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Full-Text Articles in Law

Private Equity's Governance Advantage: A Requiem, Elisabeth De Fontenay Jan 2019

Private Equity's Governance Advantage: A Requiem, Elisabeth De Fontenay

Faculty Scholarship

Private equity’s original purpose was to optimize companies’ governance and operations. Reuniting ownership and control in corporate America, the leveraged buyout (or the mere threat thereof) undoubtedly helped reform management practices in a broad swath of U.S. companies. Due to mounting competitive pressures, however, private equity is finding relatively fewer underperforming companies to fix. This is particularly true of U.S. public companies, which are continuously dogged by activist hedge funds and other empowered shareholders looking for any sign of slack.

In response, private equity is shifting its center of gravity away from governance reform, towards a dizzying ...


Regulating Complacency: Human Limitations And Legal Efficacy, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2018

Regulating Complacency: Human Limitations And Legal Efficacy, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines how insights into limited human rationality can improve financial regulation. The Article identifies four categories of limitations—herd behavior, cognitive biases, overreliance on heuristics, and a proclivity to panic—that undermine the perfect-market regulatory assumptions that parties have full information and will act in their rational self-interest. The Article then analyzes how insights into these limitations can be used to correct resulting market failures. Requiring more robust disclosure and due diligence, for example, can help to reduce reliance on misleading information cascades that motivate herd behavior. Debiasing through law, such as requiring more specific, poignant, and concrete ...


The Myth Of The Ideal Investor, Elisabeth De Fontenay Jan 2018

The Myth Of The Ideal Investor, Elisabeth De Fontenay

Faculty Scholarship

Critiques of specific investor behavior often assume an ideal investor against which all others should be compared. This ideal investor figures prominently in the heated debates over the impact of investor time horizons on firm value. In much of the commentary, the ideal is a longterm investor that actively monitors management, but the specifics are typically left vague. That is no coincidence. The various characteristics that we might wish for in such an investor cannot peacefully coexist in practice.

If the ideal investor remains illusory, which of the real-world investor types should we champion instead? The answer, I argue, is ...


Will Delaware Be Different? An Empirical Study Of Tc Heartland And The Shift To Defendant Choice Of Venue, Ofer Eldar, Neel U. Sukhatme Jan 2018

Will Delaware Be Different? An Empirical Study Of Tc Heartland And The Shift To Defendant Choice Of Venue, Ofer Eldar, Neel U. Sukhatme

Faculty Scholarship

Why do some venues evolve into litigation havens while others do not? Venues might compete for litigation for various reasons, such as enhancing their judges’ prestige and increasing revenues for the local bar. This competition is framed by the party that chooses the venue. Whether plaintiffs or defendants primarily choose venue is crucial because, we argue, the two scenarios are not symmetrical.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods illustrates this dynamic. There, the Court effectively shifted venue choice in many patent infringement cases from plaintiffs to corporate defendants. We use TC Heartland to empirically ...


Seeking An Objective For Regulating Insider Trading Through Texas Gulf Sulphur, James D. Cox Jan 2018

Seeking An Objective For Regulating Insider Trading Through Texas Gulf Sulphur, James D. Cox

Faculty Scholarship

Data summarized in the opening of this article document that inside trading is a growth industry. And, as deals get ever bigger, the growth curve becomes steeper as more the data confirms intuition that the more who know about a good thing the more who will seek to harvest its benefits. Even though insider trading appears to have thrived during the fifty years after Texas Gulf Sulphur, we gather in this symposium to celebrate the decision. But why? As developed below, the Second Circuit’s landmark decision gave way to the Supreme Court’s erection of a fiduciary framework that ...


Criminally Bad Management, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2018

Criminally Bad Management, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

Because of their leverage over employees, corporate managers are prime targets for incentives to control corporate crime, even when managers do not themselves commit crimes. Moreover, the collective actions of corporate management — producing what is sometimes referred to as corporate culture — can be the cause of corporate crime, not just a locus of the failure to control it. Because civil liability and private compensation arrangements have limited effects on management behavior — and because the problem is, after all, crime — criminal law is often expected to intervene. This handbook chapter offers a functional explanation for corporate criminal liability: individual criminal liability ...


Fiduciary Principles In Agency Law, Deborah A. Demott Jan 2018

Fiduciary Principles In Agency Law, Deborah A. Demott

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Individual Autonomy In Corporate Law, Elisabeth De Fontenay Jan 2018

Individual Autonomy In Corporate Law, Elisabeth De Fontenay

Faculty Scholarship

The field of corporate law is riven with competing visions of the corporation. This Article seeks to identify points of broad agreement by negative implication. It examines two developments in corporate law that have drawn widespread criticism from corporate law scholars: the Supreme Court's recognition of corporate religious rights in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and the Nevada legislature's decision to eliminate mandatory fiduciary duties for corporate directors and officers. Despite their fundamental differences, both resulted in expanding individual rights or autonomy within the corporation-for shareholders and managers, respectively.

