The Companies Act of 2008, as amended during March 2011 (the “new Act”) will replace virtually the whole of the 1973 Companies Act, when it comes into operation. The new Act introduces a host of new concepts, rights, remedies, obligations, procedures and sanctions.
There is no doubt that it will have a profound impact on the manner in which businesses, both large and small, are conducted in the future. It is therefore essential that businesses and their professional advisers acquire a good understanding of the new Act as quickly as possible.
The new Act modernises our company laws and brings them into line with the company laws of most western nations. In particular, in relation to listed companies, accountability, corporate social responsibility and stakeholders’ rights. It also introduces a new administrative enforcement regime in place of criminal sanctions.
A striking feature of the new Act is the number of new remedies it gives stakeholders, including trade unions representing employees and minority shareholders. It also simplifies and makes significant changes to the laws governing take-overs and mergers, and replaces the SRP Code and Rules of the SRP with a more comprehensive, modernised set of Takeover Regulations.
The new Act introduces more comprehensive provisions regarding accounting records, financial statements and corporate governance, but allows great flexibility in the design and governance of companies. It also replaces the judicial management system with a more modern and practical business rescue regime.
Bowman Gilfillan will be writing articles, sending regular updates in the form of newsletters and conducting seminars to ensure that our clients are fully informed.
Our series of seminars will give you an in-depth understanding of how the new Act will impact on the way in which companies of all sizes conduct their businesses.