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University of Michigan Law School

Contracts

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Separation Of Voting And Control: The Role Of Contract In Corporate Governance, Gabriel V. Rauterberg Jun 2021

The Separation Of Voting And Control: The Role Of Contract In Corporate Governance, Gabriel V. Rauterberg

Articles

The default rules of corporate law make shareholders’ control rights a function of their voting power. Whether a director is elected or a merger is approved depends on how shareholders vote. Yet, in private corporations shareholders routinely alter their rights by contract. This phenomenon of shareholder agreements—contracts among the owners of a firm— has received far less attention than it deserves, mainly because detailed data about the actual contents of shareholder agreements has been lacking. Private companies disclose little, and shareholder agreements are thought to play a trivial or nonexistent role in public companies. I show that this is false—fifteen …


Deal Protection Devices, Albert H. Choi Jun 2021

Deal Protection Devices, Albert H. Choi

Articles

In mergers and acquisitions transactions, a buyer and a seller will often agree to contractual mechanisms (deal protection devices) to deter third parties from jumping the deal and to compensate a disappointed buyer. With the help of auction theory, this Article analyzes various deal protection devices, while focusing on the two most commonly used mechanisms: match rights and target termination fees. A match right gives the buyer a right to “match” a third party’s offer so as to prevent the third party from snatching the target away, while a termination fee compensates the buyer when a third party acquires the …


The Private Law Critique Of International Investment Law, Julian Arato Jan 2019

The Private Law Critique Of International Investment Law, Julian Arato

Articles

This Article argues that investment treaties subtly constrain how nations organize their internal systems of private law, including laws of property, contracts, corporations, and intellectual property. Problematically, the treaties do so on a one-size-fits-all basis, disregarding the wide variation in values reflected in these domestic legal institutions. Investor-state dispute settlement exacerbates this tension, further distorting national private law arrangements. This hidden aspect of the system produces inefficiency, unfairness, and distributional inequities that have eluded the regime's critics and apologists alike.


Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley Jun 2017

Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley

Articles

For centuries, the duty of loyalty has been the hallowed centerpiece of fiduciary obligation, widely considered one of the few “mandatory” rules of corporate law. That view, however, is no longer true. Beginning in 2000, Delaware dramatically departed from tradition by granting incorporated entities a statutory right to waive a crucial part of the duty of loyalty: the corporate opportunities doctrine. Other states have since followed Delaware’s lead, similarly permitting firms to execute “corporate opportunity waivers.” Surprisingly, more than fifteen years into this reform experiment, no study has attempted to either systematically measure the corporate response to these reforms or …


Boilerplate And Economic Power In Auto-Manufacturing Contracts, Omri Ben-Shahar, James J. White Jan 2007

Boilerplate And Economic Power In Auto-Manufacturing Contracts, Omri Ben-Shahar, James J. White

Book Chapters

This chapter examines the boilerplate contracts used by auto makers to procure parts from suppliers. It identifies drafting and negotiation techniques that are used to secure advantageous terms. It also explores some prominent specific arrangements as evidence that firms with bargaining power are exploiting their position to dictate self-serving but inefficient terms. Finally, it shows how standard contractual clauses solve the problem of ex-post hold-up by suppliers.


Contract Law In Modern Commercial Transactions, An Artifact Of Twentieth Century Business Life?, James J. White Jan 1982

Contract Law In Modern Commercial Transactions, An Artifact Of Twentieth Century Business Life?, James J. White

Articles

Diligent first year law students study contract law with a passion previously reserved for romantic objects and religious idols. Their professors lead them in extensive and difficult intellectual explorations of the wilds of contract law. There are careful analyses of why damage recovery X will stimulate performance Y, why recovery A is appropriate to encourage the aggrieved party to return to the market, and so on and so forth. Lurking behind this year long analysis are several inarticulate hypotheses: that they make rational evaluations of the threat of legal sanctions; that they respond in other varied and subtle ways to …