Section 1140 of the Companies Act 2006 stipulates that a director may be served documents at their registered address. Until recently, it had been unclear as to whether this included documents that were not related to the company/directorship itself and whether this address had to be a residential address. A recent case has clarified the position.

The case of Farrer & Co LLP v Meyer (2022)

In the recent case of Farrer & Co LLP v Meyer (2022) the High Court confirmed that Section 1140 allows for documents to be served on a director at the address registered for them at Companies House, regardless of whether the proceedings are connected to the company which they are a director or whether the director resides outside of the jurisdiction.

Background of the case

The claimant in the case issued proceedings against the defendant for unpaid solicitors’ fees. Service of the proceedings was issued at the address registered at Companies House for companies of which the defendant was a director. The defendant did not respond to the proceedings and therefore default judgment was entered against her. The defendant subsequently made various applications, including for judgment to be set aside on the grounds that the service was not good service.

The facts

The High Court found that the service of court proceedings at the defendant’s address registered at Companies House was, in fact, good service and therefore the defendant’s application was refused and the claimant’s default judgment stood.

Outcomes of this verdict

It is a useful development for claimants who wish to serve notices or bring court proceedings against directors of UK companies who reside outside of jurisdiction but have UK service addresses on Companies House. Not only can claimants avoid the costs of applications to the court requesting an alternative method of service or to serve outside the jurisdiction, but it also prevents delays or the inability to bring claims against individuals as a result of not having contact details for them.

The outcome also means that directors, especially those overseas, are obliged to ensure they have a way of viewing documents that may be sent to their registered addresses. Directors will be deemed to have received the documents even if they have not physically seen them – it is, therefore, crucial that directors have a plan in place to ensure the post is regularly checked at their registered addresses.

As a specialist in dispute resolution, Stephens Scown can give you advice and guide you through the best options to move your claim forward.