BP attacks company law reform process

The head of the most powerful company in the UK has issued a withering
assessment of the way the government has managed the company law reform process.

Peter Sutherland, the chairman of BP, the largest company on the London Stock
Exchange by market cap, said the government was failing to strike the right
balance on company law reform, and had not made its intentions clear.

‘It is vital that we have the right company law framework going forward,’
Sutherland told investors at BP’s AGM last week. ‘I am not convinced that
legislators have got the balance right in the clauses presently under debate… in
order to allow companies to act in a commercial manner without needless burdens
of red tape.’

Sutherland’s frustration is the latest criticism of onerous regulation to
come from a senior BP board member. Earlier this year, BP’s chief executive Lord
Browne launched a scathing attack on IFRS.

A DTI spokeswoman said the department was consulting on the matter and would
take all views on board.

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