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    Secretarial help needed

    Sir, The increase in the number of directors being disqualified (report, Business, January 2) is a worrying trend but it would be interesting to see a breakdown of the reasons why these directors were found to be at fault. Were they outright crooks, or were they just not getting the right advice and guidance?

    Many directors could save themselves a lot of anguish by using their company secretary properly and ensuring that he or she is suitably experienced. Too many directors are unaware of the full role of the company secretary and appoint an inexperienced family member, to take advantage of the tax and NI opportunities.

    The scope for errant directors is likely to increase if the Company Law Review proposal to remove the requirement for private companies to have a company goes ahead. It would be better to help both directors and the rest of us who suffer when a company goes bust by requiring directors to appoint a suitably knowledgeable company secretary to help keep them on the straight and narrow.

    2 January 2002 “The Times”