Clause 155 — Companies required to have at least one director who is a natural person

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 17th October 2006.

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Photo of Margaret Hodge Margaret Hodge Minister of State (Industry and the Regions) 8:15 pm, 17th October 2006

I can reassure my hon. Friend on that. Amendment No. 762 attempts to address the point. David Howarth dealt with it in his contribution. Subsection (2) does not mean that a company can have no directors who are natural persons. That is because of what is meant by "corporation sole." A corporation sole is a corporation that is constituted in a single person. Corporations sole are always holders of a particular office.

One example is the Official Custodian for Charities. The holders of certain offices in the Church of England—for example, vicars—are corporations sole, although, interestingly, their equivalents in the Church in Wales and the Roman Catholic and non-conformist Churches are not. Other examples include our Secretary of State and the Public Trustee. Property, including cash and investments as well as land and buildings, that the member holds by virtue of his or her office passes on retirement, resignation or death to his or her successor. I hope my hon. Friends are content with that explanation.