The visceral critiques aimed at these two developments suggest a ...


The Trafficking Victim Protection Act: The Best Hope For International Human Rights Litigation In The U.S. Courts?, Sara Sun Beale Jan 2018

The Trafficking Victim Protection Act: The Best Hope For International Human Rights Litigation In The U.S. Courts?, Sara Sun Beale

Faculty Scholarship

The article focuses on uses Alien Tort Statute as a vehicle for litigating human rights abuses in both civil and criminal prosecutions in the U.S. Topics discussed include developments in International Criminal Law in addressing human rights violations; judicial attitudes that could affect the interpretation of the Trafficking Victim Protection Act; and Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain court case on the same.


Controlling Systemic Risk Through Corporate Governance, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2017

Controlling Systemic Risk Through Corporate Governance, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

Most of the regulatory measures to control excessive risk taking by systemically important firms are designed to reduce moral hazard and to align the interests of managers and investors. These measures may be flawed because they are based on questionable assumptions. Excessive corporate risk taking is, at its core, a corporate governance problem. Shareholder primacy requires managers to view the consequences of their firm’s risk taking only from the standpoint of the firm and its shareholders, ignoring harm to the public. In governing, managers of systemically important firms should also consider public harm. This proposal engages the long-standing debate ...


Rethinking Corporate Governance For A Bondholder Financed, Systemically Risky World, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2017

Rethinking Corporate Governance For A Bondholder Financed, Systemically Risky World, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

This Article makes two arguments that, combined, demonstrate an important synergy: first, including bondholders in corporate governance could help to reduce systemic risk because bondholders are more risk averse than shareholders; second, corporate governance should include bondholders because bonds now dwarf equity as a source of corporate financing and bond prices are increasingly tied to firm performance.


Regulatory Competition And The Market For Corporate Law, Ofer Eldar, Lorenzo Magnolfi Jan 2017

Regulatory Competition And The Market For Corporate Law, Ofer Eldar, Lorenzo Magnolfi

Faculty Scholarship

This article develops an empirical model of firms’ choice of corporate laws under inertia. Delaware dominates the incorporation market, though recently Nevada, a state whose laws are highly protective of managers, has acquired a sizable market share. Using a novel database of incorporation decisions from 1995- 2013, we show that most firms dislike protectionist laws, such as anti-takeover statutes and liability protections for officers, and that Nevada’s rise is due to the preferences of small firms.Our estimates indicate that despite inertia, Delaware would lose significant market share and revenues if it adopted protectionist laws. Our findings support the ...


Market Information And The Elite Law Firm, Elisabeth De Fontenay Jan 2017

Market Information And The Elite Law Firm, Elisabeth De Fontenay

Faculty Scholarship

As a subcategory of contract negotiations, corporate transactions present information problems that have not been fully analyzed. In particular, the literature does not address the possibility that parties may simply be unaware of value-increasing transaction terms or their outside option. Such unawareness can arise even for transactions that attract many competing parties, if the bargaining process is such that (1) the price terms are negotiated and fixed prior to the non-price terms, contrary to the standard assumption; and (2) some of the non-price terms remain private for some period of time.

A simple bargaining model shows that, when such unawareness ...


The Deregulation Of Private Capital And The Decline Of The Public Company, Elisabeth De Fontenay Jan 2017

The Deregulation Of Private Capital And The Decline Of The Public Company, Elisabeth De Fontenay

Faculty Scholarship

From its inception, the federal securities law regime created and enforced a major divide between public and private capital raising. Firms that chose to “go public” took on substantial disclosure burdens, but in exchange were given the exclusive right to raise capital from the general public. Over time, however, the disclosure quid pro quo has been subverted: Public companies are still asked to disclose, yet capital is flooding into private companies with regulators’ blessing.

This Article provides a critique of the new public-private divide centered on its information effects. While regulators may have hoped for both the private and public ...


Risk Regulation And Innovation: The Case Of Rights-Encumbered Biomedical Data Silos, Arti K. Rai Jan 2017

Risk Regulation And Innovation: The Case Of Rights-Encumbered Biomedical Data Silos, Arti K. Rai

Faculty Scholarship

Recent Supreme Court cases on patent-eligible subject matter are likely to exacerbate the longstanding problem of biomedical data fragmentation. For each data silo, multiple overlapping legal claims and claimants must be addressed to achieve the benefits of pooling.

Commentators who have discussed the data aggregation challenge have generally focused on possibilities created through public funding, through collective action by research participants, or through pressure by payers. This Article emphasizes the important role of risk regulators, most notably the precedent offered by risk regulation in the area of clinical trial data.

