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Reforming directors' duties

Worthington, Sarah (2001) Reforming directors' duties. Modern Law Review, 64 (3). pp. 439-458. ISSN 0026-7961

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-2230.00329


Introduction: Taken together, the English and Scottish Law Commissions, the DTI and the Company Law Review Steering Group (‘CLRSG’) have produced hundreds of pages on the subject of directors’ duties during the last three years. All of this work is just a small part of the DTI’s current review of the whole system of core company law, a review billed as the most comprehensive ever undertaken in the UK. This note cannot do justice to the detailed work of all these bodies, but aims simply to summarise the principal directions of the work so far produced – and only so far as it relates to directors’ duties – and to highlight some aspects which give cause for concern. In doing that, it is consciously biased towards consideration of the perceived problems, rather than praise for noteworthy advances. The reason is simple. This mammoth review process is not yet completed. The CLRSG is due to produce its final report in Spring 2001. Before that date, it seems important to cast a critical eye over the work completed so far. That said, it would be surprising if the CLRSG did not already intend to address some of the issues raised here. Its work to date has always been presented as part of a consultation process aimed at discovering the optimum solution. The need for a comprehensive reform of UK company law is not doubted. The UK rules have long ceased to provide an enviable model for other countries to adopt. The current companies legislation is widely regarded as being too complex and detailed, and as containing rules which are now either obsolete or unwarranted. The DTI’s stated aim is to produce a simple, rational framework which is modern and competitive, and which facilitates enterprise and promotes transparency and fair dealing. It is against this that its efforts need to be judged.

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Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an Article published in the Modern Law Review 64(3) pp. 439-458 © 2001 Blackwell Publishing. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright © and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL ( of the LSE Research Online website.
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2021 23:11

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