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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I am one of 5 directors of a Maltese Gaming Company which is

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I am one of 5 directors of a Maltese Gaming Company which is entering liquidation. 3 Directors (including myself) live in the UK, 1 is in Hong Kong and 1 is in Malta. The Director in Malta was a fiduciary shareholder holding 1 share on behalf of the company (as per Malta regulations) and he is a non-exec director. The company elected to go into administration in Aug last year and at that point the fiduciary director resigned their position but did not return their share. We went through the Maltese legal system and after a year they returned the share. However during that time we could not enact any EGM as the Malta shareholder refused to return the share or respond to us. The company owes £137,000 in Remote Gaming Duty and as the HMRC were writing to the office address in Malta which is the office of the fiduciary shareholder we were unaware that HMRC were not updated on progress. We had informed HMRC in April this year of the delay and the liquidator but received no further communication from them. 1 week ago HMRC wrote to me saying that as Directors we now must pay the debt. They have now also written to all directors. Now the Director in Hong Kong (who is also an 81% shareholder) has refused to pay their contribution and the remaining 3 directors in the UK are being chased for the debt. I am unable to pay the debt on my own and wonder what options do I have? The debt is with the Debt Management field force however the agent that delivered the letter is on holiday and they are threatening to send bailiffs. I am in contact with the other 2 UK directors and they are seeking help and investigating how they can cover the debt in some way but I do not know what will happen if they fail to pay? What should we do? Can we negotiate a reduction with HMRC to try and get an early payment and settlement?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have also checked the current 2014 Gambling Regulations and it does say the Directors are jointly and severally liable. My question really is what options do I have and how do we 3 remaining directors work together and what (if anything) would the HMRC do about the director in Hong Kong who is now washing his hands of the issue?

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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I am ok to wait
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for looking as well
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Any possibility of an answer please?
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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Please continue

Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

You would have to consider suing the director who resides in Hong Kong, as they owe a sum of money which, if it is unpaid, would mean the other directors are liable for.

Bailiffs can be turned away and you can say the debt is disputed and subject to a potential court case against the director who lives in HK (only if there is a court order can a court bailiff enforce the court order - potentially high court enforcement officers can attend and seize goods but until the debt is approved by the court, any debt collectors can be turned away if they visit you).

You can negotiate with HMRC but bear in mind if you have assets or own a property HMRC tends to favour a bankruptcy petition (in my experience). HMRC could decide to pursue the director who lives in HK but that would cost them money to pursue someone who lives there and it would be easier for HMRC to pursue the other directors if it means less hassle for them and to recover their money back at less cost to them.

You could sue the director in HK assuming you have their address - you can start proceedings in the UK and ask the court for permission to serve proceedings out of jurisdiction (N1 claim form is used as is the N510 form which asks the court to serve out of the UK). The problem with issuing a court claim is the court issue fee - see page 5 of the following link for the court fee structure :

It would be an idea to instruct a law firm - Hill Dickinson has officers in both UK and HK, as does Kennedys Law.

It would be more effective to use a law firm to recover the monies owed by the director living in HK and keeping HMRC informed of your plans too.

They should be amenable to a period of time whereby you can pursue the director who is proving evasive.

I hope this helps – if you can please rate the answer by clicking the 5 stars (the top of your screen & then click “submit”), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.

Many thanks,


JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 9866
Experience: Senior Associate Solicitor
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