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Criminal Stain on a White Collar: A Critical Analysis of Proposed Changes to Directors’ Liabilities

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posted on 14.11.2021, 01:12 by Cranney, Stephen

The recent finance company collapses have highlighted the need for improved director accountability. However where is the appropriate point to draw the line, which if crossed, imposes criminal liability? The Financial Markets Conduct Bill and the Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill both attempt to redefine when criminal liability will attach to directors. By assessing the proposed changes in the light of two recent cases, it can be seen that under the proposed changes, directors have the potential to be found criminally liable for less than dishonest behaviour. This raises the issue of whether criminal liability is appropriate in regards to directors’ actions, or whether a civil liability scheme would be more appropriate. This paper looks at the current law and the proposed changes to directors’ liability, and by considering the situations of two failed finance companies, attempts to draw conclusions as to the effects of such changes.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Name

LL.B. (Honours)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law