The government has made regulations that extend the relaxations to the company meeting requirements in the Companies Act 2006, which were introduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, to 30 March 2021.
Under the relaxations, which are set out in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (see our corporate update 2020/14), shareholder meetings can take place by electronic or any other means, notwithstanding the provisions contained in the Companies Act or a company’s articles of association. The participants need not be in the same place and shareholders do not have a right to attend in person.
The regulations (the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Liability for Wrongful Trading and Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020) also suspend the wrongful trading provisions in the Insolvency Act 1986 so that, when determining what contribution, if any, a director should make to a company’s assets following a finding of wrongful trading, the court must assume that a director is not responsible for any worsening of a company’s financial position between 26 November 2020 and 30 April 2021. A similar suspension was in place between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 but had expired.