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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3670
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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A financial adviser to a Ltd Company was convicted of an offence

Customer Question

A financial adviser to a Ltd Company was convicted of an offence of forgery in relation to the management of one of his client companies. The offence was an isolated incident which took place in Feb 2008, he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was convicted of that offence in June 2011 receiving a short suspended prison sentence. During the criminal proceedings the court was asked to consider an application by the Crown for Directors disqualification under s2 CDDA 1986. The judge having specifically considered 'future risks to the public' declined to make such an order. There are no other criminal convictions.

Separately, civil proceedings have also been brought by The Secretary of State for Business Innovation and skills under s2 CDDA. We are content that these civil proceedings have merit (as applicant was not party to the original application brought before the criminal court and there is no statutory time bar from bring proceedings etc) but what concerns us is the ongoing delay in bringing these proceedings to a conclusion. Our client has complied timely with all court orders and directions and has appeared at court on two occasions for a final hearing. Both hearings were adjourned (for various reasons but, nothing to do with our client) and a recent listing for this month has now been rescheduled for August. Assuming the August hearing goes ahead it will be over 7 years since his offence and over 3 years since his conviction.

Our question is........at what point does 'delay' make the proceedings unjust and are there any grounds or precedents for applying for the application to be struck out on this basis? Or is it simply the case that 'the delay' could maybe argued for mitigating any term of disqualification?

As footnote our client has suffered greatly as a result of his conviction which he deeply regrets. Our client was previously of good character and has no other criminal convictions. He is no longer been able to work in his chosen profession and whilst there has been a lot in the way of punishment there has been little in the way of rehabilitation.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I'm willing to wait. Any guidance/advice appreciated.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.

Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is AJ and I will assist you.

Can you tell me what reason the court has given for such a long delay?

Why have they chosen the disqualification route, normally this type sanction can be dealt with by way of a voluntary undertaking to the Secretary of State? Has this been mooted or suggested?

Kind regards

AJ

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi AJ


unfortunately, I understand that a disqualification undertaking is not available for proceedings under section 2.


The Secretary of State commenced proceedings on 2/11/2012, since then attendance was made at court on 15/5/2013 (final hearing which was adjourned to accommodate first defendant who was not prepared and costs were awarded against him). Attendance was made at court for subsequent final hearing on 18/10/13 - this hearing was adjourned as insufficient court time was allocated to hear arguments. A third 'final' hearing was scheduled for 11/3/14, but has now been rescheduled to 22/7/14 as not all parties were available (not our side).


Hope this helps? Please let me know if you need more detail?


Regards

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you.

I will need to do some research into this and write my response.

This may take some time so please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me right away.

Kind regards

AJ
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

My apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

I have done some research and I am afraid there is not a huge amount you can do here.

Firstly I would suggest you contact the Secretary of States and see if they will agree to reducing the disqualification for time served.

Secondly if there has been a delay due to the fault of the court, you can make a complaint to the Lord Chancellors Office who have the power to pay compensation if the delay has prejudiced your client. https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/secretary-of-state-for-justice

I am sorry I cannot be of any further assistance.

I will opt out to see if any other expert has any suggestions.

Kind regards

AJ