Clause 702

Company Law Reform Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 4th July 2006.

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Registration under alternative name

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Justice)

I beg to move amendment No. 375, in clause 702, page 349, line 34, at end insert—

‘(2A) Legal proceedings may be issued against the overseas company at any time in either its name or the name under which it is registered pursuant to this section.’.

The clause allows overseas companies to register under alternative names and allows companies whose ordinary names do not fulfil the other requirements of the Bill—those that use symbols that are not permitted, such as foreign alphabets—to register under an appropriate name. It also allows companies that have registered abroad under a name that is already registered in this country to choose an alternative name.

The explanatory notes state:

“The change of name will not affect any legal proceedings that are continued or commenced by or against the company.”

Does that mean that legal proceedings will, at any point, be capable of being issued against the company in the UK, either in its real or alternative registered name?

Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs

Subsections (4)(c) and (5) achieve the purpose that the hon. Gentleman’s amendment seeks to achieve. As the clause stands, proceedings may be commenced against a registered overseas company, whether one uses its home country name or the current name under which it is registered in the UK. The clause also deals with what happens if the company changes its registered name after proceedings have been issued.

I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman tabled the amendment only to test our reasoning and whether we have covered all those circumstances. I hope that he will feel able to withdraw it, because we are confident that subsection (4)(c) and (5) accomplish all that he intended and that proceedings can be started under either name at any time in this country, supposing there is a course of action.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Justice)

I thank the Minister for that clarification, and on the basis of her reassurance, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 702 ordered to stand part of the Bill.