17th Dec 2019

Should a Code of Conduct be established for directors?

In the run up to the 2019 General Election, the Institute of Directors (IoD) published its own manifesto for working with the new government after the general election. The IoD called for a Code of Conduct to be established for directors.

There are currently no formal standards for directors in existence, even in relation to the UK’s largest companies. 

In the manifesto paper published by the IoD they have called for the next government to restore trust in “how British companies are run” and have set out 10 policy initiatives to help achieve this. 

The policy initiatives include: 

  • a code of conduct for board members of significant corporate entities and in light of recent high-profile corporate collapses.  
  • the establishment of an independent Corporate Governance Commission to create greater accountability and transparency of the UK governance framework.
  • Minimum requirements for director training. 

It of course remains to be seen whether the next government will implement some or all of the recommendation made by the IoD but we anticipate that the recommendations will command a split audience from those who believe better governance and training is required and those who believe such duties are too onerous.

Natasha Guest is an Associate Director in Berwins' Dispute Resolution team

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