The modernisation and future direction of UK company law is being shaped by the increasing interrelationship between national and international laws, and emerging significant developments.
This rapid pace of change in the modernisation process renders UK company law dynamic, influential and respected internationally, owing to its ability to adapt to the constant needs of the modern society and its users. This is coupled with the evolving domestic and international legislative landscape and case law developments, including judicial attitudes towards the company as a responsible ‘citizen’ in society, adhering to society’s rules, regulations, values and ethics to enable it to function effectively. UK company law is coloured by complexities, richness, variety of themes and perspectives that provoke wider discussion, debate and interpretation.
The modern corporation has an important role to play in society through its daily interaction, dialogue and participation with the main dramatis personae – the directors, shareholders, employees and the wider stakeholders in society. Important recent cases impacting on UK company law, include: the Supreme Court decisions in VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International  1 BCLC 179; Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd  All ER 90; and FHR European Ventures LLP and others v Cedar Capital Partners LLC  UKSC 45.
A company has a life span like a living organism from its pre-incorporation stage through its incorporation and winding up. Essential requirements for establishing a company, including the legal and practical steps, procedures and documents required during the existence and operation of the corporation. Equally important is the role of the key officers in the company, their fiduciary duties within the UK corporate governance structure, and the relationship between management and shareholders in the effective governance of the corporation. Another consideration are the capital requirements, accounting aspects and the role of auditors and their duties.
New topics, such as corporate social responsibility, are adding to the breadth, depth and variety of themes and perspectives of UK company law. Some have a direct impact and others have a more indirect interrelationship. As UK company law continues to develop, new aspects and dimensions will inevitably have a bearing on the operation and functioning of companies, with the need to ensure that proper systems, mechanisms and procedures are in place for compliance with such developments.
UK company law, including new developments and themes at the international and European level, is constantly changing, evolving, developing and adapting through legislative reforms and landmark cases.
Taken and amended from the preface to Company Law Handbook 2015 by Saleem Sheikh (Bloomsbury Professional, 2014).