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A. Amaya, what the process for altering a company constitution is, and whether she can prevent the inclusion of the clause allowing the directors to expropriate her shares?
B. Gracey, what recourse, if any, she has for the non-payment of her monthly fee for the remainder of her one year contract?

C. Lily-Mae whether the directors of Drink It Up Pty Ltd have breached s181 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or their equivalent equitable duties and what penalties or remedies might be applicable; and
D Dhruv whether he has an action against Kristofer for breach of directors' duties for selling him the shares in Drink It Up Pty Ltd just before it was going into liquidation.

Alterations Process of the Company’s Constitution

Based on the Application of the Law, Article 1, which is similar to that of the court, business organizations also follow legal laws that are based on their economic activities. These regulations of the business organization play a major role in carrying out different economic as well as business practices. In fact, it acts as a license to perform operational activities within their national boundaries. Additionally, it also perceived as an identity of their existence. Business laws further help the business organizations to identify any existence of unethical practices as well as its consequences. Responsibility of person or a director of an organization is addressed by the business law. On an overall basis, any type of conflict within the organization or against other organizations is solved through business laws. Focusing majorly on these business laws, this research paper covers brief statements about the legal terms that are provided to different parties, which is Amaya in the first case. A statement is justified whether she can stop the directors from including clause to confiscate her shares from the company as per her one year contract. On the other hand, the study also focus on discussing the penalties or remedies to be experienced by the directors of ‘Drink it UP Pty Ltd’, as they have breached the law of s181 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as well as their equitable duties. It also projects reasons whether action can be taken in case of breach of directors duties for selling the shares prior to going through liquidation.

Alterations Process of the Company’s Constitution

As per the employment contract of Amaya and the Oh My Pty Ltd Company, Amaya has accepted the position of an accountant with 10% shares of the company to her name. However, on the 1st of July 2018, Huw and Sammy found out that Amaya accepted the accounting position in one of competing company of Oh My Pty Ltd Company i.e. Gosh Pty Ltd Company. This decision of Amaya has further breached her employment contract with Oh My Pty Ltd Company, which would significantly affect their business. As per the s136(2) of the Corporation Act 2001, Amaya does not stand in any position to control or have power but instead, Oh My Pty Ltd Company holds the major power to make judgments. In case of any decision made by the company or its member on altering the constitution, under the s140(1)(a) Article, both are held equally responsible on making any decision in altering the constitution. Under this act, the initial process might start from holding a meeting with every members of the company if any alteration of constitution is to be made within the business structure. As Oh My Pty Ltd Company will hold the meeting in the company, members of these meeting have to undergo through the process of voting system as per the s136(2) Corporation Act.

Inclusion of the Clause and Shares

Majority of the votes can help in determining the result whether alteration of the constitution will be done or not. Here, the decision of alteration is directly dependent upon 75% votes of the majority members. However, in case if the majority of the votes does not reach up to 75%, then the decision on alteration will be dismissed as per the s136(2)Corporation Act 2001. In some cases, if the majority decision is not identifiable or cannot be decided, then the 75% votes is assumed to be considerable on the alteration decision as per the business act of the company. Other than this, the Corporation Act 2001 also projects that the alteration of constitution can only be initiated if it is valid. An alteration is valid only if it benefits Oh My Pty Ltd Company but not if it affects or harms them or their business. It is further evident that Amaya has the least chance of altering the constitution of Oh My Pty Ltd Company, as the majority of the member’s vote is the only way for her on altering the constitution for retaining her 10% shares from the company.

Inclusion of the Clause and Shares

The case of PJC v CAMAC, implies that the directors of the companies are given the power on the basis of which they can alter company’s clause only when the purpose is meant to benefit the organization or its stakeholders. Based on the case of Gambotto v WCP Ltd, it is further displayed that the Australian High Court rejected the bona fide that was benefitting the WCP Company, as Gambotto had his own property rights as per the same. Since, Gambotto had not committed or caused any impact in the WCP’s loss. Thus, owing to this reason, the Australian High Court favored the decision towards Gambotto. Similarly, in the case of Sidebottom v Kershaw, Leese & Co, it is also observed that Sidebottom had created an impact on the company by leaving and joining the other competing companies. His request in attaining shares from the company was further rejected. Based on the principle of share capital, the case of Amaya is similar to that of the case of Sidebottom v Kershaw, Leese & Co. Thus, in this context, it is observed that Amaya has created an impact on Oh My Pty Ltd Company by deciding to work in the competing company at an instant without letting the directors or anyone of the members to know about it. If the decisions made by Amaya had not created an impact in the company, then her chance of acquiring shares through alteration would have been possible.

