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Companies Act 2006

Changes over time for: Cross Heading: The general duties

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Changes and effects yet to be applied to Part 10 Chapter 2 Crossheading The-general-duties:

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters:

  • Act amendment to earlier affecting provision S.I. 2008/373 reg. 11(1) by S.I. 2013/1971 reg. 9(a) (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Amending Regulations revoked (1.10.2013) without ever being in force by S.I. 2013/2224, reg. 2)
  • Act amendment to earlier affecting provision S.I. 2008/373 reg. 3(4) by S.I. 2013/1971 reg. 4 (This amendment not applied to legislation.gov.uk. Amending Regulations revoked (1.10.2013) without ever being in force by S.I. 2013/2224, reg. 2)

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

The general dutiesU.K.

171Duty to act within powersU.K.

A director of a company must—

(a)act in accordance with the company's constitution, and

(b)only exercise powers for the purposes for which they are conferred.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Ss. 170-177 modified (22.2.2008) by The Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/432), art. 17(1), Sch. para. 2(e)

C2Ss. 170-177 modified (8.00 a.m. on 29.9.2008) by the The Bradford & Bingley plc Transfer of Securities and Property etc. Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2546), art. 13(1)(3), Sch. 1 para. 2(e)

C3Ss. 170-177 modified (9.30 a.m. on 7.10.2008) by The Heritable Bank plc Transfer of Certain Rights and Liabilities Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2644), art. 26, Sch. 2 para. 2(e)

C4Ss. 170-177 modified (retrospective to 30.3.2009 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Amendments to Law (Resolution of Dunfermline Building Society) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/814), arts. 1(2), 7, Sch. para. 2(e)

Commencement Information

I1S. 171 wholly in force at 1.10.2007; s. 171 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 1300; s. 171 in force at 1.10.2007 by S.I. 2007/2194, art. 2(1)(d) (with savings in art. 12 and subject to transitional adaptations specified in Sch. 1)

172Duty to promote the success of the companyU.K.

(1)A director of a company must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard (amongst other matters) to—

(a)the likely consequences of any decision in the long term,

(b)the interests of the company's employees,

(c)the need to foster the company's business relationships with suppliers, customers and others,

(d)the impact of the company's operations on the community and the environment,

(e)the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct, and

(f)the need to act fairly as between members of the company.

(2)Where or to the extent that the purposes of the company consist of or include purposes other than the benefit of its members, subsection (1) has effect as if the reference to promoting the success of the company for the benefit of its members were to achieving those purposes.

(3)The duty imposed by this section has effect subject to any enactment or rule of law requiring directors, in certain circumstances, to consider or act in the interests of creditors of the company.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C7Ss. 170-177 modified (22.2.2008) by The Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/432), art. 17(1), Sch. para. 2(e)

C8Ss. 170-177 modified (8.00 a.m. on 29.9.2008) by the The Bradford & Bingley plc Transfer of Securities and Property etc. Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2546), art. 13(1)(3), Sch. 1 para. 2(e)

C9Ss. 170-177 modified (9.30 a.m. on 7.10.2008) by The Heritable Bank plc Transfer of Certain Rights and Liabilities Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2644), art. 26, Sch. 2 para. 2(e)

C10Ss. 170-177 modified (retrospective to 30.3.2009 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Amendments to Law (Resolution of Dunfermline Building Society) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/814), arts. 1(2), 7, Sch. para. 2(e)

C11S. 172 applied (with modifications) (8.12.2017) by The Risk Transformation Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/1212), regs. 1(2), 83(1) (with reg. 189)

Commencement Information

I2S. 172 wholly in force at 1.10.2007; s. 172 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 1300; s. 172 in force at 1.10.2007 by S.I. 2007/2194, art. 2(1)(d) (with savings in art. 12 and subject to transitional adaptations specified in Sch. 1)

173Duty to exercise independent judgmentU.K.

(1)A director of a company must exercise independent judgment.

