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Chapter

Cover Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law

10. Distributions and maintenance of capital  

This chapter examines the controls imposed on return of a company’s capital to its members, first by considering the common law general principle that return of capital to shareholders is illegal unless permitted by statute. It then discusses the problem of how to distinguish between a legal distribution of profits and an illegal return of capital; transfer of profits to a capital redemption reserve and use of profits to pay up bonus shares; company’s issuance and redemption of redeemable shares or purchase of its own shares; purchased shares as treasury shares; and how a company may reduce its issued share capital by special resolution. The chapter also looks at capitalisations and employees’ share schemes. It includes analysis of three court cases that are particularly significant to distributions and the maintenance of capital.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Company Law

4. Shares and Shareholders  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions and coursework. Each book includes typical questions, suggested answers with commentary, illustrative diagrams, guidance on how to develop your answer, suggestions for further reading, and advice on exams and coursework. Shareholders in a company own shares, but the nature of a share and the rights of a shareholder are not easily defined. This chapter discusses the definition and characteristics of a share; the differences between different types of share, particularly ordinary and preference shares; allotment of shares and pre-emption rights; return of capital; and variation of class rights.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French, and Ryan on Company Law

10. Distributions and maintenance of capital  

This chapter examines the controls imposed on return of a company’s capital to its members, first by considering the common law general principle that return of capital to shareholders is illegal unless permitted by statute. It then discusses the problem of how to distinguish between a legal distribution of profits and an illegal return of capital; transfer of profits to a capital redemption reserve and use of profits to pay up bonus shares; company’s issuance and redemption of redeemable shares or purchase of its own shares; purchased shares as treasury shares; and how a company may reduce its issued share capital by special resolution. The chapter also looks at capitalisations and employees’ share schemes. It includes analysis of three court cases that are particularly significant to distributions and the maintenance of capital.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

16. Share capital  

This chapter assesses what share capital is. A share is an item of property that confers upon its holder rights as set out in the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) and the constitution. A public company must have an allotted share capital of at least £50,000, while private companies are not subject to a minimum share capital requirement. Who has the power to allot shares depends upon the type of company, the class of share being allotted, and how many other classes of shares the company has. However, shareholders generally have a right of pre-emption, meaning that, when a company issues new shares, they have to first be offered to the existing shareholders. Meanwhile, a transfer of shares occurs where a shareholder sells or gifts their shares to another, while a transmission of shares usually occurs where shares pass from one person to another due to the operation of law.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

16. Duties Relating to Corporation Finance and Capital  

This chapter discusses the details of the various obligations on companies that wish to issue and allot shares, provide debentures and charges over the company’s assets, and provide guidance on the maintenance of the company’s finances. It continues from the discussion of the administration of the company to consider the broad issue of corporate governance and identifies how a company may raise capital, while also considering the obligations placed on the directors to protect and maintain the capital of the company for its members. To appreciate the effects of the Companies Act (CA) 2006 on companies, it is important to understand the rules regarding the issuing of shares and granting of debentures to protect the company and the creditors from abuse, and how dividends are to be agreed upon and provided to shareholders.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law

8. Share transfer  

This chapter discusses an essential feature of registered companies: that their shares are transferable. The discussion covers some of the procedures to be followed when transferring some or all of a company member’s shares to another person, for sales on and off the London Stock Exchange, transfers of all or a part of a member’s holding and transfers of certificated and uncertificated shares. After describing share certificates and uncertificated shares, the chapter considers the problem of who should bear the loss when a transfer of shares is forged or fraudulent. It also explores transmission of shares on death or bankruptcy.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French, and Ryan on Company Law

8. Share transfer  

This chapter discusses an essential feature of registered companies: that their shares are transferable. The discussion covers some of the procedures to be followed when transferring some or all of a company member’s shares to another person, for sales on and off the London Stock Exchange, transfers of all or a part of a member’s holding and transfers of certificated and uncertificated shares. After describing share certificates and uncertificated shares, the chapter considers the problem of who should bear the loss when a transfer of shares is forged or fraudulent. It also explores transmission of shares on death or bankruptcy.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

21. Share capital—capital raising and payment  

This chapter considers the statutory rules governing share capital requirements, especially the rules governing allotment of shares, payment for shares, and capital raising. Share capital rules are predominantly statutory and this chapter looks at the statutory framework on allotment including the authority of the directors to allot shares, the need for rights issues; the ability to accept a non-cash consideration; and the prohibitions on various types of consideration, in the case of public companies. Minimum capital requirements and the need to avoid issuing at a discount are considered. A key issue for public companies is whether to make an offer of their shares to the public or seek to have their shares traded on a public market. The regulatory framework for public offers of shares, essentially requiring a prospectus, is considered.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law

6. Shares  

This chapter considers one way of becoming a shareholder of a company with a share capital: by taking shares from the company in exchange for a contribution of capital. The number and class of shares of the company that the member holds determines the extent of the member’s undertaking to contribute capital, and of entitlement to share in distributions and vote at meetings. Share allotment in exchange for a capital contribution is explained, and the need for public companies to have a minimum contributed capital is emphasised. The chapter also looks at possible remedies available to a person who has been induced to take an allotment of shares by a misrepresentation, including rescission of contract. Finally, it examines ways of altering a company’s share capital.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law

7. Offering shares to the public  

This chapter focuses on public offering of shares as a source of finance for companies, with emphasis on the legal requirements to provide the necessary information to prospective investors. It also considers the importance of a marketplace for selling shares at the best possible price, as well as the regulation of the financial services industry by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. In addition, it discusses two controls on share offers to the public under the Companies Act 2006 with respect to payment of underwriting commission and repayment of subscribers’ money if a share offer is not completely successful. The chapter examines the regulatory regimes for securities markets, some of the main reasons or advantages for going public, the prospectus requirement and any exemptions to it and how the law deals with misleading statements and omissions in prospectuses.

