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UK Private companies now have their own corporate governance code

Posted on 10 December 2018

UK Private companies now have their own corporate governance code

Just ahead of new reporting obligations taking effect from January, the Financial Reporting Council has published the Wates Corporate Governance Principles for Large Private Companies.  Until now, in the UK only publicly quoted companies have had to select and report against a corporate governance code.  However, from January regulations will also require our very largest private companies to state which corporate governance code, if any, has been applied and how.  The Wates principles, which have been prepared by a coalition of experts, chaired by James Wates CBE (of family construction business Wates) with support of the Financial Reporting Council, are designed to be capable of adoption by those companies.  However, in the introduction, James Wates states "My hope is that a wide range of companies – and not just those included in the new legislative requirement to report on their corporate governance arrangements - will use the Wates Principles.  Accordingly, we have kept them flexible and high-level, with guidance provided not as requirements, but to help companies understand how they can apply the Principles."  So what is the background to this, what are the reporting requirements, what do the principles cover and, importantly, what should companies do next?

 

If you would like to know more about corporate governance and how it might affect your business, please speak to your usual Mishcon contact or a member of our Corporate governance team.

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