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Practical advice for directors of distressed companies

In normal circumstances, a director’s primary duty (owed to the company, not the company’s shareholders or the corporate group) is to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its shareholders as a whole. When a company enters a period of financial distress (the so-called “zone of insolvency”) there is a shift of emphasis in the duties of the directors: directors must consider the interests of the company’s creditors and, depending on the extent of the financial distress, may need to prioritise such interests over those of its members.

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