Endava plc - Registration Statement on Form S-8 - Exhibit 5.1
We have acted as English legal advisers to Endava plc, a public limited company incorporated in England and Wales (the “Company”), in relation to the preparation and filing of the registration statement on Form S-8 to which this opinion letter is attached as an exhibit (such registration statement, as amended, including the documents incorporated by reference therein, the “Registration Statement”) filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) pursuant to the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
As set out in the Registration Statement, it is proposed that up to:
2,155,393 ordinary shares of nominal value £0.02 each in the capital of the Company (“Ordinary Shares”) will be allotted and issued upon the exercise and/or settlement of outstanding awards granted under the Endava plc 2018 Equity Incentive Plan with Non-Employee Sub-Plan adopted by the Company’s board of directors (the “Board” or the “Directors”) on 16 April 2018 and approved by the Company’s shareholders on 3 May 2018 (the “2018 Equity Incentive Plan”); and
396,910 Ordinary Shares will be allotted and issued upon the exercise and/or settlement of outstanding awards granted under the Endava Limited 2015 Employee Long Term Incentive Plan (the “2015 Employee LTIP” and, together with the 2018 Equity Incentive Plan, the “Equity Plans”) approved and adopted by the Board on 30 June 2015. The Ordinary Shares set out in paragraphs 1.2(a) and 1.2(b) are referred to in this opinion letter as the “Shares”.
We are rendering this letter at the request of the Company in connection with the Registration Statement. We have taken instructions solely from the Company.
Except as otherwise defined in this letter, capitalised terms used have the respective meanings given to them in the Registration Statement (as defined above) and headings are for ease of reference only and shall not affect interpretation.
All references to legislation in this letter are to the legislation of England unless the contrary is indicated, and any reference to any provision of any legislation shall include any amendment, modification, re-enactment or extension thereof, as in force on the date of this letter.
a draft PDF copy of the Registration Statement as at 17 September 2020 to be filed with the SEC on 18 September 2020;
a PDF copy of the 2018 Equity Incentive Plan;
a PDF copy of the 2015 Employee LTIP;
a PDF copy of the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 30 June 2015, at which it was resolved, inter alia, to approve and adopt the 2015 LTIP (the “2015 Board Minutes”) and; a PDF executed copy of the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 16 April 2018, at which it was resolved, inter alia, to approve the 2018 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2018 Board Minutes” and, together with the 2015 Board Minutes, the “Board Minutes”);
a PDF copy of the written resolutions of the Board passed on 16 September 2020 resolving, inter alia, to approve the filing of the Registration Statement (the “Written Board Resolutions”);
a PDF executed copy of the minutes of the general meeting of the Company held on 3 May 2018 at which it was resolved, inter alia, to approve the 2018 Equity Incentive Plan (the “Shareholder Resolutions”);
a PDF copy of the certificate of incorporation of the Company dated 27 February 2006 and a PDF copy of the certificate of incorporation on re-registration of the Company as a public limited company and change of name dated 6 July 2018; and
a PDF copy of the current articles of association of the Company adopted on 3 May 2018 (the “Articles”).
