9th April 2020
As annual general meeting (AGM) season gets underway, company secretaries are asking themselves if and how AGMs can be held whilst the coronavirus pandemic continues and restrictions on movement and public meetings apply in the UK. The UK’s current prohibition on non-essential travel and public gatherings of more than two people means that companies will need to re-consider how their AGM is held, and we set out below some of the practical steps public companies (and private companies which are required by their constitutional documents to hold an AGM) may wish to take in planning for, or holding, an AGM.
The UK government has announced that it will introduce legislation to ensure that AGMs can be held safely and consistently with the current restrictions on movement and gatherings. This legislation is not expected imminently, and it remains to be seen whether it is introduced in time to assist companies currently considering issuing their AGM notices. In the meantime, The Chartered Governance Institute has issued guidance, and a supplement to that guidance, on contingency planning for AGMs during the current pandemic.