UK: England and Wales: the service of documents on directors, secretaries and others

This post, UK: England and Wales: the service of documents on directors, secretaries and others,  by (Robert Goddard), first appeared on  at

Section 1140 of the Companies Act 2006 provides, broadly put, that a document may be served on a company director by leaving it at, or sending it by post to, the director’s registered address. Decisions concerning this provision are sparse; this said, the operation of section 1140 was one of several matters considered by the High Court in a judgment handed down today – Arcelormittal USA LLC v Essar Steel Ltd [2019] EWHC 724 (Comm) – in the context of a challenge made to the grant of search orders.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Jacobs, rejected the argument that it was impermissible for search orders to be served under section 1140, finding that the section was (a) “wide in scope”; (b) expressly permitted the service of “a document”; and (c) applied whatever the purpose of the document in question (para. [130]). He also accepted as correct the view “…that there was ‘no requirement under the statute that the director be resident or otherwise present in the jurisdiction in order to be served here’.” (para. [132]). This latter point was, in fact, confirmed in an earlier decision of the High Court not cited by Jacobs J: Key Homes Bradford Ltd & Ors v Patel [2014] EWHC B1 (Ch).

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