Jaclyn Smith Associate Fellow of CILEX


Speaks:  English


Primary office:  Birmingham




Jaclyn Smith

Jaclyn Smith has extensive experience in investigating the conduct of directors of insolvent companies, and have acted in a number of high profile and complex cases which have resulted in lengthy disqualification periods under the Company Directors Disqualification Act. By way of example:

  • Jaclyn investigated a payday loan company which secured investment monies of over £1 million via a pension liberation fund and was placed into administration just a few months later with a deficiency of over £4 million and a loss of all investment monies. During the investigation she interviewed the appointed directors and other third parties including the pension regulator, police and investors. The investigation and subsequent enforcement proceedings resulted in the disqualification of three directors for periods of between five years and nine years.
  • Jaclyn played a leading role on the investigation relating to the high profile collapse of a solicitors' firm which resulted in the largest ever compensation payout to clients by the Solicitors Compensation Fund. She was involved in preparing lengthy evidence which analysed both the fraud and the roles and responsibilities of the firm's directors, a number of whom were not formally appointed. Jaclyn also considered complex issues in relation to disclosure, privilege and confidentiality. The case resulted in the disqualification of seven directors for a total period of 70 years with the case drawing praise from the presiding High Court Judge for its fair, thorough and careful investigation.
  • Jaclyn investigated a company's purported sale of high value assets which it did not in fact hold title to. The investigation was complex and required her to carry out a painstaking analysis of asset registers and undertake enquiries with the purported purchasers (some of whom were based in France). This investigation resulted in a disqualification period of 10 years.

Jaclyn has also been responsible for a number of director disqualification enforcement cases from pre-issue to disposal, including dealing with the issue and service of proceedings, drafting witness statements and evidence in reply, considering potential litigation risks and points of mitigation and preparing for and attending trial with Counsel. In particular, Jaclyn recently acted in the case of The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy v Zannetou (Re: Ixoyc Anesis (2014) Ltd [2018] EWHC 3190 (Ch) (23 November 2018) which clarified the law on director misconduct when there are "extenuating circumstances".

In addition to the above, Jaclyn also undertake commercial litigation work and provide training to clients. By way of example:

  • Acted for a bank defending a number of claims relating to allegedly negligent mortgage valuations;
  • reviewed documents as part of a large scale disclosure exercise and thereafter prepared witness statement evidence in a complex IT dispute; and
  • provided training to the Insolvency Service on points arising out of my investigation into the payday loan company investigation which was highly praised.