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The Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

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Relief in respect of certain liabilities under Articles 109ff.N.I.

123.—(1) Where a person is liable to a company under—

(a)Article 109, 112, 113 or 115;

(b)Article 122(1) by reference to a contravention of Article 109 or 113; or

(c)Article 122(2) or (5),

in relation to payment in respect of any shares in the company, or is liable by virtue of an undertaking given to it in, or in connection with, payment for any such shares, the person so liable may make an application to the court to be exempted in whole or in part from the liability.

(2) If the liability mentioned in paragraph (1) arises in relation to payment in respect of any shares, the court may, on an application under that paragraph, exempt the applicant from the liability only—

(a)if and to the extent that it appears to the court just and equitable to do so having regard to the matters mentioned in paragraph (3);

(b)if and to the extent that it appears to the court just and equitable to do so in respect of any interest which he is liable to pay to the company under any of the relevant Articles.

(3) The matters to be taken into account by the court under paragraph (2)(a) are—

(a)whether the applicant has paid, or is liable to pay, any amount in respect of any other liability arising in relation to those shares under any of the relevant Articles, or of any liability arising by virtue of any undertaking given in or in connection with a payment for those shares;

(b)whether any person other than the applicant has paid or is likely to pay (whether in pursuance of an order of the court or otherwise) any such amount; and

(c)whether the applicant or any other person has performed in whole or in part, or is likely so to perform, any such undertaking, or has done or is likely to do any other thing in payment or part payment for the shares.

(4) Where the liability arises by virtue of an undertaking given to the company in, or in connection with, payment for shares in it, the court may, on an application under paragraph (1), exempt the applicant from the liability only if and to the extent that it appears to the court just and equitable to do so having regard to—

(a)whether the applicant has paid or is liable to pay any amount in respect of liability arising in relation to the shares under any of the provisions mentioned in that paragraph; and

(b)whether any person other than the applicant has paid or is likely to pay (whether in pursuance of an order of the court or otherwise) any such amount.

(5) In determining whether it should exempt the applicant in whole or in part from any liability, the court shall have regard to the following overriding principles, namely—

(a)that a company which has allotted shares should receive money or money's worth at least equal in value to the aggregate of the nominal value of those shares and the whole of any premium or, if the case so requires, so much of that aggregate as is treated as paid up; and

(b)subject to this, that where such a company would, if the court did not grant the exemption, have more than one remedy against a particular person, it should be for the company to decide which remedy it should remain entitled to pursue.

(6) If a person brings proceedings against another ( “the contributor”) for a contribution in respect of liability to a company arising under any of Articles 109 to 115 or 122 and it appears to the court that the contributor is liable to make such a contribution, the court may exercise the powers of paragraph (7).

(7) The court may, if and to the extent that it appears to it, having regard to the respective culpability (in respect of the liability to the company) of the contributor and the person bringing the proceedings, that it is just and equitable to do so—

(a)exempt the contributor in whole or in part from his liability to make such a contribution; or

(b)order the contributor to make a larger contribution than, but for this paragraph, he would be liable to make.

(8) Where a person is liable to a company under paragraph (2) of Article 115, the court may, on application, exempt him in whole or in part from that liability if and to the extent that it appears to the court just and equitable to do so having regard to any benefit accruing to the company by virtue of anything done by him towards the carrying out of the agreement mentioned in that paragraph.

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