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A critique of shareholder primacy under UK takeover law and the continued imposition of the Board Neutrality RulePurpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the Board Neutrality Rule and the primacy afforded to shareholders during takeovers is justified under common law and policy. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a detailed assessment of the role play by the board neutrality rule and whether this is supported by takeover law and Company law. A review of case law and statutes is provided. The paper is largely analytical. Findings – The paper finds little justification for the continued imposition of the Board Neutrality Rule. Originality/value – The paper adds to the growing body of research literature which has analysed the role played by the Board Neutrality Rule during takeovers.