Further to the initial guidance on contingency planning for AGMs during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, published on 17 March 2020, the Chartered Governance Institute has published supplementary guidance which reflects the Government ban on public gatherings of more than two people.
Prepared with Clifford Chance LLP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Linklaters LLP and Slaughter and May with the support of the Financial Reporting Council, the Association of General Counsel and Company Secretaries working in FTSE 100 Companies (GC100), the Investment Association and the Quoted Companies Alliance. The guidance has also been reviewed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The guidance offers suggestions as to how listed companies incorporated under the UK Companies Act might implement contingency plans in light of the compulsory ‘Stay at Home Measures’ that the British Government has introduced to combat the spread of Coronavirus.
It offers advice on how to ensure that the meeting is quorate, who should chair the meeting, which directors will be allowed or expected to attend the general meeting and where to hold the meeting in the event of the planned venue being unavailable or otherwise inaccessible. It recommends that companies encourage shareholders to vote by proxy and that they make it clear that public gatherings of more than two people are not permitted and stress that anyone seeking to attend the meeting in person will be refused entry.
The guidance reflects UK company law and regulation, but companies will need to consider their own individual circumstances, including their articles of association and any other relevant matters.
To read a copy of the Report click on the Download link.