On 1 October this year the last sections of the Companies Act 2006 will come into force, bringing a long process to a close, and the last parts of its predecessor - the Companies Act 1985 - will finally be repealed.

Whilst many businesses will be aware of this, and may be preparing to take advantage of the changes by amending their articles (we will cover the changes under the 2006 Act in a separate e-update) the last phase of the 2006 Act will in fact be preceded by some other changes in Company Law.

On 3 August the UK will implement the European Shareholder Rights Directive, the intention of which is to harmonise shareholder voting rights throughout Europe.

The majority of the changes affect listed public companies, but there are a number of changes which private companies should also be aware of.

For details of the key changes which apply to private and public companies click here.

Whilst these changes only relate to the relatively narrow area of general meetings and voting, they represent only a small portion of the changes to come into force in the next few months. Companies would be well advised to take the opportunity to review their articles in light of the changes coming in, to ensure that they are both in compliance with the law as it will stand, and that they are taking full advantage of the possibilities.