an online search at Companies House in England and Wales (“Companies House”) with respect to the Company, carried out at 10:02 a.m. (London time) on 18 September 2020 (the “Online Search”); and
the Registration Statement, as finally amended, having become effective under the Securities Act;
the Directors having validly granted the awards in respect of the Shares under the Equity Plans;
the Directors having validly resolved to allot and issue the Shares, or grant rights to subscribe for the Shares, at duly convened and quorate meetings of the Board, or by way of duly passed written resolutions of the Board in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and with such resolutions being in full force and effect and not having been rescinded or amended;
the receipt in full of payment for the Shares in an amount of “cash consideration” (as defined in section 583(3) of the Companies Act, as amended) equal to the subscription price for such Shares, assuming in each case that the individual grants or awards under the Equity Plans are duly authorised by all necessary corporate action and duly granted or awarded and exercised in accordance with the requirements of applicable law, the Articles and the applicable Equity Plan (and the agreements and awards duly adopted thereunder and in accordance therewith); and
valid entries having been made in relation to the allotment and issue of the Shares in the books and registers of the Company,
all signatures, stamps and seals on all documents are genuine. All original documents are complete, authentic and up-to-date, and all documents submitted to us as a copy (whether by email or otherwise) are complete and accurate and conform to the original documents of which they are copies and that no amendments (whether oral, in writing or by conduct of the parties) have been made to any of the documents since they were examined by us;
where a document has been examined by us in draft or specimen form, it will be or has been duly executed in the form of that draft or specimen;
the Articles referred to in paragraph 2.8 (Documents) of this letter remain in full force and effect, and no alteration has been made or will be made to the Articles, in each case prior to the relevant date of the granting of rights to subscribe for the Shares and/or the allotment and issue of the Shares (each such date, an “Allotment Date”);
at the time of each allotment and issue of any Shares the Company shall have received in full “cash consideration” (as such term is defined in section 583(3) of the Companies Act) equal to the subscription price payable for such Shares and shall have entered the holder or holders thereof in the register of members of the Company showing that all such Shares shall have been fully paid up as to their nominal value and any premium thereon as at each Allotment Date;
each Equity Plan has been validly adopted and remains in full force and effect, and no alteration has been made or will be made to the applicable Equity Plan prior to any Allotment Date;
each of the 2015 Employee LTIP and the 2018 Equity Incentive Plan (other than the Non-Employee Sub-Plan) qualifies as an “employees’ share scheme” as defined in section 1166 of the Companies Act;
in relation to any allotment and issue of any Shares by the Company pursuant to the Equity Plans, the recipient shall have become entitled to such Shares under the terms of the applicable Equity Plan and such Shares will or rights over Shares, where applicable, will be fully vested each in accordance with the terms of the applicable Equity Plan and such recipient has or will have complied with all other requirements of the applicable Equity Plan in connection with the allotment and issue of such Shares;
all awards have been made under the terms of the applicable Equity Plan, that the terms of all awards have not materially deviated from the terms set out in the applicable Equity Plan and that any Shares will be allotted and issued in accordance with the terms set out in the applicable Equity Plan, in accordance with the Articles and applicable laws;
immediately prior to each Allotment Date, the Directors had or shall have sufficient authority and powers conferred upon them to allot and issue such Shares and grant such rights (as applicable) under section 551 of the Companies Act (unless such allotment and issue or grant was or is exempt under section 549(2) of the Companies Act) and under section 570 or section 571 of the Companies Act as if section 561 of the Companies Act did not apply to such allotment and issue or grant (unless such allotment and issue or grant was or is exempt from section 561 of the Companies Act pursuant to section 566 of the Companies Act),
no Shares shall be allotted or issued, or are or shall be committed to be allotted or issued, at a discount to their nominal value (whether in dollars or equivalent in any other currency);
all documents, forms and notices which should have been delivered to Companies House in respect of the Company have been so delivered;
the information revealed by the Searches is true, accurate, complete and up-to-date in all respects, and there is no information which should have been disclosed by the Searches that has not been disclosed for any reason and there has been no alteration in the status or condition of the Company since the date and time that the Searches were made and that the results of the Searches will remain complete and accurate as at each Allotment Date;
in relation to the allotment and issue of the Shares, the Directors have acted and will act in the manner required by section 172 of the Companies Act and the Shares will be allotted and issued in good faith and on bona fide commercial terms and on arms’ length terms and for the purpose of carrying on the business of the Company and that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the allotment and issue of the Shares will promote the success of the Company for the benefit of its members as a whole;
there has not been and will not be any bad faith, breach of trust, fraud, coercion, duress or undue influence on the part of any of the Directors in relation to any allotment and issue of Shares;
