Clause 683

Company Law Reform Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 20th July 2006.

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Application for administrative restoration to the register

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Conservative, Buckingham

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment No. 374, in clause 683, page339,line9,at end insert

‘, or by his relatives or beneficiaries under his will’.

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

These two probing amendments would provide a new mechanism for restoring a struck-off company to the register. I note that subsection (3) says that an application

“may only be made by a former director or former member of the company.”

Will the Minister explain why? Why should a creditor or litigant, or the relative or beneficiary of the will of a former director or member, not have the same right?

Photo of Margaret Hodge Margaret Hodge Minister of State (Industry and the Regions)

The answer is simply that we are introducing a new administrative procedure recommended by the company law review. It will in no way prevent people from using the courts to pursue their rights in other ways. If one tried to extend the right to relatives or other people, definitions would become extremely difficult. We chose to use easy administrative procedures for former directors or members and not to extend the law beyond that, allowing court procedures for other cases.

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

I hear what the Minister is saying. In practice, it is a rapid procedure that works well for shell companies or companies with no liabilities. However, at times, companies can still be left with assets or liabilities, and creditors can be left short. I appreciate that other mechanisms that can be used, and I thought that they might be pulled together, but on the basis of what she said, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 683 disagreed to.

Clauses 684 to 693 disagreed to.