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Seattle University School of Law

Corporate law

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Foreword: In Berle’S Footsteps, Charles R.T. O'Kelley Jan 2010

Foreword: In Berle’S Footsteps, Charles R.T. O'Kelley

Seattle University Law Review

On the weekend of November 6–8, 2009, scholars from around the world gathered in Seattle for a symposium—In Berle’s Footsteps—celebrating the launch of the Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law and Society. As founding director of the Berle Center, I described our undertaking: “It is with a profound sense of obligation to the legacy that has been entrusted to my care, that I announce the launching of the Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law and Society. It is a privilege to follow in Berle’s footsteps.”


Revisiting Berle And Rethinking The Corporate Structure, Kelli A. Alces Jan 2010

Revisiting Berle And Rethinking The Corporate Structure, Kelli A. Alces

Seattle University Law Review

Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means painted what remains a defining portrait of corporate law. The separation of ownership and control they described and the agency costs it causes are still a central concern of the law of corporate governance. For that reason, Berle’s work is relevant nearly eighty years after its publication. Seemingly forgotten, however, is that Berle’s enduring description of the corporate structure was published before most of today’s corporate law was in place. His work preceded the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and even preceded the dominance of Delaware ...


Securities Intermediaries And The Separation Of Ownership From Control, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2010

Securities Intermediaries And The Separation Of Ownership From Control, Jill E. Fisch

Seattle University Law Review

The Modern Corporation & Private Property is a paradigm-shifting analysis of the modern corporation. The book is perhaps best known for the insights of Berle and Means about the separation of ownership from control and the consequences of that separation for the allocation of power within the corporation. The Berle and Means story focuses on the shareholder as the owner of the corporation. Berle and Means saw the mechanism of centralized management—in which the shareholder retains the economic interest but not the control rights associated with ownership—as threatening the conception of shareholder interests in terms of property rights. In ...


Power Without Property, Still: Unger, Berle, And The Derivatives Revolution, Cristie Ford, Carol Liao Jan 2010

Power Without Property, Still: Unger, Berle, And The Derivatives Revolution, Cristie Ford, Carol Liao

Seattle University Law Review

We are in a time when the notion of property is in flux. The derivatives revolution has shattered the “atom of property” well beyond what was originally imagined in 1932 by Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means. This disaggregation has had fascinating, and often adverse, effects on corporate law and securities regulation. Moreover, the phenomenon has had the unexpected effect of permitting some parties that already possess considerable social, economic, and political power to accumulate even more.


The New Financial Assets: Separating Ownership From Control, Tamar Frankel Jan 2010

The New Financial Assets: Separating Ownership From Control, Tamar Frankel

Seattle University Law Review

In The Modern Corporation and Private Property, Adolf A. Berle and Gardiner Means wrote about the separation of ownership from control in corporations. They noted that the interests of the controlling directors and managers can diverge from those of the shareholder owners of the firm. . . . There are those who consider such a decoupling beneficial. Others express the same concern that Berle and Means have expressed. And depending on what one focuses on in viewing the pluses and minuses of these separations, one could reach different conclusions. I reach a number of conclusions. First, the separation of ownership from control creates ...


Opening Remarks, Chancellor William B. Chandler Iii Jan 2010

Opening Remarks, Chancellor William B. Chandler Iii

Seattle University Law Review

Law is, in many ways, a backwards-looking field. We litigate over facts that have already occurred, challenge deals that have already been signed, and apply rules of decision based on previously-established precedent or statutes already enacted. To the extent that this Center and the symposium reflect on Berle’s work, they too are an exercise in looking back. Indeed, some might say the establishment of a Center named in Berle’s honor is a monument to the past.