a body of legislation providing for the regulation of JOINT-STOCK COMPANIES. British company law encouraged. the development of joint-stock companies by establishing the principle of LIMITED LIABILITY and provides for the protection of SHAREHOLDERS' interests by controlling the formation and financing of companies. The major provisions of UK company law are contained in the 1948,1967, 1976, 1981,1985 and 1989 Companies Acts. See ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION, MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION.