Friday 24 October 2008

UK: implementing the shareholder rights Directive (2007/36/EC)

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has today published a consultation paper with regard to the UK's implementation of Directive 2007/36/EC on the exercise of certain rights of shareholders in listed companies. The opportunity is also being taken to make some amendments to the Companies Act (2006). The Government plans to implement the Directive by the deadline (3 August 2009) and in this regard the consultation paper contains a draft of The Companies (Shareholders’ Rights) Regulations (2008/9). 

One area of company law that will be changed concerns the rules for calling meetings of the shareholders. The Directive requires that at least 21 days' notice is given for AGMs.  14 days' notice is required for other meetings subject to certain conditions being met.  These conditions are different from those currently in place and include providing "the facility for shareholders to vote by electronic means accessible to all shareholders". 

For further background information, from the European Commission's Internal Market website, click here.

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