Lost Share Certificate Indemnities - An Introduction.

An Introduction to Lost Share Certificate Indemnities

In this series of articles, we will answer these questions and as many of the questions you may have as we can. We will start in the next article with the nature of a share certificate and follow up with several articles on explanations of various points, and your options and follow the process through to the countersignature of the indemnity and even what to do once you have the indemnity countersigned do then.

Most ordinary companies issue shares but most companies are also private, which means that you cannot buy shares and become a shareholder. It is very difficult to arrange a counterindemnity for private shares as there is no public valuation. Therefore, our focus is on public as opposed to private shares. Companies like Aviva, Glaxo, Next etc. which are registered on a stock exchange in the UK and for which there is a market and a share price. Such company names will normally end in “Plc”, Public Limited Company.

It should also be possible to obtain a counterindemnity on the following types of certificate:

  • Company borrowing can be arranged by issuing corporate bonds, loan stock or preference shares.
  • Some companies and particularly Building Societies have issued Permanent Interest-Bearing Shares (PIBS).
  • The UK government issues debt in the form of bonds and, as long as there is an independent means of calculating the value of the holding, in the same way as with ordinary shares, it should be possible to obtain a counterindemnity, if the other details are acceptable.

It is not possible to arrange a counterindemnity for:

  • Unquoted or private companies (Unless there is a truly independent method of valuing the shares)
  • The company or its certificates are registered overseas (outside the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man).
  • Bearer bonds (An unregistered document that entitles whoever has it (the bearer) to some benefit. Paper money is the most common example “The Bank of England promises to pay the bearer on demand……”
  • Certificates issued by a property management company where leaseholders own a share of the freehold through the shareholding.

What types of shareholder can obtain a counterindemnity?

Any person or entity should be able to obtain a counterindemnity, including:

  • Individuals and their personal representatives (e.g. executors, those acting under a power of attorney, court of protection deputies etc.
  • Companies
  • Trusts
  • Pensions
  • Charities

If the shareholder is resident or based outside the UK it can be impossible (e.g. sanctions) or more difficult to obtain a counterindemnity for a number of reasons including the legal system where the shareholder is based. Each case has to be individually considered.


At Portsoken we specialise in arranging counterindemnities for lost Share Certificates. We will help you through the process, be clear what is needed and get back to you as soon as we can. If you have a lost or missing share certificate click here and one of our experienced people will get back to you with a price as soon as they can. The price will normally stand for at least 2 months provided you get the documents to us quickly and there are no issues with the information you provided.

For more information about Lost Share Certificate Insurance please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or call us directly on 0203 994 4983.