A more recent version of these Challenging A Guarantee Crib Sheet notes – written by Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students – is available here.
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Challenging a Guarantee 1) Is it written?
a. 4 Statute of Frauds 1677 in order to be enforceable, a guarantee must be both a.i. In writing a.ii. Signed by the guarantor or a person authorised by the guarantor 2) Has there been a variation to the primary obligation?
a. If there is a variation to the primary obligation between the bank and the borrower, without the consent of a guarantor, a guarantee agreement, as the secondary obligation, will no longer be valid a.i. Check the guarantee agreement to see if there is a 'waiver of defences' clause which will allow a bank to alter the primary obligation whilst ensure the guarantee agreement is not discharged 3) Is there consideration?
a. Guarantees are contracts and must therefore contain consideration as a basic contract requirements b. Where a guarantee is executed as a deed there will be no argument about whether good consideration has been given b.i. If a guarantee is executed as a deed the guarantor will be bound from the date on which the deed is delivered 4) Is the guarantor insolvent?
a. If a guarantor becomes insolvent the guarantee could be sent aside as a.i. 239 CA 2006 A transaction at an undervalue a.i.1. Guarantor insolvent at the time of giving the guarantee or become so as a result a.i.2. Guarantee given within 2 years before the onset of insolvency a.i.3. Value that the guarantor receives as a result of giving the guarantee is significantly less than the value it has given to the lender a.ii. 238 CA 2006 A preference a.ii.1. Guarantee given within either 2 years or 6 months before the onset of insolvency depending on whether there is a connected person a.ii.2. Guarantor insolvent at the time of giving the guarantee or become so as a result a.ii.3. Guarantee puts the recipient into a position which is better than the position he would have been in if the guarantee had not been given 5) Is there unlawful financial assistance?
a. It is unlawful for a public company whose shares are being, or have been acquired, to give financial assistance directly or indirectly for the purpose of that acquisition unless certain exceptions apply a.i. Financial assistance includes the provision of guarantees, security or indemnities 6) Is there corporate benefit?
a. Directors must show that they are acting to further the objects of the company and that there is no abuse of power caused by acting with an improper purpose in mind a.i. 173 CA 2006 Duty of directors to exercise independent judgment a.ii. 174 CA 2006 Duty of directors to exercise reasonable care and skill a.iii. 172 CA 2006 A director must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole. Directors should consider: a.iii.1. The likely consequences of any decision in the long-term a.iii.2. The interests of the company's employees
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