Enforcing Shareholders’ Duties
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Enforcing Shareholders’ Duties

Edited by Hanne S. Birkmose and Konstantinos Sergakis

A heavily debated topic, the evolution of shareholders’ duties risks the transformation of the very concept of shareholder primacy, crucially associated with shareholder rights. Offering a distinctive and comprehensive examination of both current and forthcoming enforcement mechanisms in the area of shareholder duties, this timely book provides an exhaustive analysis of the many issues related to these mechanisms, and considers the ongoing challenges surrounding their implementation.
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Chapter 4: Shareholder engagement duties: the European move beyond stewardship

Christopher Van der Elst


For a long period of time it was a common belief that shareholders had no duties vis-à-vis the company. As Hoffman put it for the US, ‘shareholders owe the corporation no legal duties’ and are ‘uniquely blessed by the freedom to do what they will with their capital’. Shareholders’ obligations were limited to the fiduciary duties in close companies ‘akin to the duties partners owe to one another’ and to a prohibition on self-dealing by majority shareholders.

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