(2)This duty is not infringed by his acting—

(a)in accordance with an agreement duly entered into by the company that restricts the future exercise of discretion by its directors, or

(b)in a way authorised by the company's constitution.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C12Ss. 170-177 modified (22.2.2008) by The Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/432), art. 17(1), Sch. para. 2(e)

C13Ss. 170-177 modified (8.00 a.m. on 29.9.2008) by the The Bradford & Bingley plc Transfer of Securities and Property etc. Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2546), art. 13(1)(3), Sch. 1 para. 2(e)

C14Ss. 170-177 modified (9.30 a.m. on 7.10.2008) by The Heritable Bank plc Transfer of Certain Rights and Liabilities Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2644), art. 26, Sch. 2 para. 2(e)

C15Ss. 170-177 modified (retrospective to 30.3.2009 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Amendments to Law (Resolution of Dunfermline Building Society) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/814), arts. 1(2), 7, Sch. para. 2(e)

Commencement Information

I3S. 173 wholly in force at 1.10.2007; s. 173 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 1300; s. 173 in force at 1.10.2007 by S.I. 2007/2194, art. 2(1)(d) (with savings in art. 12 and subject to transitional adaptations specified in Sch. 1)

174Duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligenceU.K.

(1)A director of a company must exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence.

(2)This means the care, skill and diligence that would be exercised by a reasonably diligent person with—

(a)the general knowledge, skill and experience that may reasonably be expected of a person carrying out the functions carried out by the director in relation to the company, and

(b)the general knowledge, skill and experience that the director has.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C17Ss. 170-177 modified (22.2.2008) by The Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/432), art. 17(1), Sch. para. 2(e)

C18Ss. 170-177 modified (8.00 a.m. on 29.9.2008) by the The Bradford & Bingley plc Transfer of Securities and Property etc. Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2546), art. 13(1)(3), Sch. 1 para. 2(e)

C19Ss. 170-177 modified (9.30 a.m. on 7.10.2008) by The Heritable Bank plc Transfer of Certain Rights and Liabilities Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2644), art. 26, Sch. 2 para. 2(e)

C20Ss. 170-177 modified (retrospective to 30.3.2009 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Amendments to Law (Resolution of Dunfermline Building Society) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/814), arts. 1(2), 7, Sch. para. 2(e)

Commencement Information

I4S. 174 wholly in force at 1.10.2007; s. 174 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 1300; s. 174 in force at 1.10.2007 by S.I. 2007/2194, art. 2(1)(d) (with savings in art. 12 and subject to transitional adaptations specified in Sch. 1)

175Duty to avoid conflicts of interestU.K.

(1)A director of a company must avoid a situation in which he has, or can have, a direct or indirect interest that conflicts, or possibly may conflict, with the interests of the company.

(2)This applies in particular to the exploitation of any property, information or opportunity (and it is immaterial whether the company could take advantage of the property, information or opportunity).

(3)This duty does not apply to a conflict of interest arising in relation to a transaction or arrangement with the company.

(4)This duty is not infringed—

(a)if the situation cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to give rise to a conflict of interest; or

(b)if the matter has been authorised by the directors.

(5)Authorisation may be given by the directors—

(a)where the company is a private company and nothing in the company's constitution invalidates such authorisation, by the matter being proposed to and authorised by the directors; or

(b)where the company is a public company and its constitution includes provision enabling the directors to authorise the matter, by the matter being proposed to and authorised by them in accordance with the constitution.

(6)The authorisation is effective only if—

(a)any requirement as to the quorum at the meeting at which the matter is considered is met without counting the director in question or any other interested director, and

(b)the matter was agreed to without their voting or would have been agreed to if their votes had not been counted.

