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Company Law

Company Law (6th edn)

Brenda Hannigan
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date: 04 October 2022

p. 46720. The derivative claim and the rule in Foss v Harbottlelocked

p. 46720. The derivative claim and the rule in Foss v Harbottlelocked

  • Brenda HanniganBrenda HanniganProfessor of Corporate Law, Law School University of Southampton


This chapter discusses further aspects of shareholder remedies, namely the common law multiple derivative claim; derivative claims under Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006), Part 11; the reflective loss principle; personal actions at common law; and specific statutory rights under the CA 2006. At common law, a shareholder aggrieved by a breach of duty by a director could bring a derivative claim on behalf of the company, as an exception to the rule in Foss v Harbottle. That common law claim now remains as a common law multiple derivative claim whereas the ‘ordinary’ derivative claim now is a statutory claim under CA 2006, Part 11. This chapter explores both types of derivative claim and assesses their value to shareholders. An important constraint on shareholder recovery is the principle governing reflective loss which has recently been restated by the Supreme Court. This chapter considers the current position in the light of that development.

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