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Ingen kan tjäna två herrar: om styrelseledamöters lojalitetsplikt vid uppdrag i flera bolagsstyrelser

Hobér, Jakob LU (2013) LAGF03 20131
Department of Law
Abstract
This essay deals with the duty of loyalty imposed on directors with multiple directorships. There is no legislation in Swedish company law implying a duty for directors to avoid a conflict of loyalty, which might arise when a director holds multiple directorships. A duty to avoid a conflict of loyalty that might arise when holding multiple directorships may however be found in the director’s position as fiduciary towards the company. The main purpose of this essay is to examine whether holding multiple directorships may conflict with the director’s duty of loyalty.
The board of directors makes decisions regarding the company’s overall strategy and economic affairs. It is therefore important that the board of directors acts in accordance... (More)
This essay deals with the duty of loyalty imposed on directors with multiple directorships. There is no legislation in Swedish company law implying a duty for directors to avoid a conflict of loyalty, which might arise when a director holds multiple directorships. A duty to avoid a conflict of loyalty that might arise when holding multiple directorships may however be found in the director’s position as fiduciary towards the company. The main purpose of this essay is to examine whether holding multiple directorships may conflict with the director’s duty of loyalty.
The board of directors makes decisions regarding the company’s overall strategy and economic affairs. It is therefore important that the board of directors acts in accordance with their duty of loyalty and their duty to promote the success of the company.
There are two provisions relating to the directors’ general duty of loyalty in Swedish company law. The first provision regards disqualification and can be found in Chapter 8 Section 23 of the Companies Act (2005:551). The second provision regards equality and can be found in Chapter 8 Section 41 of the Companies Act. These provisions are designed to prevent directors from having conflicting interests with the company. They are important when examining if holding multiple directorships is a breach of the duty of loyalty. In addition to these provisions, there are other duties that can be derived from the director’s position as fiduciary. For example, there is a duty of confidentiality and a duty not to make a profit from unauthorized exploitation of a corporate opportunity.
When making the assessment of whether holding multiple directorships is a breach of the duty of loyalty, a distinction is commonly made between holding multiple directorships in companies with common scopes of business and companies with separate scopes of business. The risk of a director breaking his duty of loyalty is higher when sitting on the boards of companies with common scopes of business. Although still present to a certain degree, this risk is lower, when the director sits on the boards of companies with different scopes of business. Regardless of the assessment of the scopes of business, it is still quite uncertain when multiple directorships may constitute a breach of the duty of loyalty.
English company law contains legislation which establishes a duty for directors to avoid conflicts of interests that might arise when holding multiple directorships. Swedish company law gives a rather vague answer to the question of whether multiple directorships constitute a breach of the loyalty of duty. There is therefore a need to clarify this issue, perhaps by using legislation like in England. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Uppsatsen behandlar lojalitetsplikten hos styrelseledamöter som har uppdrag i flera bolag. Svensk rätt saknar en lagstadgad skyldighet för styrelseledamöter att undvika intressekonflikter, som kan uppstå vid engagemang i flera bolag. En skyldighet att undvika intressekonflikter som kan uppstå vid flerfaldiga uppdrag kan eventuellt följa av styrelseledamotens sysslomannaliknande ställning som denne intar gentemot bolaget. Det huvudsakliga syftet med framställningen är att undersöka om det kan utgöra en försummelse av lojalitetsplikten att inneha uppdrag i flera bolag.
Styrelsen fattar viktiga beslut om bolagets övergripande strategier och ekonomiska förhållanden. Det är därför av vikt för bolaget att styrelsen agerar lojalt och tillgodoser... (More)
Uppsatsen behandlar lojalitetsplikten hos styrelseledamöter som har uppdrag i flera bolag. Svensk rätt saknar en lagstadgad skyldighet för styrelseledamöter att undvika intressekonflikter, som kan uppstå vid engagemang i flera bolag. En skyldighet att undvika intressekonflikter som kan uppstå vid flerfaldiga uppdrag kan eventuellt följa av styrelseledamotens sysslomannaliknande ställning som denne intar gentemot bolaget. Det huvudsakliga syftet med framställningen är att undersöka om det kan utgöra en försummelse av lojalitetsplikten att inneha uppdrag i flera bolag.
Styrelsen fattar viktiga beslut om bolagets övergripande strategier och ekonomiska förhållanden. Det är därför av vikt för bolaget att styrelsen agerar lojalt och tillgodoser bolagets intressen.
