This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

When Must Promoters Disclose Their Interest in a Company Contract?

Question from ronald, When Must Promoters Disclose Their Interest in a Company Contract?

Answer from AI:

In the context of company law, the term “promoter” refers to individuals or entities involved in the formation of a company. These promoters often engage in contracts on behalf of the company before it is formally incorporated. The question of when promoters must disclose their interest in a contract with the company they are promoting is crucial for ensuring transparency and fairness in the company’s formation and early operations.

Understanding the Requirement for Disclosure

Promoters have a fiduciary duty to the company they are forming. This means they are required to act in the best interests of the company and its future shareholders. Part of this duty involves disclosing any personal interest they might have in contracts or transactions that the company enters into. Failure to disclose such interests can lead to legal disputes and may result in the contract being set aside.

Key Cases in UK Law

The question mentions four landmark cases in UK law that deal with various aspects of company law and the duties of promoters. Let’s briefly examine each to identify the correct answer:

  1. Erlanger v New Sombrero Phosphate Co (1878): This case is a leading authority on the duty of promoters to disclose their interest in transactions involving the company. In this case, the House of Lords held that promoters must disclose any interest they have in contracts with the company. Failure to do so allows the company, once formed, to rescind the contract unless it is too late for fair restitution.
  2. Clemens v Clemens Bros Ltd: This case deals with issues related to director’s duties and conflicts of interest, but it is not primarily focused on the disclosure requirements of promoters in the formation phase of a company.
  3. Jones v Lipman: This case is relevant to the concept of using a company as a façade to commit fraud or avoid obligations, rather than directly addressing the disclosure duties of promoters.
  4. Foss v Harbottle: This case established the principle that, in general, only the company itself can sue for wrongs done to the company, and not individual shareholders. It does not directly address the issue of promoter disclosure.

Correct Answer

Based on the above summaries, the correct answer to the question of in which case must the promoters make full disclosure of their interest in a contract with the company is:

a) Erlanger v New Sombrero Phosphate Co (1878)

This case explicitly addresses the need for promoters to disclose their interests in contracts with the company, setting a precedent in UK law for the obligations of promoters during the company formation process.

Legal Advice and Further Reading

It’s important to note that while historical cases provide a foundation for understanding legal principles, the specifics of any legal situation can vary widely. Individuals involved in the formation of a company or dealing with promoter contracts should consult with a legal professional for personalized advice.

For more information on the duties of promoters and company formation in the UK, the UK Legislation website provides access to current laws and regulations. Additionally, resources like the Companies House guidance can offer practical advice on company formation and management.

Remember, while historical cases and general guidelines can provide a useful overview, legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances is invaluable.

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