The CEA, which will be Ireland’s company law enforcement agency, will shortly be established under the Companies Act 2014, as amended by the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Act 2021.
The CEA will also be conferred with statutory functions in respect of certain investment vehicles under the Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicles Act 2015 and, in addition, will be the competent authority for the purpose of imposing sanctions on company directors under the Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018.
The CEA’s principal statutory functions can be summarised as being to:
promote adherence to company law;
investigate, and take appropriate enforcement action in response to, non-compliance with company law.
In so doing, the CEA will seek to promote high standards of corporate behaviour.
In discharging its enforcement mandate, the CEA will supervise the corporate insolvency process and conduct financial and related investigations across the full spectrum of companies, from SMEs and not-for-profits to publicly listed entities.
Specifically, with reference to corporate insolvency, the CEA will, based on liquidators’ statutory reports and other relevant information, assess the behaviour and conduct of the directors of insolvent companies in liquidation.
Where the CEA’s investigative activities identify non-compliance with company law, its enforcement options will include:
civil remedies, such as directing companies and their officers to take certain corrective measures and the restriction and disqualification of company directors/officers;
criminal options, including prosecuting in the CEA’s name or referring a matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration as to whether charges should be directed on indictment.
The CEA will be a multi-disciplinary enforcement agency, whose resources will include both civilian law enforcement professionals (including lawyers, forensic accountants and digital forensics professionals) and seconded members of An Garda Síochána.
In order to discharge its functions, the CEA will be conferred with a range of statutory powers, including:
the power to require the production of documents (including electronic documents) by companies and relevant third parties;
powers of search and seizure;
the power of arrest;
the right to request the Courts to trigger certain additional investigative measures such as, for example, the granting of production orders relating to banking records and the appointment of Court-appointed Inspectors.
the power to offer, legally binding if accepted, restriction and disqualification undertakings;
the power to apply to the High Court for the disqualification of company directors in certain circumstances;
the power to apply to the High Court to have companies wound up (liquidated) in certain circumstances;
the power to initiate summary prosecutions in the District Court;
the power to refer more serious matters to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration as to whether criminal charges should be directed on indictment.
Director of Insolvency Supervision
The CEA, which will be Ireland’s company law enforcement agency, is a core element of Government policy for enhancing Ireland’s capacity to tackle and dissuade corporate and economic crime. As such, its establishment will be of keen interest to corporates, professional services firms, the political system and the media.
Against that exciting backdrop, the CEA wishes to appoint a Director of Insolvency Supervision to lead, drive and oversee the agency’s supervision of corporate insolvency. The role will include leading on the examination of liquidators’ reports, the assessment of and adjudication on directors’ conduct and the statutory regime for restriction and disqualification undertakings.
Reporting to a Member of the Authority, this is a senior, complex and challenging role that offers the successful candidate a unique opportunity to contribute to the establishment of a new law enforcement Agency.
Consistent with the nature of the opportunity, the CEA is looking for a candidate of the highest calibre. As the successful candidate, you will be suitably qualified and will have a track record of significant achievement at a suitably senior level in corporate insolvency, regulation/enforcement or in a related field. As the successful candidate, you will also possess a proven track record in the exercise of sound professional judgement, an appreciation of the public interest nature of the CEA’s mandate and the capacity to contribute effectively to the CEA’s leadership.
As Director of Insolvency Supervision, you will be rewarded with a competitive salary in line with public pay scales.
Further information can be requested, and applications made by contacting Arlene Sheridan at Hays Executive through email@example.com and quoting reference CEADIS22.
Closing date for applications is by 5.30pm, Monday 14 February, 2022.