chapter  1
40 Pages

A HISTORY OF THE COMPANY LAW REVIEW*

1 PURPOSE AND APPROACH

This essay offers an historical account of the progress of the three-year project set in hand in March 1998 to review the whole of British ‘core’2 company law, and to make proposals for its reform. It is said that, when asked to assess the French Revolution, Mao Tse Tung replied that it was too soon to say. Even greater diffidence needs to be shown in such an historical essay written within weeks of the Review’s conclusion, particularly by an author deeply involved in its processes. Accordingly, I shall focus on events and immediate assessment of the direct effects of decisions made. More fundamental judgment of the value of the Review will surely need to be based largely on the quality and performance of any legislation which results. But a factual account and explanation seem likely to be of value while events are still reasonably fresh, as a record and for those considering similar projects.