While U.S. risk regulators have taken some positive steps ...


The Responsibility Gap In Corporate Crime, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2017

The Responsibility Gap In Corporate Crime, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

In many cases of criminality within large corporations, senior management does not commit the operative offense — or conspire or assist in it — but nonetheless bears serious responsibility for the crime. That responsibility can derive from, among other things, management’s role in cultivating corporate culture, in failing to police effectively within the firm, and in accepting lavish compensation for taking the firm’s reins. Criminal law does not include any doctrinal means for transposing that form of responsibility into punishment. Arguments for expanding doctrine — including broadening of the presently narrow “responsible corporate officer” doctrine — so as to authorize such punishment ...


Enforcing The Fcpa: International Resonance And Domestic Strategy, Rachel Brewster Jan 2017

Enforcing The Fcpa: International Resonance And Domestic Strategy, Rachel Brewster

Faculty Scholarship

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), which bans corporations from offering bribes to foreign government officials, was enacted during the Watergate era’s crackdown on political corruption but remained only weakly enforced for its first two decades. American industry argued that the law created an uneven playing field in global commerce, which made robust enforcement politically unpopular. This Article documents how the executive branch strategically under- enforced the FCPA, while Congress and the President pushed for an international agreement that would bind other countries to rules similar to those of the United States. The Article establishes that U.S. officials ...


Too Big To Fool: Moral Hazard, Bailouts, And Corporate Responsibility, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2017

Too Big To Fool: Moral Hazard, Bailouts, And Corporate Responsibility, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

Domestic and international regulatory efforts to prevent another financial crisis have been converging on the idea of trying to end the problem of “too big to fail”—that systemically important financial firms take excessive risks because they profit from success and are (or at least, expect to be) bailed out by government money to avoid failure. The legal solutions being advanced to control this morally hazardous behavior tend, however, to be inefficient, ineffective, or even dangerous—such as breaking up firms and limiting their size, which can reduce economies of scale and scope; or restricting central bank authority to bail ...


The Role Of Social Enterprise And Hybrid Organizations, Ofer Eldar Jan 2017

The Role Of Social Enterprise And Hybrid Organizations, Ofer Eldar

Faculty Scholarship

Recent years have brought remarkable growth in hybrid organizations that combine profit-seeking and social missions. Despite popular enthusiasm for such organizations, legal reforms to facilitate their formation and growth—particularly, legal forms for hybrid firms—have largely been ineffective. This shortcoming stems in large part from the lack of a theory that identifies the structural and functional elements that make some types of hybrid organizations more effective than others. In pursuit of such a theory, this Article focuses on a large class of hybrid organizations that has been effective in addressing development problems, such as increasing access to capital and ...


Pharmaceutical M&A Activity: Effects On Prices, Innovation, And Competition, Barak D. Richman, Will Mitchell, Elena Vidal, Kevin Schulman Jan 2017

Pharmaceutical M&A Activity: Effects On Prices, Innovation, And Competition, Barak D. Richman, Will Mitchell, Elena Vidal, Kevin Schulman

Faculty Scholarship

The rise of blockbuster pharmaceutical acquisitions has prompted fears that unprecedented market concentration will weaken competition. Two of the most prominent concerns focus on the upstream and downstream ends of the pharmaceutical industry: (1) the concern that these mergers will concentrate the market for discovery and will therefore lead to fewer discoveries; and (2) the concern that merging large marketing, sales, and distribution forces will strengthen the hands of select pharmaceutical manufacturers and weaken downstream competition. Having considered potential dynamic effects in the industry and conducted a series of preliminary interviews with knowledgeable observers, though, this Article argues that neither ...


Comment To The Sec In Support Of The Enhanced Disclosure Of Patent And Technology License Information, Colleen V. Chien, Jorge Contreras, Carol Corrado, Stuart Graham, Deepak Hedge, Arti K. Rai, Saurabh Vishnubhakat Jan 2016

Comment To The Sec In Support Of The Enhanced Disclosure Of Patent And Technology License Information, Colleen V. Chien, Jorge Contreras, Carol Corrado, Stuart Graham, Deepak Hedge, Arti K. Rai, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Faculty Scholarship

Intangible assets like IP constitute a large share of the value of firms, and the US economy generally. Accurate information on the intellectual property (IP) holdings and transactions of publicly-traded firms facilitates price discovery in the market and reduces transaction costs. While public understanding of the innovation economy has been expanded by a large stream of empirical research using patent data, and more recently trademark information this research is only as good as the accuracy and completeness of the data it builds upon. In contrast with information about patents and trademarks, good information about IP licensing is much less publicly ...


