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The Companies (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 1990

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

A company’s capacity and the power of the directors to bind it

44.—(1) In Chapter III of Part II of the Companies Order (a company’s capacity; formalities of carrying on business), for Article 45 substitute—

A company’s capacity not limited by its memorandum

45.(1) The validity of an act done by a company shall not be called into question on the ground of lack of capacity by reason of anything in the company’s memorandum.

(2) A member of a company may bring proceedings to restrain the doing of an act which but for paragraph (1) would be beyond the company’s capacity; but no such proceedings shall lie in respect of an act to be done in fulfilment of a legal obligation arising from a previous act of the company.

(3) It remains the duty of the directors to observe any limitations on their powers flowing from the company’s memorandum; and action by the directors which but for paragraph (1) would be beyond the company’s capacity may only be ratified by the company by special resolution.

A resolution ratifying such action shall not affect any liability incurred by the directors or any other person; relief from any such liability must be agreed to separately by special resolution.

(4) The operation of this Article is restricted by Article 9A of the Charities (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 in relation to companies which are charities; and Article 330A below (invalidity of certain transactions to which directors or their associates are parties) has effect notwithstanding this Article.

Power of directors to bind the company

45A.(1) In favour of a person dealing with a company in good faith, the power of the board of directors to bind the company, or authorise others to do so, shall be deemed to be free of any limitation under the company’s constitution.

(2) For this purpose—

(a)a person “deals with” a company if he is a party to any transaction or other act to which the company is a party;

(b)a person shall not be regarded as acting in bad faith by reason only of his knowing that an act is beyond the powers of the directors under the company’s constitution; and

(c)a person shall be presumed to have acted in good faith unless the contrary is proved.

(3) The references above to limitations on the directors' powers under the company’s constitution include limitations deriving—

(a)from a resolution of the company in general meeting or a meeting of any class of shareholders, or

(b)from any agreement between the members of the company or of any class of shareholders.

(4) Paragraph (1) does not affect any right of a member of the company to bring proceedings to restrain the doing of an act which is beyond the powers of the directors; but no such proceedings shall lie in respect of an act to be done in fulfilment of a legal obligation arising from a previous act of the company.

(5) Nor does that paragraph affect any liability incurred by the directors, or any other person, by reason of the directors' exceeding their powers.

(6) The operation of this Article is restricted by Article 9A of the Charities (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 in relation to companies which are charities; and Article 330A below (invalidity of certain transactions to which directors or their associates are parties) has effect notwithstanding this Article.

No duty to enquire as to capacity of company or authority of directors

45B.  A party to a transaction with a company is not bound to enquire as to whether it is permitted by the company’s memorandum or as to any limitation on the powers of the board of directors to bind the company or authorise others to do so..

(2) In Schedule 20 to the Companies Order (effect of registration of companies not formed under that Order), in paragraph 6 (general application of provisions of Order), after sub-paragraph (5) insert—

(6) Where by virtue of sub-paragraph (4) or (5) a company does not have power to alter a provision, it does not have power to ratify acts of the directors in contravention of the provision..

(3) In Schedule 21 to the Companies Order (provisions applying to unregistered companies), in the entries relating to Part II, in the first column for “Article 45” substitute “Articles 45 to 45B”.

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