the Board Minutes referred to in paragraph 2.4 (Documents), provided to us in connection with the giving of this opinion, is a true record of the proceedings described therein, and that the meetings recorded in such minutes was and each meeting of the Directors referred to in paragraph 4.3 of this letter were and/or will be duly conducted as described therein, duly constituted and convened and all constitutional, statutory and other formalities were and/or will be duly observed (including, if applicable, those relating to the declaration of Directors’ interests or the power of interested Directors to vote), a quorum was and/or will be present throughout, the requisite majority of Directors voted and/or will vote in favour of approving the resolutions and the resolutions passed at that meeting of the Board, as applicable, were and/or will be duly adopted, have not been and will not be revoked or varied and remain in full force and effect and will remain so as at each relevant Allotment Date;
the resolutions set out in the Written Board Resolutions referred to in paragraph 2.5 (Documents) were validly passed as written resolutions in accordance with the Articles, that all eligible directors of the Company (being all the directors of the Company who would have been entitled to vote on the matter had it been proposed as a resolution at a directors’ meeting, but excluding any director where vote is not to be counted in respect of a particular matter) have signed one or more copies of the Written Board Resolutions, that all relevant provisions of the Companies Act and the Articles were complied with and the Articles were duly observed and such resolutions were duly adopted, and have not been revoked or varied and remain in full force and effect;
the Shareholder Resolutions referred to in paragraph 2.6 (Documents) were duly passed at the general meeting held on 3 May 2018 at which all constitutional, statutory and other filings were duly observed, a quorum of shareholders was present throughout and the Shareholder Resolutions have not been revoked or varied and remain in full force and effect and will remain so as at the Allotment Date and all filings required to be made with Companies House in connection therewith have been made within the relevant time limits;
as at each Allotment Date, the authorities granted pursuant to the Articles remained or will remain unutilised to the extent necessary to permit such allotment and issue, or if at any Allotment Date such authorities have expired or been fully utilised, the Company in general meeting having duly and validly resolved (i) as an ordinary resolution to authorise the Directors pursuant to section 551 of the Companies Act to allot the Shares,
the resolutions of the shareholders of the Company referred to in paragraph 5.18 will be duly passed as resolutions of the Company, all constitutional, statutory and other formalities will be observed and such resolutions will not have expired and will not be revoked or varied prior to each Allotment Date and will remain in full force and effect as at each Allotment Date;
the Company has complied and will comply with all applicable anti-terrorism, anti-money laundering, sanctions and human rights laws and regulations and that each grant of rights to acquire Shares under the Equity Plans and that each allotment and issue of Shares pursuant to the Equity Plans will be consistent with all such laws and regulations;
no Shares or rights to subscribe for Shares have been or shall be offered to the public in the United Kingdom in breach of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”), the EU Prospectus Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/1129) or of any other United Kingdom laws or regulations concerning offers of securities to the public, and no communication has been or shall be made in relation to the Shares in breach of section 21 (Restrictions on financial promotion) of FSMA or any other United Kingdom laws or regulations relating to offers or invitations to subscribe for, or to acquire rights to subscribe for or otherwise acquire, shares or other securities;
in issuing and allotting and granting rights to acquire Shares and administering the Equity Plans, the Company is not carrying on a regulated activity (within the meaning of section 19 (The general prohibition) of FSMA); and
the Company has not taken any corporate or other action nor have any steps been taken or legal proceedings been started against the Company for the liquidation, winding-up, dissolution or reorganisation of, or for the appointment of a liquidator, receiver, trustee, administrator, administrative receiver or similar officer of, any such party (including the Company) or all or any of its or their assets (or any analogous proceedings in any jurisdiction) and no such steps or proceedings will have been taken as at each Allotment Date, and the Company is not unable to pay its debts as they fall due within the meaning of section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986, as amended (the “Insolvency Act”) and will not become unable to pay its debts within the meaning of that section as a result of any of the transactions contemplated herein, is not insolvent and has not been dissolved (although the Searches gave no indication that any winding-up, dissolution or administration order or appointment of a receiver, administrator, administrative receiver or similar officer has been made with respect to the Company) and such actions and steps will not have been taken as at any Allotment Date.
SCOPE OF OPINION
The opinion given in this letter is limited to English law as it would be applied by English courts (including the laws of the European Union to the extent having the force of law in England by virtue of section 1A of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (as introduced by section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020)) on the date of this letter.
We express no opinion in this letter on the laws of any other jurisdiction and, in particular, we express no opinion on the laws of the European Union as it affects any jurisdiction other than England. We have not investigated the laws of any country other than England and we assume that no foreign law (other than the laws of the European Union to the extent having the force of law in England) affects the opinion stated in paragraph 4 (Opinion).
We express no opinion as to any agreement, instrument or other document other than as specified in this letter. For the purposes of giving the opinion in paragraph 4 (Opinion), we have only examined and relied on those documents set out in paragraph 2 (Documents) and made those searches and enquiries set out in
No opinion is expressed with respect to taxation in the United Kingdom or otherwise in this letter.
