Knox Vs. Cox High Court of Barbados Ruling Will Be Important
A precedent-setting hearing starts today in the High Court of Barbados, and the case is being watched by investors all over the world.
The clash is between the old way of doing things vs. the new standards.
Historically in developed countries the will of majority shareholders of a company could never be questioned by the minority, even if the majority were damaging the company, even if the majority were stripping the assets out of the company or wasting them, even if they were doing things that lined their pockets so that the minority would eventually get nothing….you know that story.
Then things changed. One by one new corporate laws were passed in European and North American jurisdictions which gave minority shareholders and other ‘little people’ an oppression remedy. This is the power to have the Court examine all corporate affairs and transactions and, where undermining of the complainant’s economic rights is established, apply the appropriate remedies.
Barbados, which strives to treat everyone as fairly as possible, wisely realized that this was an important tool in this quest and made it law in Barbados.
But the law has never been tested. The Courts have never been asked to apply it.
So everyone is watching the Knox v Cox case as being an important barometer for how investors will be treated in Barbados. And so are we.
In future articles we will look at the oppression remedy and what great strides have been made for the underdog. If appropriate– we don’t want to interfere with the process of the court- we will provide some background.
* Thanks to a BFP reader for alerting us that Harvard Law School website has picked up this story and also posted it at their Global Voices project. (Link here)