Are you aware that shortly before Christmas, the Government announced that a number of changes proposed for 1 October 2008 were to be postponed for a further year, until 1 October 2009?

We set out below, as a reminder, what is to come into force and when:

6 April 2008 –not affected by the pre-Christmas announcement

  • a liquidator's expenses will be payable out of the property subject to a floating charge in priority to the charge holder and preferential creditors, hence reversing the Leyland Daf case
  • any company will be able to execute any document by having it signed by a single director in the presence of a witness (not necessarily another director or the company secretary, or even a person connected with the company) who also signs reduction of periods for filing accounts (six months for public companies, nine months for private companies)

1 October 2008

  • abolition of the prohibition against financial assistance by private companies for the acquisition of their own, or a private holding company's, shares
  • statutory duties relating to disclosure of directors' interests, conflicts of interest and bar on acceptance of benefits from third parties by directors

1 October 2009

  • new section and form references for registration of charges (form 860 instead of form 395) will come into force. Existing law regarding registration of charges remain, largely, unchanged. The only exception is that Slavenburg registrations will no longer be possible; instead the Secretary of State will have the power to issue regulations requiring overseas companies that have a business presence in the UK to register specific charges over property in the UK 

If you need more details on other changes which affect companies generally, our experts in Corporate Governance have prepared an analysis of the implications of changes and delays to the Companies Act 2006.