We have not been responsible for investigating or verifying the accuracy of the facts or the reasonableness of any statement of opinion or intention, contained in or relevant to any document referred to in this letter, or that no material facts have been omitted therefrom.
The opinion given in this letter is given on the basis of each of the assumptions set out in paragraph 5 (Assumptions) and is subject to each of the reservations set out in paragraph 7 (Reservations) to this letter. The opinion given in this letter is strictly limited to the matters stated in paragraph 4 (Opinion) and does not extend, and should not be read as extending, by implication or otherwise, to any other matters.
This letter only applies to those facts and circumstances which exist as at today’s date and we assume no obligation or responsibility to update or supplement this letter to reflect any facts or circumstances which may subsequently come to our attention, any changes in laws which may occur after today, or to inform the addressee of any change in circumstances happening after the date of this letter which would alter the opinion given in this letter.
We have not been responsible for investigation or verification of statements of fact (including statements as to foreign law) or to the reasonableness of any statements of opinion in the Registration Statement, or that no material facts have been omitted therefrom.
This letter is given by Cooley (UK) LLP and no partner or employee assumes any personal responsibility for it nor shall owe any duty of care in respect of it.
This letter, the opinion given in it, and any non-contractual obligations arising out of or in connection with this letter and/or the opinion given in it, are governed by and shall be construed in accordance with English law as at the date of this letter.
The Online Search described at paragraph 3.1 (Searches) is not capable of revealing conclusively whether or not:
a winding-up order has been made or a resolution passed for the winding-up of a company;
an administration order has been made; or
a receiver, administrative receiver, administrator or liquidator has been appointed,
The Telephone Enquiry described at paragraph 3.2 (Searches) relates only to a compulsory winding-up and is not capable of revealing conclusively whether or not a winding-up petition in respect of a compulsory winding-up has been presented, since details of the petition may not have been entered on the records of the Central Registry of Winding-up Petitions in England and Wales immediately or, in the case of a petition presented to a County Court in England and Wales, may not have been notified to the Central Registry of Winding-up Petitions in England and Wales and entered on such records at all, and the response to an
The opinion set out in this letter is subject to: (i) any limitations arising from applicable laws relating to insolvency, bankruptcy, administration, reorganisation, liquidation, moratoria, schemes or analogous circumstances; and (ii) an English court exercising its discretion under section 426 of the Insolvency Act (co-operation between courts exercising jurisdiction in relation to insolvency) to assist the courts having the corresponding jurisdiction in any part of the United Kingdom or any relevant country or territory.
We express no opinion as to matters of fact.
We have made no enquiries of any individual connected with the Company.
We express no opinion on the compliance of the Equity Plans, or the compliance of any award made under the Equity Plans, with the rules or regulations of the New York Stock Exchange or the rules or regulations of any other securities exchange that are applicable to the Company.
A certificate, documentation, notification, opinion or the like might be held by the English courts not to be conclusive if it can be shown to have an unreasonable or arbitrary basis or in the event of a manifest error.
We express no opinion in relation to the legality, enforceability or validity of the Equity Plans or any award agreement entered into pursuant to such Equity Plans. In particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, we have assumed that the Shares to be allotted under the Equity Plans or any such award agreement will be paid up in full (as to their nominal value and any premium) in cash (within the meaning of section 583(1) of the Companies Act) and we express no opinion as to whether any consideration other than “cash consideration” (as such term is defined in section 583(3) of the Companies Act) which might be paid, or purport to be paid, for the Shares would result in such Shares being validly issued, fully paid and not subject to any call for payment of further capital.
DISCLOSURE AND RELIANCE
This letter is addressed to you solely for your benefit in connection with the Registration Statement. We consent to the filing of this letter as an exhibit to the Registration Statement. In giving such consent, we do not thereby admit that we are in the category of persons whose consent is required under section 7 of the Securities Act or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
This letter may not be relied upon by you for any other purpose, or furnished to, assigned to, quoted to, or relied upon by any other person, firm or other entity for any purpose, other than for the purpose set out in above in paragraph 8.1, without our prior written consent, which may be granted or withheld at our sole discretion.