Wednesday, 2 June, 2021
Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, today welcomed the publication of the 2020 Annual Report of the Company Law Review Group (CLRG).
Minister Troy said: “The CLRG undertook a significant body work in 2020 as evidenced in the recently published Annual Report, including a report on measures addressing company law issues arising by reason of the Covid-19 pandemic and a report on a legal structure for the rescue of small companies. This work has assisted the development of legislation to address some of the emerging challenges faced by business during the pandemic.”
“Government recently extended the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 until 31 December 2021. Some of the measures identified by the CLRG were included in this Act which makes temporary amendments to the Companies Act 2014 and the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1893 to allow for the continuation of virtual meetings, the debt threshold at which a company is deemed unable to pay its debts remaining at €50,000 and the extension of examinership to 150 days remaining in place. Such measures deliver a pragmatic response to the challenges emerging from the pandemic.”
He continued: “Work continues on drafting of legislation for the rescue of small and micro businesses which was also the subject of the CLRG report. This Government is committed to doing all that we can to help our small businesses recover from the economic impact of COVID 19. Once published, the Small Company Administrative Rescue Process Bill will be introduced to the Houses of the Oireachtas as a matter of priority. The Bill will offer a route for micro and small companies that need to restructure, and once enacted will provide a process that is more cost efficient and capable of conclusion within a shorter period of time. The Bill will also make the provision of virtual meetings permanent and will progress recommendations made by the Company Law Review Group in relation to the provision of information to employees as creditors in a liquidation.”
In addition to the above reports, the CLRG also submitted the following reports to the Department:
- Report on potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on company law in the context of corporate governance.
- Report on certain company law issues arising under the EU Central Securities Depositories Regulation 909/2014 (CSDR).
The CLRG also made a submission to the Department on Directive EU 2019/2121 of 27 November 2019/2121 of 27 November 2019 (the Cross-Border Conversions and Divisions Directive).
Furthermore, the Chair of the CLRG, Mr Paul Egan, S.C, provided an update on the work of the CLRG in relation to Item 1 on the Work Programme for 2020-2022 regarding creditors rights in liquidations, including employees’ rights, the practice of trading entities splitting their operations between trading and property, and transactional avoidance.
The CLRG submitted its report in relation to the review of existing legislative provisions regarding the provision of information to creditors generally and in particular to employees. This report will be followed up with a further report on trading entities splitting operations and transactional avoidance in the coming months. This work is based on a commitment contained in the Programme for Government and the Government will consider the options put forward by the CLRG in due course.
Minister Troy stated: “The CLRG’s work on addressing areas of the Work Programme 2020-2022 continues at pace. My Department has examined the report on creditors rights, which has informed the next phase of Government’s work on Collective Redundancies following Insolvency to enhance protections and ensure transparency for employees in insolvency situations. I look forward to receiving the upcoming CLRG report in relation to trading entities splitting their operations between trading and property, and transactional avoidance in the next few months. I thank the members of the CLRG and its committees for their work during 2020 and their continuing work in 2021 which helps all of our companies and ensures that we have an efficient world-class company law infrastructure.”