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COMPANY REGISTRATIONS AT SOMERSET HOUSE,
1ST JANUARY TO 31ST DECEMBER 1924.
(Compiled by Jordan & Sons Ltd., Company Registration Agents, Chancery Lane, W.C.2,
and reproduced here with their kind permission.)
93 12 95 ,108 321 198 336 567 44 91 257 463
90 571 168 48 87 48 287
60 131 286 36 67 319 206 219
56 360 64 50 29 12 59 155 28 85 12 16
9 171 169 166 156 489
£ 262,755 567,900 881,810
824,000 1,483,925 1,718,000 3,781,450 2,811,401
502,800 3,405,671 3,135,575 578,710
92,980 1,684,050 438,650 320,550 180,200
50,350 884,200 609,220 112,216 592,950 162,800 190,300
94 17 97 115 323 204 345 573 68 94 273 470 115 587 168 48 93 51 295
60 140 308 37 69 326 263 237
57 363 66 58 29 17 68 160 29 87 14 24 18 181 225 168 177 505
87 107 54
£ 262,755 1,112,900
946,500 1,588,925 3,079,100 4,478,450 2,938,501
238,860 1,790,121 1,174,005 3,736,395 4,106,220 6,499,110
368,750 8,719,755 449,650
652,800 4,801,671 7,746,925
473,650 8,152,750 180,200
739,220 157,216 614,450 918,800 920,400
899,165 1,033,549 5,730,310 12,852,612
170,000 2,713,400 2,956,507
Totals of 1924
Corresponding figures in 1923
* In this column are included “ Companies Limited by Guarantee ” and “ Associations Not for Profit" without Share Capital, such companies being technically public, however small the membership may be.
Companies registered in 1924 (both public by reference to the date of incorporation ; that and private) number 7964, which is slightly the statement in the form of a balance-sheet under the 1923 figure (8005); but the aggregate should be a separate document, and be made up nominal capital shews an increase of about to the date of the company's balance-sheet for 11 millions--public companies (£43,096,257) | the year in which the return is made ; and being up by about 4 millions and private com- that fuller disclosures as to the financial position panies down by about 21 millions (£65,421,115). of holding companies and other combines should The number of registrations would have ex- be required. ceeded that for 1923, and the increase in Another important recommendation by Mr capital would have been larger, but for a recent Jordan is that where, on the conversion of alteration in the practice of the Registrar of a business into a private company, the vendor Companies in regard to the issue of Certificates takes debentures as consideration for the sale, of Incorporation. In consequence thereof a he should be debarred for a period of years from number of companies which, but for the change enforcing his charge over the assets to the in practice, would have been included in last prejudice of unsecured creditors. year's figures come into the totals for this year. Most of these recommendations provide On the whole, therefore, the year shews a additional safeguards to the investor without distinct though not a striking advance.
unduly harassing the officials of the company Every year the statistics of companies or of the Department of the Registrar of Joint registered include a small proportion of public Stock Companies. companies which do not represent new under- Returning to the year's statistics, the average takings but are the outcome of amalgamations amount of capital with which companies, both or reconstructions, either of which operations public and private, were registered during the may result from prosperity or the reverse. year was £13,626. The average for public Occasionally (but not nearly so frequently as companies only was £100,457, and that for is commonly supposed) a private company is private companies only £8682. all-in” formed to bolster up a tottering business, and average for 1923 was £13,362, while that for persons have been known openly to urge traders 1922 was £15,165. Comparing these figures in financial difficulty to avail themselves of this with the all-in
average over £100,000 just means of averting bankruptcy; but un- before the 1920 Budget was introduced, we must questionably the majority of companies are again, at the risk of wearisome reiteration, incorporated to develop existing businesses or point to that quadrupled capital duty. to start new enterprises. Doubtless, companies Companies registered with nominal capitals are sometimes formed for definitely fraudulent of a million and over and with miniature capitals purposes, but considering the large number of in the first half of the year were recorded in our registrations such concerns are very few. July report. In the latter half there were only
A reconsideration of the Companies Acts two million-capital companies (both public), viz. generally may, however, be advisable, and the announcement on the 9th inst. of the appoint
Daily Sketch and Sunday
Herald Ltd. ment of a committee to consider what amend
£1,000,000 ments are desirable is welcome. Any amend
British Copper Manufacturing
Co. Ltd. ment which will render more difficult and
£1,500,000 hazardous the operations of persons who regard Credit for the smallest nominal capital must the Companies Acts as machinery, by the aid be awarded to an estate-agency concern recently of which they may defraud and trick others, registered with a capital of one halfpenny in will be approved by all who realise the benefits two shares of a farthing each. It has long been the joint-stock system has conferred on British known that a private
company could be trade, though it is too much to expect the incorporated with such a capital, but it had not Legislature to succeed in making the law been done hitherto--mainly because expense
rogue-proof” without hampering others whose is not avoided by making the capital less than intentions and purposes are honourable.
