Clause 831
Company Law Reform Bill [Lords]
9:00 pm

Disclosure requried: business documents etc.

Photo of James Brokenshire

James Brokenshire (Hornchurch, Conservative)

I beg to move amendmentNo. 408, in clause 831, page 402, line 33, leave out ‘A person’ and insert ‘An individual or partnership’.

Photo of Eric Illsley

Eric Illsley (Barnsley Central, Labour)

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 409, in clause 831, page 403, line 3, leave out ‘A person’ and insert ‘An individual or partnership’.

No. 410, in clause 831, page 403, line 7, leave out subsections (3) and (4).

No. 411, in clause 833, page 403, line 33, leave out ‘A person’ and insert ‘An individual or partnership’.

No. 412, in clause 833, page 403, line 40, leave out subsections (2) and (3).

No. 413, in clause 834, page 404, line 9, leave out ‘who’ and insert ‘which’.

No. 414, in clause 834, page 404, line 14, leave out subsection (4).

Photo of James Brokenshire

James Brokenshire (Hornchurch, Conservative)

I have a further point about interpretation and clarification. Clause 831 provides for certain disclosure requirements for a business conducted in the UK. Clause 829 states that chapter 2 of part 34

“applies to an individual or partnership carrying on business in the United Kingdom”,

yet clause 831 discusses

“a person carrying on business in the United Kingdom”,

and that language is reflected in subsequent clauses in the chapter. That risks confusion, as a legal person could encompass more than an individual. Indeed, it is arguable whether a partnership is a person at all. Amendment No. 408 therefore seeks clarity about precisely what clause 831 will cover in applying to an individual or partnership, given that that is what is stated in clause 829(1).

Clause 833 gives the Secretary of State powerto require by regulation that notices providing information under the clause be provided in a specified form. Given that clause 833 states that the notice must be displayed in a prominent position so as to be easily read, that appears to be over-regulation, unless the Minister feels that there are other evils or issues that are not addressed by the clause and need to be addressed by regulation. I look forward to her comments to see whether I can be persuaded to the contrary.

Amendments Nos. 412 and 414 reflect the same logic. Amendment No. 413 will make a small drafting point by replacing “who” with “which” in clause 834(2). That seems more correct to me, but I again look forward to the Minister’s reply.

Photo of Vera Baird

Vera Baird (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs; Redcar, Labour)

The Government are inclined to think that the hon. Gentleman is right across the board, and we ask him in all seriousness to withdraw his amendments while we consider them.

Photo of James Brokenshire

James Brokenshire (Hornchurch, Conservative)

On the basis of quitting while I am ahead, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 831 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 832 to 836 ordered to stand part of the Bill.