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The gradual erosion of the ultra vires doctrine in English company lawPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the doctrine of ultra vires and its development over time, which is claimed to be one of gradual erosion. Design/methodology/approach – This paper discusses the doctrine of ultra vires and its development overtime, which is claimed to be one of gradual erosion. Findings – It shows how the abolition of the objects clause has signalled the end of ultra vires. Today, it remains nothing more than a ghost, but one which continues to haunt management. Originality/value – It builds on existing research literature.