There are various reasons you may want to sue a company that no longer exists. For example, if you worked for the company and developed a work related illness decades later you may be entitled to compensation only to find that the company no longer exists. However, there are ways around this and it is worth being aware of this when pursuing legal proceedings.
If a company is going into insolvency- you can report any issues that you have with the company to the administrator and they will have to look into that. This is often the case with limited companies and any complaints can increase the time involved with the insolvency process. The difficulty is that any process involving the company and their administrators can often be private and you may not necessarily know the outcome.
You can tell if someone or a company is in liquidation or administration because the information will be available in Companies House, a registry trust or through local trade associations.
Sole traders and partnerships
Simply put, if someone is a sole trader or is registered as a partner in a business then they are responsible for their actions. It is irrelevant if they have stopped trading – you can actually still legally go after them.
Where this becomes complicated is if they declare bankruptcy- unfortunately then it may not be possible to get money or goods back from them for the simple case they may not be able to pay. However, don’t take it on trust- check online to make sure they actually are bankrupt and have been registered!
Getting money back
If you are looking to get money back from a company it may not necessarily require legal action- for example many credit cards come with insurance and guarantees so that you can reclaim money through them in the event of a company going bust. While this may mean the individual or company involved “get away with it” at least this can mean that financially you won’t lose out.
Not just money
Of course, it’s not just money that may be the subject of a legal ca – for example in the case of medical treatments that have gone wrong you may want to pursue a negligence claim or as stated above, you may wish to seek compensation for a work-related illness.
The difficulty in these situations can be in proving a correlation between the medical professional involved, their actions and your condition. However, with a legal representative with the right medical and legal experience you will give yourself the best possible chance of getting compensation.
Of course different cases will have different circumstances – for example, someone may finish trading as one company and then start up another. This is why it is important to seek legal advice from a specialist that can look at the circumstances of your case and to track down the people responsible.
If you are looking to get compensation from a company that has ceased trading then please contact us today and we will be happy to give you sound advice on the best course of action.