Wednesday 22 January 2020

UK: England and Wales: directors' duties and company administration

ICC Judge Barber gave judgment yesterday in Re Systems Building Services Group Ltd [2020] EWHC 54 (Ch). I note the case here because of the interesting discussion it contains regarding the extent and nature of the general duties of directors in the context of company administration. Judge Barber stated (at paras. [55] and [56]):
....the general duties of a director of a company to the company set out in ss171 to 177 [Companies Act 2006] do survive the company's entry into administration and creditors' voluntary liquidation. Whilst in office, a director continues to owe the company the duties laid down in ss171 to 177 CA 2006, as applied and interpreted in accordance with the underlying common law rules and equitable principles on which such duties were based: s170(3) and (4).

The fact that, on a company's entry into administration or creditors voluntary liquidation, the Insolvency Act 1986 is engaged, imposing a series of additional specific duties on the part of a director and limiting his managerial powers to those authorised under or in accordance with the Act, does not, in my judgment, operate so as to extinguish the fundamental duties owed by a director of a company to the company as reflected in ss.171 to 177 CA 2006."

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