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Sir Francis Palmer indicated the object of this work in a passage which appeared in the Preface to all nine Editions prepared by the author himself and which, it is suggested, should always introduce this work. These are his words:-
These changes are, indeed, fundamental. In the more than 84 years which have passed since Sir Francis gave the famous lectures on which the work was originally founded, company law has become the law of business organisation and management in Great Britain.
In the wider context of business law, company law has become a discipline of its own, with its own characteristics and its own atmosphere. The mechanics of that discipline appear to be complex and technical but the intricate legal pattern at once assumes life and significance if considered against its extra-legal background.
Many tendencies have shaped that background, foremost amongst them the influence of the professional element on company affairs, the effect of taxation on company operations, and the acceptance of the principle of social responsibility in the conduct-of company affairs.
Today Sir Francis Palmer's aim to make this work practically useful to the lawyer and businessman can only be achieved if these tendencies are duly taken into account when the legal framework of companies is considered.