- Approaching comparative company law (2008)
- This paper identifies some common errors that occur in comparative law, offers some guidelines to help avoid such errors, and provides a framework for entering into studies of the company laws of three major jurisdictions. The first section illustrates why a conscious approach to comparative company law is useful. Part I discusses some of the problems that can arise in comparative law and offers a few points of caution that can be useful for practical, theoretical and legislative comparative law. Part II discusses some relatively famous examples of comparative analysis gone astray in order to demonstrate the utility of heeding the outlined points of caution. The second section offers a framework for approaching comparative company law. Part III provides an example of using functional definition to demarcate the topic "company law", offering an "effects" test to determine whether a given provision of law should be considered as functionally part of the rules that govern the core characteristics of companies. It does this by presenting the relevant company law statutes and related topical laws of Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, using Delaware as a proxy for the 50 states. On the basis of this definition, Part IV analyzes the system of legal functions that comprises "company law" in the United States and the European Union. It selects as the predominant factor for consideration the jurisdictions, sub-jurisdictions and rule-making entities that have legislative or rule-making competence in the relevant territorial unit, analyzes the extent of their power, presents the type of law (rules) they enact (issue), and discusses the concrete manner in which the laws and rules of the jurisdictions and sub-jurisdictions can legally interact. Part V looks at the way these jurisdictions do interact on the temporal axis of history, that is, their actual influence on each other, which in the relevant jurisdictions currently takes the form of regulatory competition and legislative harmonization. The method of the approach outlined in this paper borrows much from system theory. The analysis attempts to be detailed without losing track of the overall jurisdictional framework in the countries studied.
- Shareholder voice and its opponents (2005)
- This paper has shown that some of the principal arguments against shareholder voice are unfounded. It has shown that shareholders do own corporations, and that the nature of their property interest is structured to meet the needs of the relationships found in stock corporations. The paper has explained that fiduciary and other duties restrain the actions of shareholders just as they do those of management, and that critics cannot reasonably expect court-imposed fiduciary duties to extend beyond the actual powers of shareholders. It has also illustrated how, although corporate statutes give shareholders complete power to structure governance as they will, the default governance structures of U.S. corporations leaves shareholders almost powerless to initiate any sort of action, and the interaction between state and federal law makes it almost impossible for shareholders to elect directors of their choice. Lastly, the paper has recalled how the percentage of U.S. corporate equities owned by institutional investors has increased dramatically in recent decades, and it has outlined some of the major developments in shareholder rights that followed this increase. I hope that this paper deflated some of the strong rhetoric used against shareholder voice by contrasting rhetoric to law, and that it illustrated why the picture of weak owners painted in the early 20th century should be updated to new circumstances, which will help avoid projecting an old description as a current normative model that perpetuates the inevitability of "managerialsm", perhaps better known as "dirigisme".
- Die Übertragung von Kapitalmarktpapieren nach dem US-amerikanischen Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) (2007)
- The rise and effects of the indirect holding system : how corporate America ceded its shareholders to intermediaries (2007)
- The nomination of directors under U.S. and German law (2003)
- Revised Draft: January 2005, First Draft: December 8, 2004 The picture of dispersed, isolated and uninterested shareholders so graphically drawn by Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means in 19321 is for the most part no longer accurate in today's market, although their famous observations on the separation of control and ownership of public corporations remain true.