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Susan Watson

Mystery is at the core of corporate law. The first question in corporate law is also the last: what is a company? It is a question that the legal philosopher HLA Hart (1983, 23) would prefer we did not ask, but given the centrality of companies to modern life, we cannot help ourselves as long as the fundamental issue of their essential nature remains contested. This chapter uses a historical lens in an attempt to identify what exactly a company is. It concludes that the modern company is a legal person that is an entity created by statute comprising a fund. The chapter shows that the modern form of the company as separate from shareholders is a consequence of default limited liability being granted in the mid-nineteenth century, although its consequences and benefits were not fully realized until later in the century. This analysis focuses on the English story but is of wider interest because the development of the modern business corporation followed a broadly parallel path in most jurisdictions.

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Susan Watson

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Susan Watson and P.M. Vasudev

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Edited by Susan Watson and P. M. Vasudev

The world is changing. Old certainties were swept away by the Financial Crisis of 2008. States are grappling with the implications of new thinking about the ways in which the role and nature of corporations should be viewed and therefore regulated. This timely study uses perspectives of scholars from around the world to highlight and provide critical analysis of innovations in corporate governance adopted in a range of jurisdictions, both mature and developing. Due to their primary importance, particular attention is paid to the governance of banks.
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Edited by P. M. Vasudev and Susan Watson

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P.M. Vasudev and Susan Watson

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Edited by P. M. Vasudev and Susan Watson

The financial crisis of 2008–09 raises questions about the assumptions that underpin corporate governance. Shareholder value and private ordering may not in fact be the best means of promoting efficiency and corporate responsibility and the mechanisms used to ensure management accountability may not be effective. In this fascinating study, experts from around the world draw on the experience of the financial crisis to explore topical issues ranging from shareholder primacy and the corporate objective to the stakeholder principle, business ethics, and globalization of corporate governance principles. The chapters are provocative, acknowledging that our understanding of fundamental questions of corporate governance is still developing and demonstrating that the corporate governance debate is far from over.
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P. M. Vasudev and Susan Watson

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Global Capital Markets

A Survey of Legal and Regulatory Trends

Edited by P. M. Vasudev and Susan Watson

This topical volume examines key developments in the law regulating capital markets, drawing on examples from around the world – including United States, Canada, Europe, China, India, and New Zealand. With perspectives from international scholars, chapters look at current issues including the regulation of crowdfunding, efforts in Europe for shareholder empowerment, hedge fund activism in Canada, international regulatory cooperation, and regulation of corporate governance in China through securities law rules.