Wednesday 13 April 2016

Ireland: CLRG report on the representation of companies in court

The Company Law Review Group has published its report and recommendations on the representation of companies in court (more particularly, the common law rule that companies can only appear or be represented in court by a solicitor or counsel): see here (pdf). The CLRG has concluded:

Given the stated policy of the Irish Courts to work around the rule where the requirements of justice dictate, and the unique position of the courts to be able to measure the need for such exceptions, the Company Law Review Group remains to be convinced of the need for wider reform of the rule, though it is not indisposed to wider reform in principle if introduced in the proper context. The Company Law Review Group considers that in the absence of a general overhaul of civil procedure rules or concerted action with the Rules Committees of the Courts, the most that can be achieved by means of a change to the Companies Act 2014 is a statutory restatement of the rule, and that any further relaxation of the rule by means of provision in the Companies Act 2014 should be limited to specific corporate proceedings such as applications to extend the time for filing of Annual Returns. Wider reform would have consequences for grander policies on access to justice and rights of audience in the civil courts – matters beyond the remit of the Company Law Review Group. The Company Law Review Group would make itself available to the relevant bodies as part of any such wider reform as a number of specific company related issues might be addressed in such measures".

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