Recourse of Non-Payment on One Year Contract

Recourse of Non-Payment on One Year Contract

Based on the Corporation Act 2001, every shareholder has the right to receive their shares at any given condition. However, in case of any action or decision taken by the shareholder is against the company, then it is less possible for them to receive shares as per the agreement conditions stated within the shareholder’s rights. This scenario can directly be viewed in the case of Burland v Earle [1902] AC 83, where the elementary principle was considered in the joint stock company. As the major problem was amid the internal management belonging to the company and its shareholders, the Court was not able to take any action as per the elementary principle. Contextually, this principle led the company to hold power to make any decision about whether Burland would be provided with his or not. As per this case, “It is clear law that in order to redress a wrong done to the company or to recover moneys or damages alleged to be due to the company, the action should prima facie be brought by the company itself’ (p. 1). As Gracey had signed a one year contract with Oh My Pty Ltd Company and started working but getting involved with Amaya with respect to working in the competing business company i.e. Gosh Pty Ltd, Gracey has less chance of recourse of receiving her non-payments. This indicates that whether she will receive any non-payment figures or not directly largely depends upon the decision of Oh My Pty Ltd Company and not any other party or governing body.

The Sec. 320 of the Corporation Act 2011 states that any shareholder, who seeks their recourse of non-payments must be judged as well as addressed well prior to taking any decision on the issuing the non-payments from the company. Similarly, another case based on the principle of non-payment dividends under the Corporation Act 2001 is identified as Sanford v Sanford Courier Service Pty Ltd (1986) 5 ACLC 394. In this particular case, it was observed that Mr. Sanford was not treated or judged in the right way by the company, as they did not follow the this section under the Corporation Act 2011. This injustice by the company projects an oppressive behavior to Mr. Sanford, as he did not receive his non-payments by the company. Focusing on this scenario, it can be assumed that Gracey is in a similar position, as she is looking for the option of recourse for her non-payment to be provided by Oh My Pty Ltd Company. Thus, on the basis of this respective section, Oh My Pty Ltd Company holds a power to decide whether she must be paid with her non-payments or not. Even though Gracy has less chance of receiving the mentioned non-payments, she needs to make sure that Oh My Pty Ltd Company is following the Corporation Act 2011 as well as its Relief Section of Article 320. If the company does not follow the legal regulations, then Gracey has a greater chance of suing the directors of the company and can also have her recourse of non-payments as well.

Breach of Directors' Duties

Equivalent Duties and Penalties of the Directors

Implementing the principle of the agency in relation and breach of duty by the director as per the Part 2D.1 Section of Corporation Act, it can be assumed that Kristofer has breached this Act by selling the shares of 5% by himself without confirming or informing Aida and Jade, who are the two directors of the Drink It Up Pty Ltd. Most importantly, as per the principle, a major reason is that the action of Kristofer stands against the Drink It Up Pty Ltd Company, which can further create problems for the company. The Corporations Act s198A further portrays that the director’s duty is to protect, manage and direct the company. Even though they are entitled to have some powers or rights, thus they need to ensure that any action or decision taken on behalf of the company must not breach the regulations stated in the Corporations Act s198A. This Act also states that every actions and decision taken by them must be in favor of the company and not against it. This Corporations Act s198A also highlights that breaching of this act by a director from a group of three directors indicates serving their own individual need rather than the company or the other directors of the company. This scenario of breaching the Corporation Act 2001 is exactly similar to scenario of Kristofer’s action and decision taken on his behalf rather than the company’s behalf. Implementing the Section of 229(2) of the Corporation Act 2001, it is clearly evident that the Kristofer has misused his power as a director by selling his 5% shares, which further affects the company. 