Chapter

Cover The Law of Trusts

12. Following, tracing, and claiming  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter discusses following, tracing, and claiming. Following and tracing are ways in which the beneficiary’s equitable interest can be tracked as title to the trust assets changes hands or is substituted for different assets. Whether or not the beneficiary has a claim, at the end of the process of following or tracing, depends on whether the third party is a bona fide purchaser for value. The rules governing tracing are considered in detail—who may trace; what is traced; the impact of Foskett v McKeown; tracing amongst innocents. Next, claims against and amongst innocents are considered, followed by claims against wrongdoers and subrogation claims reliant upon tracing. Finally, tracing and claiming at common law (as opposed to in equity) and policy considerations are discussed.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

9. Classes of shares and variation of class rights  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter focuses on the rights and liabilities of a shareholder which are the incident of the general nature of a share, as well as his particular rights and liabilities by virtue of owning a particular type or class of share. It first considers the legal nature of a shareholding and the different types of share capital and typical class rights of a shareholder, as well as the statutory procedure required of a company before it can effect a variation of shareholders’ class rights. Examples of classes of shares are then given, and preferential rights attached to preference shares are discussed. The chapter concludes by looking at European Union initiatives on shareholders’ rights.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French, and Ryan on Company Law

6. Shares  

This chapter considers one way of becoming a shareholder of a company with a share capital: by taking shares from the company in exchange for a contribution of capital. The number and class of shares of the company that the member holds determines the extent of the member’s undertaking to contribute capital, and of entitlement to share in distributions and vote at meetings. Share allotment in exchange for a capital contribution is explained, and the need for public companies to have a minimum contributed capital is emphasised. The chapter also looks at possible remedies available to a person who has been induced to take an allotment of shares by a misrepresentation, including rescission of contract. Finally, it examines ways of altering a company’s share capital.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French, and Ryan on Company Law

7. Offering shares to the public  

This chapter focuses on public offering of shares as a source of finance for companies, with emphasis on the legal requirements to provide the necessary information to prospective investors. It also considers the importance of a marketplace for selling shares at the best possible price, as well as the regulation of the financial services industry by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. In addition, it discusses two controls on share offers to the public under the Companies Act 2006 with respect to payment of underwriting commission and repayment of subscribers’ money if a share offer is not completely successful. The chapter examines the regulatory regimes for securities markets, some of the main reasons or advantages for going public, the prospectus requirement and any exemptions to it and how the law deals with misleading statements and omissions in prospectuses.

Chapter

Cover Company Law Concentrate

7. Capital and capital maintenance  

This chapter discusses the two principal types of capital that companies acquire: share capital (capital obtained by selling shares) and debt capital (capital borrowed from others). Having obtained share capital through the selling of shares, the law requires that the company ‘maintain’ that capital by not distributing it in unauthorized ways, notably by prohibiting companies from returning capital to the shareholders prior to liquidation.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

16. Company Law I  

Formation and Finance

This chapter explains how companies limited by shares are formed and looks at the contents of companies’ constitutions. The discussions cover the role of promoters in setting up a company and the meaning of a company ‘off the shelf’. The chapter examines the steps and documentation necessary to register a new company limited by shares and the rules relating to a company’s name. It discusses the constitutional documents of a company and the rules relating to its constitution. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the financing of companies. It examines the different types of shares and the issuing of shares. It also considers debentures and charges.

Chapter

Cover Company Law Concentrate

7. Capital and capital maintenance  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the two principal types of capital that companies acquire: share capital (capital obtained by selling shares) and debt capital (capital borrowed from others). Having obtained share capital through the selling of shares, the law requires that the company ‘maintain’ that capital by not distributing it in unauthorized ways, notably by prohibiting companies from returning capital to the shareholders prior to liquidation.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Equity & Trusts

Hunter v Moss [1994] 1 WLR 452, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Equity & Trusts provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Hunter v Moss [1994] 1 WLR 452, Court of Appeal. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Derek Whayman.

Chapter

Cover Sealy & Worthington's Text, Cases, and Materials in Company Law

11. Raising Equity Capital From Shareholders  

This chapter considers the legal nature of shares, class rights and dealings in shares. It covers: the legal nature of a share; class rights and variation of class rights; transfer of shares; competing claims to shares; disclosure of substantial interests in shares; and valuation of shares.

Chapter

Cover Sealy & Worthington's Text, Cases, and Materials in Company Law

12. Distributions to Shareholders and Capital Maintenance  

This chapter deals with raising capital from shareholders (equity capital). It considers: attracting capital and protecting both shareholders and creditors; terminology associated with legal capital; the minimum capital requirements for company formation; limiting access to shares; offers to the public to purchase shares and remedies for misleading offers; and collecting in the company’s capital (issue of shares at a discount, issue of shares at a premium and issue of shares in exchange for property).