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New law: Government extends temporary relaxations that allow limited company shareholder 'meetings' to take place virtually

The government has extended its temporary relaxations on how a company's shareholders can 'meet' to make decisions, given the restrictions on gatherings of people introduced because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to 30 March 2021.

January 2021

This update was published in Legal Alert - January 2021

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

The relaxations say that all UK limited companies can, if they wish, hold shareholders' meetings (or for companies limited by guarantee, members' meetings) without shareholders having to physically gather together. The relaxations apply irrespective of pre-existing company law, or what is in the company's articles of association or other constitutional documents.

The relaxations include that:

  • The meeting need not be held at any particular place.
  • It may be held and any votes may be permitted to be cast by electronic means or any other means, so it may be entirely virtual.
  • It may be held without a quorum being physically together at the same place.
  • A member does not have a right:
    • to attend the meeting in person;
    • to participate in the meeting other than by voting; or
    • to vote by particular means.

The relaxations do not prescribe how such meetings are to be held. This is left to companies to decide – particularly, to choose technology the company believes will be sufficiently secure.

Operative date

  • Now


  • Companies should consider whether they wish to hold virtual shareholder meetings rather than face-to-face meetings, and which technology to use, under the temporary relaxations that allow them to do so until 30 March 2021.

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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