Applying the principle of Section of 229(2) of the Corporation Act 2001, Kristofer will be facing a criminal penalty, where he has to pay the amount of AUD $5,000 (Australian Dollar), as he has misused his power as a director. If he had taken any actions, which were associated with fraudulency, then, the penalty of this act would result to an amount of AUD $20,000 or maybe an imprisonment of five years. The high court of Australia will make an order whether Kristofer has to pay the amount of AUD $20,000 to the corporation or not. As per the rules Sections 134?141 under the Corporation Act and 198E, there are various rules, which are based on the company’s internal management such as making decision on agreement or not by conducting meetings among the company members. In the context of changing the decisions or rules of the internal management, the company will require a constitution on doing so. Similarly, with respect to the particular case, of Twycross v. Grant and Others, it is identifiable through the section 38 of the Companies Act that the directors of the joint stock companies had sold their shares to other companies but with a motive of promoting their company, which is considered to be legal and positive for the company. In these cases, no penalties were charged for the directors, as they acted as a promoter. Kristofer selling his shares without following and considering the legal requirements such as Corporation Act 2001, have further affected the company rather than promoting its services. This action of Kristofer will further lead him to pay the penalty of AUD $5,000 to AUD $20,000 as per the decision taken by the Australian High Court. 

Penalties and Remedies

Considering s 181 of the Corporations Law, a director must discharge their respective duties considering the provisions of good faith for the betterment of the organizations. Its subsection 181(1) is related to civil penalties. This implies that Kristofer, a director of Drink It Up Pty Ltd has the duty to provide good faith for the best interest of the organization in which he is working. However, he has breached the contract and hence is liable for its consequences. Hence, it can be said that the directors owe their duties to their corporations. Moreover, applying the law principles, if Kristofer breached the contract intentionally, it can be termed as criminal offence under section 184(1) and may be penalized accordingly.

Possible Remedies for Directors

As per the principles and regulation under the Part 2D.1 Section of Corporation Act, Kristofer being one of the directors of Drink It Up Pty Ltd have breached the contract. Hence, it can be stated that based on this Act, the company and the corporate regulations as well as legislation has been breached by him. This action led him to be liable for receiving a penalty, which further depends on the decision made by the Australian High Court. Based on the Practical effect of s140(1)(c) of Corporation Act, which follows the principle of enforcement between the members, Kristofer has an appropriate remedy. However, this is only possible if the breach is made in terms of the company’s constitution. In case of breaching of Corporate Act 2001, it is not possible for Kristofer to apply for remedy.. As Kristofer has breached the company’s constitution, the possible remedies would be receiving the consent of 5% shares sold from Dhruv. Another remedy can be appointing directors for Drink It Up Pty Ltd. A resolution can be formed under certain conditions made by Aida and Jaden, which are the other directors of the company. The case of Dungowan Manly Pty Ltd v McLaughlin can be cited as an example of the remedies, where McLaughlin was provide remedies even after breaching company’s constitution. McLauglin as a director of the company was further settled with dismissal of several rights and power from the post of director. Similarly, Kristofer can also have remedy but several rights may be withdrawn from his position of director.

 Action against Kristofer on Breaching

Practical effect of s140(1)(c) Article under the Corporation Act 2001, projects an understanding, where an internal members or member of the same company have right to enforce or take an action against the other members within the organization. This directly depends on the circumstances such as conditions stated in making a purchase of the shares from the other members. Focusing on the agency principle of indoor management rule, the rule in Turquand’s case 2 portrays that similar actions were taken without any confirmation or any contact with the members of the company. This unethical practice by the company did not consider its regulations and legislations such as Corporation Act 2001, created a chance for the other members to take certain actions. With respect to the belonging of the company, the member possessed power of taking action with respect to the company with the presence of any sort of forums as per the s133(1) Corporation Act 2001. Similarly, Dhruv has taken action against Kristofer, who is the director of a Drink It Up Pty Ltd Company, as he had sold him his overall shares of 5% from the company. Taking action would be possible but Dhruv needs to ensure that he follows rules as well as the regulations by abiding the Corporation Act 2001 as well as collect forums in order to be permitted for taking any actions against Kristofer and Drink It Up Pty Ltd Company.

Conclusion

Based on the Corporation Act 2001and 2011 along with its various article elements, it can be inferred that any actions taken on behalf of the corporation or in behalf of the individual members, must meet every legal laws and set of national rules. Doing this will not only ensure the action to be legal but it would also assist the individuals or the company from facing any business consequences, which can be highly risky for its operations. These laws, thus act as an identity of the companies and serves as an existing lifeline to them for overcoming any serious business or financial issues.

References

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