Date Published: 21 September 2020
In view of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and to minimise physical interactions, the Ministry of Law (“MOL”) has announced that entities will be allowed to hold meetings via electronic means up to 30 June 2021 (“Extension”). The Extension will also provide entities with greater certainty when planning meetings.
This article focuses on the impact of the Extension to companies intending to hold meetings.
On 7 April 2020, the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act (“Act”) was passed by Parliament. The Act provides, inter alia, that where personal attendance at any meeting is required in any written law or legal instrument, the Minister of Law may prescribe alternative arrangements for the meeting to be held, including via video conference, tele-conference or other electronic means.
Pursuant to the Act, the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings for Companies, Variable Capital Companies, Business Trusts, Unit Trusts and Debenture Holders) Order 2020 (“Order”) has been promulgated to enable various types of entities to hold meetings via electronic means. Prior to the Extension, the Order applied for the period starting on 27 March 2020 and ending on 30 September 2020.
For more details on the alternative arrangements available to companies under the Order, please refer to our article released in April 2020: https://www.cnplaw.com/covid-19-update-alternative-arrangements-for-meetings-for-companies-cnpupdate-may2020.
The MOL now plans to extend the Order to 30 June 2021. The Extension is subject to the President’s assent, and will be gazetted once the amendments to the Act come into force.
In terms of rationale, the MOL cited the need to keep COVID-19 transmission risks to a minimum as one of the reasons for the Extension.
Further announcements will be made by the MOL when the extension and amendments to the Order come into effect. In the meantime, companies may also visit this website for a list of guidance notes and regulators’ contact information: https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/covid19-relief/alternative.
Disclaimer: This update is provided to you for general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
CNPLaw’s Corporate Finance – Capital Markets Lawyers
Min-Li’s principal areas of expertise are in corporate and financial services. For 2018 and 2019, she was recognised as Singapore’s Top 100 private practice lawyers by Asia Business Law Journal. She is also rated as “Highly Regarded” and ranked as a “Distinguished Practitioner” for Capital Markets by IFLR1000 and Asialaw Leading Lawyers respectively for 2020.
Xiaomeng’s practice is focused on corporate finance, M&A and general corporate advisory. Before joining CNP, she started practice in a leading corporate law firm in Singapore. She is fluent in the Chinese language and has been involved in cross-border transactions in the PRC (including Hong Kong), Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and Australia.
Having handled transactions for numerous local and foreign companies across Asia, extending across a wide range of businesses and industries, we have accumulated significant experience advising on an extensive range of corporate finance transactions.