Rape Reform Essay
The rule in Turquand’s case was not accepted as being firmly entrenched in law until it was endorsed by the House of Lords. In Mahony v East Holyford Mining Co Lord Hatherly phrased the law thus: “When there are persons conducting the affairs of the company in a manner which appears to be perfectly consonant with the articles of association, those so dealing with them externally are not to be affected by irregularities which may take place in the internal management of the company. So, in Mahoney, where the company’s articles provided that cheques should be signed by any two of the three named directors and by the secretary, the fact that the directors who had signed the cheques had never been properly appointed was held to be a matter of internal management, and the third parties who received those cheques were entitled to presume that the directors had been properly appointed, and cash the cheques.
The position in English law is now superseded by section 40 of the Companies Act 2006, but the Rule in Turquand’s Case is still applied throughout many common law jurisdictions in the Commonwealth. According to the Turquand rule, each outsider contracting with a company in good faith is entitled to assume that the internal requirements and procedures have been complied with. The company will consequently be bound by the contract even if the internal requirements and procedures have not been complied with.
The exceptions here are: if the outsider was aware of the fact that the internal requirements and procedures have not been complied with (acted in bad faith); or if the circumstances under which the contract was concluded on behalf of the company were suspicious. However, it is sometimes possible for an outsider to ascertain whether an internal requirement or procedure has been complied with. If it is possible to ascertain this fact from the company’s public documents, the doctrine of disclosure and the doctrine of constructive notice will apply and not the Turquand rule.
The Turquand rule was formulated to keep an outsider’s duty to inquire into the affairs of a company within reasonable bounds, but if the compliance or noncompliance with an internal requirement can be ascertained from the company’s public documents, the doctrine of disclosure and the doctrine of constructive notice will apply. If it is an internal requirement that a certain act should be approved by special resolution, the Turquand rule will therefore not apply in relation to that specific act, since a special resolution is registered with Companies House (in the United Kingdom), and is deemed to be public information.