Benefit-Cost Analysis And Distributional Weights: An Overview, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2016

Benefit-Cost Analysis And Distributional Weights: An Overview, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

Standard cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is insensitive to distributional concerns. A policy that improves the lives of the rich, and makes the poor yet worse off, will be approved by CBA as long as the policy’s aggregate monetized benefits are positive. Distributional weights offer an apparent solution to this troubling feature of the CBA methodology: adjust costs and benefits with weighting factors that are inversely proportional to the well-being levels (as determined by income and also perhaps non-income attributes such as health) of the affected individuals.

Indeed, an academic literature dating from the 1950s discusses how to specify distributional weights ...


Perspectives On Regulating Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2016

Perspectives On Regulating Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

This book chapter, which synthesizes several of the author’s articles, attempts to provide useful perspectives on regulating systemic risk. First, it argues that systemic shocks are inevitable. Accordingly, regulation should be designed not only to try to reduce those shocks but also to protect the financial system against their unavoidable impact. This could be done, the chapter explains, by applying chaos theory to help stabilize the financial system. The chapter then focuses on trying to prevent excessive corporate risk-taking, which is one of the leading triggers of systemic shocks and widely regarded to have been a principal cause of ...


Misalignment: Corporate Risk-Taking And Public Duty, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2016

Misalignment: Corporate Risk-Taking And Public Duty, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

This article argues for a “public governance duty” to help manage excessive risk-taking by systemically important firms. Although governments worldwide, including the United States, have issued an array of regulations to attempt to curb that risk-taking by aligning managerial and investor interests, those regulations implicitly assume that investors would oppose excessively risky business ventures. That leaves a critical misalignment: because much of the harm from a systemically important firm’s failure would be externalized onto the public, including ordinary citizens impacted by an economic collapse, such a firm can engage in risk-taking ventures with positive expected value to its investors ...


Keynote Address, Regulating Corporate Governance In The Public Interest: The Case Of Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2016

Keynote Address, Regulating Corporate Governance In The Public Interest: The Case Of Systemic Risk, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

There’s long been a debate whether corporate governance law should require some duty to the public. The accepted wisdom is not to require such a duty—that corporate profit maximization provides jobs and other public benefits that exceed any harm. This is especially true, the argument goes, because imposing specific regulatory requirements and making certain actions illegal or tortious can mitigate the harm without unduly impairing corporate wealth production. Whether that is true in other contexts, this paper—delivered as the keynote address at the June 2016 National Business Law Scholars Conference at The University of Chicago Law School ...


Agency Costs In Law-Firm Selection: Are Companies Under-Spending On Counsel?, Elisabeth De Fontenay Jan 2016

Agency Costs In Law-Firm Selection: Are Companies Under-Spending On Counsel?, Elisabeth De Fontenay

Faculty Scholarship

A growing body of literature examines whether corporate clients derive sufficient value from the law firms that they engage. Yet little attention has been paid to whether clients optimally select among law firms in the first place. One entry-point is to identify discrepancies in the quality of counsel selected by different corporate clients for the very same work. Using a large sample of loans, this Article finds that major U.S. public companies select lower-ranked law firms for their financing transactions than do private equity-owned companies, controlling for various deal characteristics. While some of this discrepancy can be attributed to ...


Fiduciary Breach, Once Removed, Deborah A. Demott Jan 2016

Fiduciary Breach, Once Removed, Deborah A. Demott

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Public Sector Personnel Economics: Wages, Promotions, And The Competence-Control Trade-Off, Charles M. Cameron, John De Figueiredo, David E. Lewis Jan 2016

Public Sector Personnel Economics: Wages, Promotions, And The Competence-Control Trade-Off, Charles M. Cameron, John De Figueiredo, David E. Lewis

Faculty Scholarship

We model personnel policies in public agencies, examining how wages and promotion standards can partially offset a fundamental contracting problem: the inability of public sector workers to contract on performance, and the inability of political masters to contract on forbearance from meddling. Despite the dual contracting problem, properly constructed personnel policies can encourage intrinsically motivated public sector employees to invest in expertise, seek promotion, remain in the public sector, and develop policy projects. However, doing so requires internal personnel policies that sort "slackers" from "zealots." Personnel policies that accomplish this task are quite different in agencies where acquired expertise has ...


Understanding The Global In Global Finance And Regulation, Lawrence G. Baxter Jan 2016

Understanding The Global In Global Finance And Regulation, Lawrence G. Baxter

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Shadow Banking And Regulation In China And Other Developing Countries, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2016

Shadow Banking And Regulation In China And Other Developing Countries, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

The rapid but largely unregulated growth in shadow banking in developing countries such as China can jeopardize financial stability. This article discusses that growth and argues that a regulatory balance is needed to help protect financial stability while preserving shadow banking as an important channel of alternative funding. The article also analyzes how that regulation could be designed.