For anyone who is currently restrained by their Rules, Articles or constitution from holding their General Meeting or have held such in breach of their governing documents hoping for minimal reprisals, help is on the way!

The Government yesterday (20 May), presented a (Corporate Governance and Insolvency) Bill to put in place a series of measures to help; including allowing organisations including companies, Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) and Registered Societies, to hold General Meetings (GM), including Annual General Meetings (AGM) even where the governing documents do not permit such to be held virtually and in some cases, explicitly require a minimum number of Members/Shareholders to be physically present.

Whilst not law yet, the proposals temporarily allow organisations to hold an AGM or GM during the six months from 26 March to 30 September virtually and the measures are also to be applied retrospectively.

For those forced to postpone AGMs due to be held after 26 March, they will also be given a limited period after the Bill is passed to hold those AGMs for a maximum period of up to eight months; Regulations to follow.

Whilst these measures will be welcomed by many, they are temporary and will not alleviate these issues for the long term. Rules, constitutions and Articles should therefore still be reviewed and amended to ensure that the organisation can continue to function in the long term.

Further information

For any advice in respect of the Government proposals, governance arrangements generally or to seek advice about changing your governing document, please contact Sarah Patrice or a member of the governance team.