(7)Any reference in this section to a conflict of interest includes a conflict of interest and duty and a conflict of duties.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C22Ss. 170-177 modified (22.2.2008) by The Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/432), art. 17(1), Sch. para. 2(e)

C23Ss. 170-177 modified (8.00 a.m. on 29.9.2008) by the The Bradford & Bingley plc Transfer of Securities and Property etc. Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2546), art. 13(1)(3), Sch. 1 para. 2(e)

C24Ss. 170-177 modified (9.30 a.m. on 7.10.2008) by The Heritable Bank plc Transfer of Certain Rights and Liabilities Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2644), art. 26, Sch. 2 para. 2(e)

C25Ss. 170-177 modified (retrospective to 30.3.2009 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Amendments to Law (Resolution of Dunfermline Building Society) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/814), arts. 1(2), 7, Sch. para. 2(e)

176Duty not to accept benefits from third partiesU.K.

(1)A director of a company must not accept a benefit from a third party conferred by reason of—

(a)his being a director, or

(b)his doing (or not doing) anything as director.

(2)A “third party” means a person other than the company, an associated body corporate or a person acting on behalf of the company or an associated body corporate.

(3)Benefits received by a director from a person by whom his services (as a director or otherwise) are provided to the company are not regarded as conferred by a third party.

(4)This duty is not infringed if the acceptance of the benefit cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to give rise to a conflict of interest.

(5)Any reference in this section to a conflict of interest includes a conflict of interest and duty and a conflict of duties.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C26Ss. 170-177 modified (22.2.2008) by The Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/432), art. 17(1), Sch. para. 2(e)

C27Ss. 170-177 modified (8.00 a.m. on 29.9.2008) by the The Bradford & Bingley plc Transfer of Securities and Property etc. Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2546), art. 13(1)(3), Sch. 1 para. 2(e)

C28Ss. 170-177 modified (9.30 a.m. on 7.10.2008) by The Heritable Bank plc Transfer of Certain Rights and Liabilities Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2644), art. 26, Sch. 2 para. 2(e)

C29Ss. 170-177 modified (retrospective to 30.3.2009 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Amendments to Law (Resolution of Dunfermline Building Society) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/814), arts. 1(2), 7, Sch. para. 2(e)

177Duty to declare interest in proposed transaction or arrangementU.K.

(1)If a director of a company is in any way, directly or indirectly, interested in a proposed transaction or arrangement with the company, he must declare the nature and extent of that interest to the other directors.

(2)The declaration may (but need not) be made—

(a)at a meeting of the directors, or

(b)by notice to the directors in accordance with—

(i)section 184 (notice in writing), or

(ii)section 185 (general notice).

(3)If a declaration of interest under this section proves to be, or becomes, inaccurate or incomplete, a further declaration must be made.

(4)Any declaration required by this section must be made before the company enters into the transaction or arrangement.

(5)This section does not require a declaration of an interest of which the director is not aware or where the director is not aware of the transaction or arrangement in question.

For this purpose a director is treated as being aware of matters of which he ought reasonably to be aware.

(6)A director need not declare an interest—

(a)if it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to give rise to a conflict of interest;

(b)if, or to the extent that, the other directors are already aware of it (and for this purpose the other directors are treated as aware of anything of which they ought reasonably to be aware); or

(c)if, or to the extent that, it concerns terms of his service contract that have been or are to be considered—

(i)by a meeting of the directors, or

(ii)by a committee of the directors appointed for the purpose under the company's constitution.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C30Ss. 170-177 modified (22.2.2008) by The Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/432), art. 17(1), Sch. para. 2(e)

C31Ss. 170-177 modified (8.00 a.m. on 29.9.2008) by the The Bradford & Bingley plc Transfer of Securities and Property etc. Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2546), art. 13(1)(3), Sch. 1 para. 2(e)

C32Ss. 170-177 modified (9.30 a.m. on 7.10.2008) by The Heritable Bank plc Transfer of Certain Rights and Liabilities Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/2644), art. 26, Sch. 2 para. 2(e)

C33Ss. 170-177 modified (retrospective to 30.3.2009 at 8.00 a.m.) by The Amendments to Law (Resolution of Dunfermline Building Society) Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/814), arts. 1(2), 7, Sch. para. 2(e)

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