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Dissolved Companies (Restoration)

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

When part 31 of the Companies Act 2006 is commenced it will replace the provisions of the Companies Acts 1985 and 1989—and the equivalent Northern Ireland legislation—on restoration of dissolved companies to the register. The 2006 Act does not restate the bar, contained in the current legislation, on restoration of companies which were dissolved before 16 November 1969 (11 March 1971 in Northern Ireland). This bar could be retained using separate powers under the 2006 Act. However, the Government do not propose to retain the bar.

The current bar means that some ex-employees or their estates are unable to press claims for compensation in respect of personal injury or fatal accident, either against the employing company, its insurers or the financial services compensation scheme, simply because the company was dissolved prior to the cut-off date. Removing the bar, as the Government propose, may therefore enable such ex-employees or their estates to receive compensation which they are currently unable to obtain. This may be relevant in particular to sufferers of so-called long-tail diseases.

The relevant provisions of part 31 of the 2006 Act will be commenced with effect from 1 October 2009. However, the Government take the view that, as it is proposed to remove the bar, it would be desirable to do so before then. The Government therefore propose to repeal the current bar with effect from 1 October 2008, as part of the next scheduled tranche of provisions to implement the 2006 Act. This repeal would therefore be done separately from the commencement of part 31 of the 2006 Act.

The Government are inviting comments on this approach by 4 July 2008, and publishing a draft commencement order for this purpose.