13 May 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Reassurance for directors of Jersey companies

The Law Society of Jersey has issued guidance commenting on wrongful trading under Jersey law given the financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Today the Law Society of Jersey has issued this practice statement, which should give reassurance to directors of Jersey companies who may be worried about their personal liability for wrongful trading in the current situation.

The practice statement serves as a timely reminder that, under Jersey law:

  • a wrongful trading claim can only be made against a director if the relevant company becomes subject to formal insolvency proceedings; and
  • it is a defence to a claim of wrongful trading for a director to show that the director took reasonable steps to minimise losses to creditors from the point at which the director knew there was no prospect that (or was reckless as to whether) the company would avoid insolvency proceedings.

The statement also contains helpful guidance for directors on what may constitute “reasonable steps” and makes it clear that, provided a director acts responsibly and reasonably, they should not attract personal liability. For more information on this, see our 'Jersey Directors' duties in light of the coronavirus' briefing.

This is a pragmatic response from the Jersey legal profession which is consistent with the advice we have been giving to our clients to date. If you wish to discuss your business’s response to COVID-19, speak to your usual Carey Olsen contact or email [email protected]

We have produced a number of client briefings to assist you in assessing and mitigating the extensive challenges presented by the coronavirus. This content is housed in a dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) resources hub on our website.

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