(A) To what extent are modern limited liability (or equivalent) and public limited liability (or equivalent) companies incorporated for the purposes of conducting business and making profits for themselves and their shareholders? To what extent are modern limited liability and public limited liability companies incorporated for the purposes of achieving a collective goal which makes a beneficial difference to one or more societies? To what extent are multinational corporate enterprises the same or different in regard to their purposes?
Please examine and discuss the above three questions separately and in combination, exploring all of the issues arising and stating the extent to which you agree or disagree with the questions, with your reasons. Please support your response by reference to appropriate published legal and non-legal sources.
(B) Saithan, Atiyha and Mairs Ltd (SAM – a company incorporated in England, UK, during 2008) was the result of discussions between three university friends who had qualified as construction engineers and who realised that there is a significant need for fresh water reservoirs around the world. Between 2008 and 2017, SAM built five new reservoirs in Scotland, UK, each of which was praised for quality, safety, effectiveness, and aesthetics.
At the end of 2017 SAM contracted with the Government of Japan (the Government) to build a new reservoir in a mountainous region of Japan. SAM incorporated a subsidiary company in Japan called Okay Construction SA (OCS) for the purpose of carrying out the work. Local populations complained to the directors of SAM, namely, Marcus Saithan, Cecil Atiyha and Bruce Mairs, about safety issues, pointing out that the proposed location of the reservoir was unsafe geologically. The three directors of SAM agreed with local populations to make changes to the original plans but without changing the location as contracted for with the Government. The SAM Directors also agreed with local populations to create a second dam (the tailings dam) for the materials discarded from the main reservoir project. Further, the three SAM directors agreed with local populations that two Japanese construction engineers, two Japanese geologists, and three local residents would be appointed to the OCS Board of Directors. All these amendments were implemented.
The Japanese construction project as amended (the Project) was completed and handed over to the Government in early 2021. In late 2021, part of the mountain in which the reservoir and the tailings dam were constructed fell into the reservoir dam and into the tailings dam causing a torrent of water and rock to descend the valley and destroy the two villages below.
As part of the investigations carried out by the Government (the Enquiry), it became known that the SAM Board of Directors repeatedly rejected suggestions of the OCS Board of Directors so that, at some of the key stages in the Project, decisions of the OCS Board were overridden by the SAM Board. The Enquiry has also revealed that the critical height of water in the reservoir and the strength of the tailings dam were changed by the SAM Board and those changes were voted through by the OCS Board. Those changes (water height and strength of dam) were identified by the Enquiry as being the causes of the disaster. The Enquiry also revealed that the SAM Board had not previously experienced a construction of the nature of the Project.
By the time that the Government paid the final instalment of the contracted fee to SAM, OCS had used almost all of its available financial resources and had limited equipment of any value. The victims of the disaster have not received any compensation.
Please advise the victims, the Boards of Directors of SAM and OCS.
(C) Please analyse, compare and contrast the relationship between the issues raised in Part A and the issues raised in Part B: identifying the similarities and discrepancies between the issues in Part A and the issues in Part B, and commenting on why you think that there are those similarities and discrepancies between Part A and Part B. For example, does the Part A question raise exactly the same or different issues as the Part B question; or is Part A broader or narrower than Part B in its issues – if so in what way or ways? (This comparison is to be made primarily on the basis of the content of the Question in Parts A and B, and not merely on the basis of the content of your essay.)
As noted above, the purpose of a company is to make profits for its shareholders. However, there are different types of companies that have different ways of doing this. Limited liability companies (LLCs) and public limited liability companies (PLCs) are two types of business entities that have different methods of operation and different levels of shareholder protection.
An LLC is a type of company that is formed to conduct business and make profits for its members. The members of an LLC are not personally liable for the debts or liabilities of the company. This means that if the company goes into debt or is sued, the members' personal assets are protected. An LLC can be either member-managed or manager-managed. In a member-managed LLC, the members make all of the decisions about the company. In a manager-managed LLC, the members elect a manager (or group of managers) to make decisions on their behalf.
A PLC is a type of company that is formed to conduct business and make profits for its shareholders. The shareholders of a PLC are not personally liable for the debts or liabilities of the company. This means that if the company goes into debt or is sued, the shareholders' personal assets are protected. A PLC can be either privately held or publicly traded. A privately held PLC is owned by a small group of shareholders who are not required to disclose information about the company to the public. A publicly traded PLC is listed on a stock exchange and is required to disclose information about the company to the public.
Both LLCs and PLCs have their advantages and disadvantages. LLCs are typically less expensive to form and operate than PLCs. However, LLCs offer less protection to their members than PLCs do to their shareholders. PLCs are more expensive to form and operate than LLCs, but they offer more protection to their shareholders. When deciding which type of company to form, it is important to consider the needs of the business and the level of protection that is desired for the owners.
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