When a company enters insolvent liquidation, the liquidator might take proceedings, under s 214 of the Insolvency Act 1986, against one or more of the company's directors on the basis that the director(s) engaged in wrongful trading. If found liable, a director might be ordered by a court to contribute to the assets of the company. This article examines whether subjecting directors to liability for wrongful trading is theoretically justifiable. After briefly explaining the origin, aims, rationale and operation of s 214, the article then rehearses and evaluates the arguments propounded by several scholars against any justification for a provision in the mould of s 214. Next the article investigates some of the reasons given for supporting the provision. Following this some consideration is given to whether it is possible to opt out of s 214, and, if not, whether this should be permitted. It is concluded, inter alia, that while s 214 is not representative of good regulation, some form of prohibition against wrongful trading can be justified on theoretical grounds.