- Derek FrenchDerek FrenchFreelance editor and writer in business and legal publishing for over 30 years
This chapter deals with the legal personality of a company which is separate from its members, capable of owning property, entering into contracts and being a party to legal proceedings. It considers the case Salomon v A Salomon and Co Ltd  AC 22, in which the House of Lords affirmed separate corporate personality by rejecting attempts, on behalf of creditors, to impose liability for a failed company’s debts on its controlling shareholder. The consequences of separate corporate personality are also discussed, particularly with respect to a company’s human rights (or personal rights). In addition, the chapter examines the process known as ‘piercing the corporate veil’ in relation to the evasion principle; how an artificial entity can have legal personality; and a number of particularly significant court cases. Finally, it looks at corporate law theory and considers whether companies are grammatically singular or plural.