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Stealth Governance: Shareholder Agreements And Private Ordering, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2022

Stealth Governance: Shareholder Agreements And Private Ordering, Jill E. Fisch

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Corporate law has embraced private ordering -- tailoring a firm’s corporate governance to meet its individual needs. Firms are increasingly adopting firm-specific governance through dual-class voting structures, forum selection provisions and tailored limitations on the duty of loyalty. Courts have accepted these provisions as consistent with the contractual theory of the firm, and statutes, in many cases, explicitly endorse their use. Commentators too support private ordering for its capacity to facilitate innovation and enhance efficiency.

Private ordering typically occurs through firm-specific charter and bylaw provisions. VC-funded startups, however, frequently use an alternative tool – shareholder agreements. These agreements, which have …


Shareholder Voting And The Symbolic Politics Of Corporation As Contract, Matthew T. Bodie, Grant M. Hayden Jan 2018

Shareholder Voting And The Symbolic Politics Of Corporation As Contract, Matthew T. Bodie, Grant M. Hayden

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American corporations are structured in such a way that shareholders, and shareholders alone, have the right to vote in all significant corporate decisions. Over the years, this exclusive shareholder franchise has been supported by an ongoing procession of justifications. But as those arguments have fallen by the wayside, shareholder primacists have circled back and latched upon a final argument for the special voting status of shareholders, arguing that this fundamental feature of corporate governance is the product of the set of freely-bargained-for agreements among all corporate constituents. Because this set of agreements reflects the preferences of all parties to the …


Incomplete Contracts In A Complete Contract World, Scott A. Baker, Kimberly D. Krawiec Apr 2006

Incomplete Contracts In A Complete Contract World, Scott A. Baker, Kimberly D. Krawiec

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This paper considers the role that contract doctrine should play in facilitating optimal investment in contractual relationships. All contracts are incomplete in the sense that they do not specify the optimal actions for the buyer and seller in every future contingency. This incompleteness can lead to both under and over-investment in resources specifically targeted to the needs of the other contracting party. To solve these investment problems, economists and legal scholars have looked to complicated contractual solutions and the ownership of assets.

This Article offers another solution: contract doctrine. Specifically, we propose a contractual default rule applicable to all contract …