£100. However, this registration demonstrates Recently amendments have been put forward what is little understood, viz. that nominal by Mr Herbert W. Jordan, in the course of capital is no criterion of actual value. One lectures by him, amongst them being proposals farthing share in a capital of a halfpenny that in certain circumstances offers for sale' represents a half-share of the net value of the made by issuing houses should be subjected to assets, whether that value is intrinsically a restrictions similar to those to which pro- halfpenny (or less !) or a £1,000,000. It is spectuses are subject; that (with a few necessary recognition of this fact which, to a large extent, exceptions) all mortgages and charges should be defeats any undue increase in the rate of capital subject to registration; that annual returns duty as a revenue-increasing device. should be made up to a fixed date, determinable Apropos of nominal capital being no criterion
of importance, we may mention a few concerns,
LONDON LETTER. incorporated in the latter half of 1924, the small capitals of which obviously do not indicate
TEMPLE, 22nd January 1925. the scope of the company's operations. The In my last letter I noted a complaint made Sudan Construction and Equipment Co. Ltd., by the Lord Chief Justice, a complaint which and the London and Mid-European Finance has evidently not fallen on deaf ears, for Corporation Ltd., were each registered with the two additional judges authorised by the a nominal capital of £10, while Fitton Smith Judicature Act, 1910, have at last been appointed & Co. Ltd. (with the Marquis of Milford to the King's Bench Division in the persons of Haven on the Board), the Oropuche (Trinidad) Sir Hugh Fraser and Sir William Finlay, K.C. Oilfields Ltd. (a reconstruction), and Co- The appointments are by no means premature operative Households Ltd., each has an original considering that there are still awaiting decision capital of £100.
non-jury actions set down for trial last May, Public companies registered in the last half and special jury and common jury actions set of 1924, with capitals between half a million down last June. It is curious that, although and a million, include:
a certain amount of divorce work has now been Magadi Soda Co. Ltd.
thrown on to Assizes, the work at the Divorce
Court in London has increased from 623 cases (Reconstruction). Graham's Trading Co. Ltd. £800,000
at this time last year to 713 at the present (Merchants, Glasgow, London,
time. Naturally, the alternation of GovernIndia, etc.)
ments has had not a little to do with the delayCentral European Timber Cor
ing of the appointments, though the situation poration Ltd. .
was further aggravated by the fact that last Lloyds Building Ltd.
summer the Labour Government postponed London and Foreign Banking
action on account of the objections of many Corporation Ltd.
Labour members, on the score of economy,
to any step being taken till after the long Three important sugar concerns (all public) vacation, and, of course, the end of the long incorporated during the same period are the vacation
the end of the Labour Ely Beet Sugar Factory Ltd. and the Ipswich Government. Beet Sugar Factory Ltd., each having a nominal The promotion to the Bench of Sir Hugh capital of £300,000, and the West Midland Fraser is undoubtedly and deservedly popular. Sugar Co. Ltd., with a nominal capital of He was called to the Bar thirty-six years ago, £250,000.
