Annual general meetings and the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19)


ICSA (The Chartered Governance Institute) has published guidance for companies which need to make contingency plans for holding their annual general meeting (AGM) in light of the spread of Covid-19.

The guidance offers suggestions reflecting UK company law and regulation, but companies will need to consider their own individual circumstances, including their articles of association (Articles).

ICSA states that companies effectively have five options:

- adapt the basis which you hold the AGM

- delay convening the AGM, if notice has not yet been issued

- postpone the AGM, if permitted under the Articles

- adjourn the AGM

- conduct a hybrid AGM, if permitted under the Articles

As the situation evolves, companies may ultimately have to use more than one of these options.

The guidance looks at the legal, regulatory and good practice issues associated with each option and suggests measures that companies should consider.

The document can be downloaded from the ICSA website.  Registration as a subscriber is required, but this is free.  

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Companies planning their AGM should be considering contingency plans in light of the spread of Covid-19. Checking relevant provisions of the articles of association and coordinating with registrars and venue providers is key, as is ensuring shareholders are kept regularly updated and are given maximum opportunity to have their say.

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