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International Law

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Innovation Versus Encrustation: Agency Costs In Contract Reproduction, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott Jan 2020

Innovation Versus Encrustation: Agency Costs In Contract Reproduction, Stephen J. Choi, Mitu Gulati, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This article studies the impact of exogenous legal change on whether and how lawyers across four different deal types revise their contracts’ governing law clauses in order to solve the problem that the legal change created. The governing law clause is present in practically every contract across a wide range of industries and, in particular, it appears in deals as disparate as private equity M&A transactions and sovereign bond issuances. Properly drafted, the clause increases the ex ante economic value of the contract to both parties by reducing uncertainty and litigation risk. We posit that different levels of agency costs …


Book Review: The Three And A Half Minute Transaction: What Sticky Boilerplate Reveals About Contract Law And Practice, Andrea J. Boyack Jul 2013

Book Review: The Three And A Half Minute Transaction: What Sticky Boilerplate Reveals About Contract Law And Practice, Andrea J. Boyack

Andrea J Boyack

This review situates Gulati & Scott’s findings with respect to sovereign debt instruments and the contracting process in the context of a legal profession on the brink of change. Gulati and Scott’s book addresses the inexplicable failure of lawyers to respond to a sovereign debt litigation outcome by clarifying a boilerplate provision after an adverse judicial interpretation. Their fascinating study of boilerplate in sophisticated transactional legal practice is timely and compelling both in terms of the specific story it tells, namely the persistence of the pari passu clause in sovereign debt instruments, as well as its broader implications: Structural flaws …