and remained a junior counsel until rewarded Space forbids mention of many interesting with a judgeship. Since Mr Justice M'Cardie's concerns, but reference may be made to appointment in 1916 all judges have been Manchester Dry Docks Ltd., £300,000 (public); chosen from the ranks of King's Counsel. He Santa Fé Land Co. Ltd., £400,000 (private- is undoubtedly the greatest authority on the with “ Bovril' Directors on the board); law of libel and slander and the law of parliaTanana Valley Gold Dredging Co. Ltd., mentary elections, his text-books being indis£100,000 (private-Permanent Directors, Sir pensable in matters dealing with those branches E. Goschen and Lord Herschell); Sabiwa Gold of the law. During those thirty-six years the Mines Ltd., £120,000 (public-subsidiary of number of barristers who have passed through London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Co.); his chambers as pupils must have risen to an Peacehaven Estates Ltd., £200,000 (public). exceedingly large figure. He is, by the way, a
As regards comparative activity in various Justice of the Peace for the county of Ross and trades, our tabular statement must speak Cromarty. Sir William Finlay is, of course, mainly for itself. Textiles lead in amount of the son of Lord Finlay, the ex-Lord Chancellor. aggregate capital with £12,852,612, although He has only been called twenty-three years, "food” and “chemicals ” take precedence as and takes his place as the youngest judge on regards number of incorporations (587" food' the Bench, the next in age being Mr Justice and 573" chemical,” against 505 " textile "). Swift, aged fifty, and Lord Birkenhead, aged The aggregate nominal capital of chemical” fifty-two. Sir William Finlay is forty-nine,
-. companies comes far down the list however, and was called in 1901. Four years later he Second as to capital come iron, brass, and was appointed junior counsel to the Board of kindred concerns, with £8,719,755, while the Inland Revenue, a post which he held until newspaper group with £8,152,750 ranks third, he was called within the Bar in 1914. Since owing largely to the inclusion in that category of the war he has had experience as a Commissioner “ Allied Newspapers Ltd.” registered early in of Assizemin 1921 on the Northern Circuit, the year with a nominal capital of £6,750,000. and in 1922 on the Midland and Oxford
The annual general meeting of the Bar was A letter apparently was received from the Law held in the Inner Temple Hall on 16th January, Society complaining that a barrister was acting and lasted for twenty-three minutes. Apart for lay clients in conveyancing matters without from a speech by Mr Holford Knight the the intervention of a solicitor. The report proceedings were devoid of interest. Mr Hol- of the Professional Conduct Committee, which ford Knight asked whether the visit of the was adopted by the Council, was as follows: American Bar last year had caused the General 'The business referred to is business of a kind Council to review their arrangements for visits ordinarily done by a solicitor, and not by in the light of that experience. Much larger counsel. . In non-contentious matters it is arrangements are in vogue in the American permissible, though not desirable, for counsel and Canadian legal professions, and he thought to advise or prepare drafts without the interthe Council should take the opportunity of vention of a solicitor; but it is contrary to considering that question. He also suggested the etiquette of the profession for counsel to that steps should be taken to enable the Bar carry through conveyancing matters by sending of England, as a collective body, in accordance requisitions, examining deeds, and attending with the practice in other lands, to take a completion. This applies whether remuneramore adequate part in those affairs upon which tion is received or not.” the nation wanted guidance that could only be supplied by the Bar. The Attorney-General
LAW LIBRARY. (Sir Douglas Hogg) said in reply that he was sure attention would be given to the questions The Companies Acts, 1908 to 1917, with Exwhich had been raised.
planatory Notes and References to Decided The annual statement of the General Council Cases. By D. G. Hemmant, Barrister-atof the Bar was, however, by no means devoid
Law. Eighth Edition. 1925. London : of interest, and it might be worth while to record Jordan & Sons Ltd. Price, post free, a few of the matters dealt with. The Council 10s. 9d. has received two communications from the The new edition of Mr Hemmant's book will Foreign Office relating to the League of Nations. be found to be a useful annotated edition of the One was an invitation to nominate a representa- Companies Acts, with a selection of the more tive to attend the Conference of the League of important decided cases.
The notes are brief Nations at Geneva on 30th July to discuss and to the point, and the illustrative decisions proposals relating to procedure, etc., in Poor seem to be well selected. Such a work may well Persons' Cases. Sir Thomas Willes Chitty find a place in the library of a lawyer who does accepted the nomination of the Council and not possess the bulkier and more exhaustive attended the Conference. The second com- treatises. munication related to the robes worn by barristers when appearing before the Permanent Handbook on Trade Marks and Trade Names. Court of International Justice at the Hague.
By Joseph Ricardo, Barrister-at-Law. 1925.
