The Governance Institute issues guidance on the impact of Covid-19 on holding AGMs
The Chartered Governance Institute (ICSA) and Slaughter and May with the support of a number of other organisations have issued guidance on holding AGMs during the current coronavirus environment.
The guidance highlights that given the current fluid situation with regards to the spread of Covid-19, companies planning their annual general meetings (AGMs) should be considering contingency plans. The guidance takes account of legislative and regulatory requirements and notes that companies will need to consider their specific circumstances, including their governing documents.
The guidance details the potential options that are open to companies in relation to holding their AGMs. These are:
- To adapt the basis on which the company holds the AGM.
- To delay convening the AGM, if notice has not yet been issued.
- To postpone the AGM, if this permitted under the company's articles of association (Articles).
- Adjourn the AGM.
- Conduct a hybrid AGM, if this is permitted under the Articles.
The guidance then sets out the necessary steps that are required in respect of each of the above potential courses of action. It also highlights various practical implications associated with each.
It also recognises that given that the current situation continues to evolve, companies may ultimately have to use more than one of these options.