Cyprus: Guidance for Cyprus Courts on the duties owned by directors of a company to the shareholders
In a recent decision by the High Court of the United Kingdom, the court clarified the following:
(a) General duty of Directors to the Company
1. Directors have a direct relationship with the company alone;
2. As in the case of Prudential Assurance Co Ltd v Newman Industries Ltd (no2) , only a company can sue for wrongs done to the company. Therefore, shareholders cannot sue for losses that are merely derivate or reflective;
3. As in the case of Peskin v Anderson , directors owe fiduciary duties to the company as they are agents of the company.
(b) Circumstances in which a Director can owe fiduciary duties to shareholders
4. A Director may owe fiduciary duties to shareholders, depending on whether both have a special factual relationship, meaning one which must be more than usual, giving rise to a relationship of trust and confidence. This is likely to take place in smaller companies;
5. Another circumstance is where there are particular dealings or transactions taking place between the directors and shareholders.
As a result the High Court in the case of Sharp & others v Blank & others EWHC 3220 (Ch), after examining the above decided to struck out a number of claims filed by shareholders against the Directors for breach of fiduciary duties.
For further information on this topic please contact
Ms. Nada Starovlah (email@example.com) at SOTERIS PITTAS & CO LLC,
by telephone (+357 25 028460) or by fax (+357 25 028461)
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advise should be sought about your specific circumstances.