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Law Notes Company Law Notes

Company Constitution Cases

Updated Company Constitution Cases Notes

Company Law Notes

Company Law

Approximately 805 pages

Company law notes fully updated for recent exams in the UK. These notes cover all the major LLB company law cases and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London). These notes were formed directly from a reading of the cases and main texts and are vigorous, concise and very well written.

Everything is conveniently split up by topic as you can see by the list o...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Company Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Company Law Supervision II – Cases

THE CORPORATE CONSTITUTION

Legal Status

Company Against Member

Hickman v Kent or Romney Marsh Sheepbreeders’ Association [1915]

Articles provided that any dispute between member and company should be solved by arbitration. C was a member of company, and company refused to register C’s sheep. C complained and sued company for declaration that his sheep were entitled to be registered; company applied for action to be stayed on basis that dispute should go to arbitration. C argued that arbitration clause did not apply, as the dispute was unrelated to C’s membership of the company – rather it was related to . Held:

Enforceability of Articles

  1. Where an outsider purports to be given rights by articles in their capacity as an outsider, are not enforceable.

  • This case even if outsider is or subsequently becomes a member.

  • Hence fact that an outsider purportedly given rights in a company’s articles is subsequently granted shares in company does not make a previous claim enforceable.

  1. In addition member of a company can only enforce his rights under constitution in his capacity as a member.

    • And not e.g. as director, solicitor etc.

  2. Where articles purport to grant rights to an outsider, if outsider subsequently becomes member this does not mean that he can enforce those earlier rights

    • i.e. as these rights are still not in his capacity as a member

    • regardless of fact that outsider has since become a member

Facts

  • C’s claim is to enforce his rights as a member of D.

  • Arbitration article deliberately addresses disputes amongst members themselves.

  • Therefore case stayed in favour of arbitration.

Members Against Company

Quin & Axtens Ltd v Salmon [1909]

Company had two managing directors. Director A (Salmon) was given a veto by articles over any decision of company to deal with property. Director B acted contrary to requirement, and got ordinary resolutions from shareholders authorising company to act in this way. Salmon sued company to stop it acting contrary to his veto. Held:

Ordinary Resolution

  • Is not permitted to act upon ordinary resolutions which are inconsistent with substantive requirements in articles.

    • i.e. in matters of substance, constitution can only be deviated from by special resolution.

  • Thus existence of ordinary resolution is irrelevant to whether company is breaching its articles.

Qua Member

  • Director A was also a member of the company.

  • Therefore had power in his capacity as member to force company to adhere to its constitution.

    • i.e. by not dealing with property where he had used his veto.

  • Thus injunction granted against company acting upon the resolutions passed.

Members Amongst Themselves

Rayfield v Hands [1960]

Articles provided that where a member wished to dispose of shares, in certain circumstances directors had an obligation to purchase those shares offered. C wished to sell his shares and a director, who was also a member, refused to take them. Held:

  • Company’s articles intended for the directors to be bound as members in this situation.

    • i.e. as matter related to purchase of shares.

  • Therefore directors were bound by articles in their capacity as members.

Eley v Positive Life [1876]

Articles stated that C was to be the solicitor of Positive Life. However he was not appointed so sued for breach of the articles. At time articles were created, C was not a member. However by time C brought action, C was a member. Held:

  • C could not enforce the articles.

  • This because outsiders to company cannot enforce rights purportedly granted to them under articles.

  • Articles only have legal effect as between members.

  • NB court did not look at all at whether fact that C had subsequently become a member meant he had right to enforce articles…

London Sack & Bag [1943]

C and D were both members of a trade association company. Articles of association stated that ‘trade disputes’ should be submitted to arbitration. Dispute between two members arose as to a transaction between them; one of pair refused to submit to arbitration and sued. D sought to have court case stayed. Held:

  • No rights of action can arise under articles in relation to matters which arise outside the ‘company relationship’

  • Matter under dispute was a commercial trading transaction

    • Thus transaction had nothing to do with C and D’s membership of company.

  • Thus article could not be enforced against C.

Implied Contracts

Re New British Iron [1898]

Company’s articles provided for remuneration of directors at a certain rate. Issue was whether directors could enforce this. Held:

  • C could not enforce articles in his capacity as director.

  • However a separate contract could be implied upon same terms in article.

  • This separate contract could be enforced.

  • NB Directors’ service contracts must now be evidenced in writing – s.227-229.

    • thus this result would no longer be possible

Implication of Terms

Towcester Racecourse v Racecourse Association [2003]

C argued that it was implied term of articles of association that any inquiry into a member would be proper, efficacious and open to its members; and that therefore directors could be directly liable to shareholders for breach of this duty. Held:

  • Directors do not have direct contractual relationship with members of company.

  • Directors act on behalf of company

    • And not on behalf of shareholders

    • Thus the only duties they owe are to company

  • Therefore directors cannot owe implied contractual duties to shareholders.

Bratton Seymour Service v Oxborough [1992]

C claimed that courts should imply a term into articles of association to effect that a company should contribute to upkeep of an amenity area in a housing development, so as to give articles business efficacy. Held:

  • Courts will not imply terms into articles from extrinsic evidence of surrounding circumstances.

  • This because such evidence is only known to a few people.

  • Thus would be prejudicial to third parties.

AG Belize v Belize Telecom [2009]

Articles provided that...

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