Price It was stated that advocates of the different
London : Jordan & Sons Ltd. nationalities appear in such costumes as they
5s, net. think fit, such as academic dress or evening As the author explains in his preface, the subdress. In 1922, when the Court was first ject of this volume is a branch of law which is established, the practice was for barristers to particularly well expounded in existing textwear the barrister's gown and bands, but not books; yet we are inclined to agree with him the wig.
This practice continued until 1924, that there is scope for a work on a modest scale when it was considered desirable that the which will give to those unfamiliar with the practice should be altered and that the wig topic a general knowledge of the leading should be worn with the gown and bands. The principles of trade marks. The condensation proposal was submitted to the authorities, and which is involved in the production of a book with their approval the change has been on this scale on such a subject is in itself a effected. In this connection the Council report difficult task, and we may congratulate the that they were asked whether it was in accord- author on his success in presenting the salient ance with professional etiquette for a barrister features in concise form. There is, moreover, to appear in wig and gown at a public function a certain originality in the author's mode of when the invitation contained the request that presentation, particularly in the section dealing Academic Dress
The Council with the difficult topic of trade names. There, expressed the opinion that barristers' robes if anywhere, the law may be said to be in course should not be worn in such circumstances. of development, and the author's treatment of One matter of considerable interest to the such important recent decisions as the Buttercup barrister appears under the head of “ Questions Dairy case may be commended as most relating to Professional Conduct and Practice.” suggestive.
Mackenzie, and Lord Ormidale, and he is now 1
Istro officiating in the Court of Lord Ashmore.
During his long period of office in the Court On the 31st January last, Mr John Moir, at of Session, Mr Moir, by his innate kindliness and present a Depute-Clerk of Session, completed courtesy, has endeared himself, not only to his the long and distinguished record of fifty-one fellow-profession in Parlia
Etiam years in the Parliament House.
ment House, but also to all practitioners who Mr Moir began his legal training as apprentice have had occasion to come in contact with him. to Andrew & Wilson, W.S.; afterwards acting We do not doubt that the wishes of the proas Parliament House clerk to Ferguson & fession as a whole will be extended to Mr Moir Junner, W.S., both of which firms, though now that he may be spared for to adorn
mongo extinct, may be
the office which he remembered by
now holds. the older members
Outside the of the profession.
sphere of duty In January 1874
Mr Moir is well Mr Moir went to
known in various the Parliament
circles. At BarnHouse, where he
ton he has beld .became clerk to
office in the EdinProfessor Æneast
burgh Burgess Mackay, to J. H.
Society in many A. Macdonald
posts, and his (Lord Kingsburgh)
game at golf is afterwards Lord
still by no means Justice-Clerk, and
to be despised. later on clerk to
Mr Moir's many several other lead
friends outside ing members of
of the Bar.
duty will join e In 1880 he was
with his profesappointed by the
sional brethren in late Lord Watson
their congratulato the office of
tions on h
his Assistant-Clerk of
having attained the Bills, and in
such a long 1885 he became
service in harLord Advocate's Photo by]
[Inglis, Edin. clerk, being with J. H. A. Macdonald in the Home Office when the office of Secretary for Scotland was instituted and Scottish business The death occurred on Monday last at his transferred from the Home Office to Dover residence, St Ives, Monument Road, Ayr, House.
of Mr Robert Wilson, partner in the firm of In 1886 he was appointed Depute-Clerk of Kilpatrick & Wilson, solicitors, Ayr. The Session, and in 1896 the Lord President and deceased gentleman, who was a native of Lord Justice-Clerk conferred upon him the Campbeltown, was trained at Ayr and Glasgow, office of Registrar of Law Agents, both of which and became a partner with the late Provost offices he 'still holds.
holds.de Kilpatrick, Ayr, with whom he served his During the thirty-nine years he has officiated apprenticeship. He was a distinguished student as Depute-Clerk of Session in the Outer House in Scots law and conveyancing, and an ex-Dean he has served with five Lords Ordinary who have of Ayr Faculty of Procurators. Mr Wilson passed in rotation into the Inner House, viz. took a keen interest in the Ayrshire Mission to Lord Lee, Lord Moncrieff, Lord Pearson, Lord I the Deaf and Dumb.