Styrelseledamotens allmänna lojalitetsplikt har i två avseenden kommit till uttryck i svensk lagstiftning. Det gäller bestämmelsen om jäv i 8 kap. 23 § aktiebolagslagen (2005:551) och regleringen om likabehandling i generalklausulen i 8 kap. 41 § aktiebolagslagen. Dessa regleringar syftar till att motverka att styrelseledamöter har intressen som strider mot bolaget. De har dessutom betydelse vid bedömningen av vad som utgör pliktförsummelse vid uppdrag i flera bolag. Utanför aktiebolagslagen finns det ytterligare förpliktelser som följer av styrelseledamotens ställning. Det finns bland annat en tystnadsplikt och en skyldighet för styrelseledamot att inte för eget bruk utnyttja affärsmöjligheter, om dessa faller inom bolagets verksamhetsområde.
Vid bedömningen av om det vid uppdrag i flera bolag föreligger en pliktförsummelse görs det en uppdelning mellan bolag med och utan sammanfallande verksamhetsföremål. En ledamot med flerfaldiga uppdrag i bolag med sammanfallande verksamhetsföremål löper en högre risk att försumma sin lojalitetsplikt. Vid engagemang i bolag utan sammanfallande verksamhetsföremål, är risken inte lika påtaglig men fortfarande märkbar. Slutsatsen är dock att det är osäkert i vilka situationer, oavsett om verksamhetsföremålen är överlappande eller inte, som pliktförsummelse på grund av flera uppdrag kan uppstå.
Engelsk bolagsrätt innehåller en lagstadgad skyldighet för styrelseledamöter att undvika situationer där en intressekonflikt till följd av uppdrag i flera bolag kan uppstå. I svensk bolagsrätt är det oklart i vilken utsträcknings engagemang i flera uppdrag kan ge upphov till lojalitetsförsummelse. Det finns anledning att förtydliga styrelseledamöters ansvar, förslagsvis med lagstiftningen i den engelska bolagsrätten som förebild. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Hobér, Jakob LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Associationsrätt, lojalitetsplikt
language
Swedish
id
3800929
date added to LUP
2013-10-18 12:55:24
date last changed
2013-10-18 12:55:24
@misc{3800929,
  abstract     = {This essay deals with the duty of loyalty imposed on directors with multiple directorships. There is no legislation in Swedish company law implying a duty for directors to avoid a conflict of loyalty, which might arise when a director holds multiple directorships. A duty to avoid a conflict of loyalty that might arise when holding multiple directorships may however be found in the director’s position as fiduciary towards the company. The main purpose of this essay is to examine whether holding multiple directorships may conflict with the director’s duty of loyalty.
	The board of directors makes decisions regarding the company’s overall strategy and economic affairs. It is therefore important that the board of directors acts in accordance with their duty of loyalty and their duty to promote the success of the company.
	There are two provisions relating to the directors’ general duty of loyalty in Swedish company law. The first provision regards disqualification and can be found in Chapter 8 Section 23 of the Companies Act (2005:551). The second provision regards equality and can be found in Chapter 8 Section 41 of the Companies Act. These provisions are designed to prevent directors from having conflicting interests with the company. They are important when examining if holding multiple directorships is a breach of the duty of loyalty. In addition to these provisions, there are other duties that can be derived from the director’s position as fiduciary. For example, there is a duty of confidentiality and a duty not to make a profit from unauthorized exploitation of a corporate opportunity.
When making the assessment of whether holding multiple directorships is a breach of the duty of loyalty, a distinction is commonly made between holding multiple directorships in companies with common scopes of business and companies with separate scopes of business. The risk of a director breaking his duty of loyalty is higher when sitting on the boards of companies with common scopes of business. Although still present to a certain degree, this risk is lower, when the director sits on the boards of companies with different scopes of business. Regardless of the assessment of the scopes of business, it is still quite uncertain when multiple directorships may constitute a breach of the duty of loyalty.
	English company law contains legislation which establishes a duty for directors to avoid conflicts of interests that might arise when holding multiple directorships. Swedish company law gives a rather vague answer to the question of whether multiple directorships constitute a breach of the loyalty of duty. There is therefore a need to clarify this issue, perhaps by using legislation like in England.},
  author       = {Hobér, Jakob},
  keyword      = {Associationsrätt,lojalitetsplikt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Ingen kan tjäna två herrar: om styrelseledamöters lojalitetsplikt vid uppdrag i flera bolagsstyrelser},
  year         = {2013},
}