Directors' Duties: Dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’
Company directors in England are legally responsible for a whole myriad of issues, ranging from health and safety to administrative duties such as the timely filing of annual accounts and other important paperwork. Scott-Moncrieff’s top-flight commercial team offers joined-up and clear-thinking legal advice for directors of all sizes of organisation – ensuring you fulfil all the legal requirements of your role and can keep those many commercial plates spinning. Some of our lawyers also have experience of the other side of the fence working for blue-chip companies – which gives them a real-life perspective on workplace issues.
Expert legal support can mean the difference between things running like clockwork and the stress that arises when something important has been overlooked.
A director’s ‘statutory duties’ are detailed in the Companies Act (2006) and failing to fulfil any of these can lead to a director incurring personal liability. The Act specifies seven broad areas of responsibility:
- exercising independent judgement
- exercising reasonable care and diligence
- avoiding conflicts of interest
- not accepting benefits from third parties
- declaring an interest in a particular transaction if appropriate
- working to promote the best interests of the company.
- he or she is guilty of three or more defaults within five years in relation to the filing of documents with the Registrar of Companies
- a company becomes insolvent and the director’s conduct is deemed to make him/her unfit to manage a company in the future
- a company is found to have traded wrongfully or fraudulently.
Health and safety: a key responsibility
Health and safety is a major area of concern for every organisation. Members of a board of directors are now considered to be responsible for health and safety – both individually and collectively – which means they can be prosecuted for negligence or unlawful activity. Large organisations must also have formal procedures in place for auditing and reporting health and safety performance.
Scott-Moncrieff’s highly experienced team of commercial solicitors will ensure you meet all legislative requirements from the outset, so you can be 100% confident you are fulfilling your duty of care. Our commercial lawyers offer services for throughout England and Wales, including London, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Northamptonshire, Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Ealing, the Midlands, and Preston.
The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act states that directors can be prosecuted if a company fails in its duty of care and an employee or member of the public is killed. In worst case scenarios like these, the court can also make a publicity order obliging the organisation to publish details of its conviction.
Contact our Commercial Solicitors in London, Bolton and Nottingham
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