Eddy Wymeersch

The Use of ICT in Company Law Matters

WP 2000-11

The use of ICT in company law deserves ample attention. Several states are planning regulation in this field. In some states remote registration of company charter and other disclosure documents will be made possible. Disclosure websites instead of the disclosure at the business registry should be considered. With respect to listed companies, filing and disclosure of financial documents has already been put in place in some states. More difficult are the issues raised by the use of ICT in the general meeting: in this field several issues are analysed: notices, questions, or motions by shareholders proxies, and so on. Remote voting is still the most difficult problem: apart from authentication of the shareholder company, pre-meeting voting can be solved. Distance voting during the meeting seems technically very hard to achieve. The long term effects of ICT can be seen as relating to agency issues, to the role of disclosure as a creditor protection device, effecting the role of the legal capital, and the definition of a shareholder in light of the very active trading on the stock exchanges. Published in: G. FERRARINI, K. HOPT, E. WYMEERSCH (Eds.), Capital markets in the age of the Euro, London, Kluwer Law Int. 2001, p. 469-502.