In 1897 the House of Lords laid down decisively the principle that neither the directors nor shareholders were personally liable for the debts or the torts of a limited company. Since then, almost every year has seen a substantial erosion of that principle. The courts, particularly in the most recent cases, have shown themselves all too willing to penetrate what they term the "corporate veil", and there have been numerous cases in which directors have been held liable for the debts of small limited liability companies on the basis that credit was extended to them rather than the companies they represented. The most serious assault on the principles enunciated by the House of Lords in 1897 has been by successive Companies Acts, culminating in the Companies Act 1985. In addition, the Insolvancy Act 1986 imposes most onerous obligations on the directors of failed companies. All these situations and more are discussed in detail in this book by a specialist in company law. Every director needs to know exactly what his/her responsibilities are and this book aims to provide definitive advice. It should prove a valuable reference to company secretaries and directors' professional advisers such as accountants as solicitors.
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