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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I attended court today (final hearing) dodgy vehicle

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I attended court today (final hearing) for a dodgy vehicle i purchased from a garage. The judge ruled that the company is to pay me a refund with court costs but the company applied for voluntary strike off back in March and failed to notify me or the courts. They did not show up at today's hearing. I have notified companies house and they are waiting for proof from courts that i won the case. Is there anything I can do to get hold of the director? Should I file another claim against the director of the company through small claims if I find out who he is? Is it worth my while? The company has not yet been dissolved but no longer physically exists on the high street.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is this a limited company?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes it is a limited company

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, they are limited

It is not unusual for companies who are about to be struck off or to go into liquidation to simply ignore correspondence. It is for the claimant to satisfy themselves of the step of the financial stability of the defendant.

If the company does get struck off you will then join all the other unsecured creditors be dealt with by the liquidator the reality of which is that you would get very little money, if anything.

However if the director was trading fraudulently at the time that he sold you the car (ignoring the fact the company eventually applied to strike off) then you have a claim against the director personally. You can get directors name and address from companies house by downloading the details which costs about 5 pounds.

You need to be aware however that although the directors are supposed to put down their personal address, many use an accommodation address or their accountants address or even the address of the company. If you can get the directors address and you believe that he’s done something wrong with regard to running the company (that does not include selling you a dodgy car) you may be able to claim against the director personally but it would mean going through the whole process again.

I’m sorry that this is bad news for you but that is the situation when a company goes into liquidation or get struck off.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They were not trading fraudulently at the time, but when they applied for strike off they did not inform the court or myself and continued to make previous court appearances. My witness statement, of which i sent them a copy, was returned to me under (addressee moved on). If I find out the director's address can i make a new claim against him directly to pay the outstanding amount ordered by the court? Its terrible that the system allows this kind of thing to happen.

You cannot automatically claim against the director just because his limited company has gone made a voluntary application to strike off.

It is indeed disingenuous for him to carry on attending court when he has made an application to strike off until the application is granted (it is not always granted) he has not done anything wrong.

I’m sorry, I appreciate this is an unfavourable answer for you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, please don't apologize. I just want to understand my position here. His company no longer exists physically, although it is still active with Companies House. The bailiffs will not be able to recover anything therefore. Basically I will not be able to get anything from them.

Thank you.
Courts do not routinely allow claimants to sue directors of a limited company that goes bust. If they did, it would mean that there was absolutely no point in having a limited company if a claimant could simply pursue the directors personally.
They will generally only therefore do it if the director has personally incurred some kind of liability or (the most common case) where the director has been trading fraudulently and someone has suffered loss as a result of the fraudulent trading. Based upon what you've told me, I think that a claim against the director personally has little chance of succeeding.
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