You are here

Unfair prejudice: Supercars, yachts, and other excesses

There are occasions when the courts overcome their reluctance to become involved with commercial decisions of the board, explains Sinead Lester

8 May 2017

Unsurprisingly, complaints by minority shareholders about excessive directors’ remuneration and inadequate dividends often go hand in hand. The recent case of (1) Donald Booth (2) Charles Wilkinson (3) Jane Compton v Clarence Booth & 9 Others [2017] EWHC 457 (Ch) is a reminder that despite the high hurdles, the court is prepared to intervene if necessary.

This case concerned CF Booth Limited – one of the largest metal recycling businesses in Europe. The business was successful with substantial dividends being paid each year. However, in 1986, the company made a loss. Despite returning to healthy profitability from 1987, no dividends were ever again declared. In 1987, the chairman confirmed his intention never to pay a dividend.

By 2015, directors’ pay had increased from around £275,000 (in 2005) to over £2.4m. The directors (and the...

Want to read on?

This article is part of our subscription-based access. Please pick one of the options below to continue.

Already registered? Login to access premium content

SUBSCRIBE for one User

Unlimited access to the entire SJ website for a full year for one user.

  • 10 issues a year delivered to you
  • Digital edition of the magazine for one user – sent to your inbox or accessible through the website
  • Access to premium content on the website
  • Access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online
  • Advanced search feature
  • Online support
  • Access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices – coming soon!
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

Subscribe

CORPORATE SUBSCRIPTION

Your department or entire firm can subscribe to Solicitors Journal online, providing easy access for all who require it. Discount corporate subscription rates apply, based on number of users.

The Corporate IP Licence includes:

  • Digital copy of the magazine sent to individuals’ inboxes and accessible through the website. Solicitors Journal publishes 10 issues per year
  • Unlimited access to premium content on the website based on IP addresses
  • Unlimited access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online (username required)
  • Unlimited access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

The Corporate IP Licence is tailored to your firm, making it the most cost effective way for the firm to access Solicitors Journal, and enables the firm to remain compliant with copyright and our Terms and Conditions. This gives you the ability to print and circulate articles within the firm.

To enquire about a Corporate IP Licence for your firm, please contact our Subscriptions Manager on emily.beechey@solicitorsjournal.com.