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Series

Business Organizations Law

Cornell University Law School

Public companies

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Fiduciary Duties For Activist Shareholders, Iman Anabtawi, Lynn A. Stout Mar 2008

Fiduciary Duties For Activist Shareholders, Iman Anabtawi, Lynn A. Stout

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Corporate law and scholarship generally assume that professional managers control public corporations, while shareholders play only a weak and passive role. As a result, corporate officers and directors are understood to be subject to extensive fiduciary duties, while shareholders traditionally have been thought to have far more limited obligations. Outside the contexts of controlling shareholders and closely held firms, many experts argue shareholders have no duties at all.

The most important trend in corporate governance today, however, is the move toward "shareholder democracy." Changes in financial markets, in business practice, and in corporate law have given minority shareholders in public ...


The Mythical Benefits Of Shareholder Control, Lynn A. Stout May 2007

The Mythical Benefits Of Shareholder Control, Lynn A. Stout

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In "The Myth of the Shareholder Franchise," Professor Lucian Bebchuk elegantly argues that the notion that shareholders in public corporations have the power to remove directors is a myth. Although a director facing a proxy contest might find this to be a bit of an overstatement, the core idea is sound. In a public company with widely dispersed share ownership, it is difficult and expensive for shareholders to overcome obstacles to collective action and wage a proxy battle to oust an incumbent board. Nor is success likely when directors can use corporate funds to solicit proxies to stay in place ...


The Mythical Benefits Of Shareholder Control, Lynn A. Stout Apr 2007

The Mythical Benefits Of Shareholder Control, Lynn A. Stout

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In a forthcoming Virginia Law Review article, Professor Lucian Bebchuk argues that the notion that shareholders in public corporations have the power to remove directors is a myth. This is perhaps an overstatement, but Bebchuk is correct to suggest that in a public company with widely dispersed share ownership, it is difficult and expensive for shareholders to overcome obstacles to collective action and wage a proxy battle to oust an incumbent board. Nor is success likely when directors can use corporate funds to solicit proxies to stay in place. The end result, as Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means famously observed ...