Most disclosure comes in the form of company accounts and reports focusing on the financial position and the activities of the company. Increasingly, mandated disclosures for public companies extend widely beyond the financial statements to a narrative account of the company’s activities, business strategy, and risks. Considerable emphasis is now placed, for public companies, on addressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns. The chapter discusses the statutory provisions governing company accounts and considers the obligations of the directors with respect to preparing, circulating, and filing accounts. The chapter also addresses the regulatory framework for audit, the need in larger companies for an auditors’ report, and considers the extent of the auditor’s duty of care as well as the potential auditor liabilities arising from a negligent audit report.
18. Informed shareholders and stakeholders—disclosure and the limited company
Sarah Worthington and Sinéad Agnew
Sealy & Worthington’s Cases and Materials in Company Law clearly explains the fundamental structure of company law and provides a concise introduction to each different aspect of the subject. The materials are carefully selected and well supported by commentary so that the logic of the doctrinal or policy argument is unambiguously laid out. Notes and questions appear periodically throughout the text to provoke persistent analysis and debate, and to enable students to test their understanding of the issues as the topics unfold. This text covers a wide range of sources, and provides intelligent and thought-provoking commentary in a succinct format. It is invaluable to all those who need vital materials and expert observations on company law in one volume. This twelfth edition brings: improved chapter order and location of materials; the incorporation of changes necessitated by Brexit; complete updating of statutory, regulatory and case law materials, including by the Corporate Governance and Insolvency Act 2020 and the many changes and additions to corporate governance codes requiring ‘apply and explain’ and ‘comply or explain’ adherence; major rewriting of Chapter 3 (Corporate Activity and Legal Liability) in the light of significant Supreme Court cases; expansion of Chapter 6 (Corporate Governance) and Chapter 9 (Company Auditors), along with additional coverage of shareholder remedies (Chapter 8), including coverage of Sevilleja v Marex Financial Ltd (2020, SC) and new cases on statutory derivative actions; and additional coverage of insolvency issues.