The plurality (Hayne, Crennan and Kiefel JJ) said:
“As Handley AJA rightly pointed out, however, it is necessary to distinguish between the rights attached to a share and the enjoyment of those rights. The holder of a share has whatever rights the memorandum and articles of association attached to that share. If, after the share was issued and allotted, there were to arise some question about the order in which shareholders would be repaid capital, participate in surplus assets or profits, receive or accumulate an entitlement to dividends, vote, or obtain payment of capital or dividend, that question would be resolved according to the rights attaching to the respective shares. A share which had one or more preferential rights was properly described as a “preference share” not only at the time the immediate question about employment or exercise of rights fell for consideration but also at the time of issue.”
David Cormack – Brisbane Barrister.