew at that time—

(a)to be the subject of a disqualification order made or disqualification undertaking accepted under this Act or under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002, or

(b)to be an undischarged bankrupt,

is presumed, unless the contrary is shown, to have been willing at any time thereafter to act on any instructions given by that person.]

[F10(6)Subsection (7) applies where a person (“P”) at any time—

(a)was involved in the management of a company, and

(b)acted on instructions where—

(i)the instructions were given by a person (“D”) whom P knew at that time to be subject to director disqualification sanctions (within the meaning of section 11A),

(ii)the giving of the instructions did not fall within any exception from section 11A(1) created by virtue of section 15(3A) of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, and

(iii)the instructions were not authorised,

unless P reasonably believed at that time that the instructions were authorised.

(7)For the purposes of this section P is presumed, unless the contrary is shown, to have been willing at any time thereafter to act on any instructions given by D.

(8)For the purposes of this section instructions are “authorised” if they are given under the authority of a licence issued by virtue of section 15(3A) of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.]

Textual Amendments

F1Words in s. 15(1)(a) inserted (2.4.2001) by 2000 c. 39, s. 8, Sch. 4 Pt. I para. 10(2)(a); S.I. 2001/766, art. 2(1)(a) (subject to transitional provisions in art. 3)

F2Word in s. 15(1)(a) inserted (26.10.2023 for specified purposes, 4.3.2024 in so far as not already in force) by Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (c. 56), ss. 36(5)(a), 219(1)(2)(b); S.I. 2024/269, reg. 2(z)

F4Word in s. 15(1)(a) omitted (26.10.2023 for specified purposes, 4.3.2024 in so far as not already in force) by virtue of Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (c. 56), ss. 36(5)(b), 219(1)(2)(b); S.I. 2024/269, reg. 2(z)

F6S. 15(1)(c) and word inserted (26.10.2023 for specified purposes, 4.3.2024 in so far as not already in force) by Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (c. 56), ss. 36(5)(c), 219(1)(2)(b); S.I. 2024/269, reg. 2(z)

F7Words in s. 15(3)(b) inserted (26.10.2023 for specified purposes, 4.3.2024 in so far as not already in force) by Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (c. 56), ss. 36(5)(d), 219(1)(2)(b); S.I. 2024/269, reg. 2(z)

F8S. 15(3A) inserted (26.10.2023 for specified purposes, 4.3.2024 in so far as not already in force) by Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (c. 56), ss. 36(5)(e), 219(1)(2)(b); S.I. 2024/269, reg. 2(z)

F10S. 15(6)-(8) inserted (26.10.2023 for specified purposes, 4.3.2024 in so far as not already in force) by Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (c. 56), ss. 36(5)(f), 219(1)(2)(b); S.I. 2024/269, reg. 2(z)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 15 extended (with modifications) by S.I. 1986/2142, art. 6

C2S. 15 extended (with modifications) (1.7.1989) by S.I. 1989/638, regs. 20, 21

C3S. 15 applied (1.12.1994) by S.I. 1994/2421, art. 16, Sch. 8

C4Ss. 13-15C applied (with modifications) by S.I. 1994/2421, art. 16, Sch. 8 (as amended (E.W.) (8.12.2017) by The Insolvency (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/1119), reg. 1(1), Sch. 2 paras. 4, 8)

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