Winner of the Legal 500 - 'Criminal, Fraud & Licensing Law Firm of the Year 2019'
Insolvency Service Investigations Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors has a proven track record of successfully representing clients in investigations conducted by the major UK enforcement agencies for over twenty years.
Since 1997 we have been deploying our extensive resources, expertise and skill to advise corporate clients and individual directors in complex and often multi-jurisdictional investigations.
Our award-winning team of solicitors is nationally recognised for its work in financial investigations including investigations by the Company Investigations department of the Insolvency Service.
This is a first-class firm with unrivalled experience, a great track record, an acute attention to detail and a tenacity that clients really rate.
Call Us For Confidential Advice
Our team is sensitive to the fact that an Insolvency Service investigation can have a significant disruptive impact on the operation of a company. We aim to minimise the risk of reputational damage and provide practical cost-effective solutions for our corporate and individual clients.
If you have received correspondence from the Insolvency Service regarding an investigation or you have been served with a search warrant, our team of expert insolvency solicitors can be contacted for confidential and discrete advice as follows:
The team is intelligent, hardworking and determined to do a professional job
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What Powers Does The Insolvency Service Have?
The powers of the Company Investigations department of the Insolvency Service derive from the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under the Companies Act 1985 (‘the Act’).
How Does An Investigation Start?
Investigations can be instigated by a complaint made directly to the Company Investigations department of the Insolvency Service by another company, member of the public or information provided by another investigating body (such as the Financial Conduct Authority).
The company under investigation will not be notified of the investigation at the outset. The Insolvency Service will open an investigation into the company and look into the subject matter of the complaint without initially contacting the company.
The company usually becomes aware of the investigation either as a result of correspondence received from the Insolvency Service or when a search warrant is executed at the company premises.
When Can An Investigation Start?
Under section 432 of the Act, the Secretary of State can appoint an inspector(s) to investigate the affairs of a company if it appears that the company is being conducted:
- with the intent to defraud creditors or the creditors of any other person,
- for a fraudulent or unlawful purpose,
- in a manner which is unfairly prejudicial to some part of its members or where any actual or proposed act or omission of the company is or would be so prejudicial,
- where persons concerned with the company’s formation or management have been guilty of fraud, misfeasance or other misconduct towards members,
- where company members have not been given all the information which they might reasonably expect.
What Is The Investigation Procedure?
Production of Documents and Information
Section 447 of the Act provides the Secretary of State may direct, or the investigator so authorised by the Secretary of State may give directions to a company/or any other person to produce documentation or information required.
This power is not restricted for use against the company directors but can also be directed towards any person connected with the company.
Section 448 of the Act provides a search warrant can be obtained if there are reasonable grounds for believing:
- there are on any premises, documents where production has been required but which have not been produced,
- an offence has been committed for which the penalty on conviction on indictment is imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and there is documentation on any premises relating to whether the offence has been committed,
- that if production was so required, the documents would not be produced but would be removed from the premises, hidden, tampered with or destroyed.
For more information on the procedure for the execution of search warrants, please visit our Dawn Raids Page here.
Company Investigators may also seek to obtain information by interviewing company directors, senior management, employees and others connected to the company.
What Are The Possible Investigation Outcomes?
There are a number of possible outcomes of an Insolvency Service investigation including:
No Further Action
The investigation may show that there is no need for any action.
Director Disqualification Proceedings
If the Insolvency Service deem the conduct of directors to be unfit, it can instigate director disqualification proceedings against them. If successful, the disqualification period will range from 2 years to 15 years.
The instigation of criminal proceedings is also an option. The information obtained as part of the investigation may be passed by the Insolvency Service to other prosecuting authorities or regulatory bodies to investigate such as the FCA, SFO or HMRC.
The directors or the company may be given a warning notice to improve its conduct.
What Are The Consequences Of Failing To Co-operate?
The consequences of failing to cooperate with the Insolvency Service investigation can lead to potentially serious consequences including:
Contempt of Court
If the investigation is frustrated by the directors or other company personnel, they can be found in contempt of court, fined, imprisoned and ordered to pay costs.
Intentionally obstructing a warrant or, without reasonable excuse, failing to comply with any requirements imposed, create a separate criminal offence which can result in a fine if convicted on indictment and a fine up to the statutory maximum on summary conviction.
How Can We Help?
Our experienced team takes a proactive approach to Insolvency Service investigations and any ensuing civil or criminal proceedings.
We are able to field a team of civil and criminal law insolvency specialists to assist you.
We are experts in insolvency investigations and we work in conjunction with the leading barristers and QCs in the country in this specialist area of law.
The areas we can assist you with include:
- advice and assistance upon receipt of correspondence from the Insolvency Service
- immediate representation and attendance at any dawn raid and execution of a search warrant to ensure the investigators do not exceed their powers of search and seizure.
- advice on challenging the basis and legality of a search warrant
- liaising and negotiating with the Insolvency Service on your behalf
- representation at interviews and meetings with the Insolvency Service
- representation in any ensuing civil proceedings such as director disqualification proceedings
- representation in any ensuing criminal proceedings such as a prosecution for serious fraud or regulatory breaches.
We provide advice and representation in the following related areas:
- Civil Insolvency Proceedings
- FCA & Boiler Room Investigations
- Director Disqualification Proceedings
- Search Warrants and Dawn Raids
- Trading Standards Investigations
Who Can I Contact For Help?
Hamraj Kang leads an award-winning team of lawyers nationally recognised for its excellence and expertise in Insolvency Service investigations.
We welcome enquiries by telephone or email.
We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Alternatively, we provide initial consultations by telephone or video conferencing.
2 Wake Green Road, Moseley
Birmingham, B13 9EZ
0121 449 9888
9 Carmelite Street,
London, EC4Y 0DR
020 7936 6396
76 King Street
Manchester, M2 4NH