The most fundamental comparative corporate governance debates have often focused
on two issues. The first one concerns ownership structure: Why are large corporations in some corporate governance system owned by a multitude of disempowered shareholders, thus effectively giving management free rein?
Why are corporations typically governed by a controlling shareholder or a coalition of controlling shareholders in other systems? The second issue is the role of other ?constituencies? of the corporation besides shareholders, of which labor is most central to the debate. Some jurisdictions explicitly give labor an influential voice in corporate affairs, whereas in others its influence is developed through factual power or unintended consequences of legislation. This chapter explores the interactions between firm ownership and labor, focusing on the United States on the one hand and Continental Europe, particularly Germany, on the other. It distinguishes between ?old? and ?new? comparative corporate governance, the former referring to the dichotomy studied by scholars of comparative corporate law up to the early 2000s. Recent
changes, heralded by intermediated, but widespread share ownership are leading us to
a new equilibrium whose contours have only begun to emerge. Over the past decades,
outside investors have gained power both in the United States and in Continental Europe. However, neither in the US nor in Continental Europe has the traditional corporate governance system been completely superseded by a new one. The US remains to a large extent manager-centric. Continental Europe retains powerful large shareholders, and labor as an independent force has remained more important than in the United States. Outside institutional investors ? sometimes from the US ? have become a player to be reckoned with, thus adding an additional layer of complexity to the system.
How special is Centros? This contribution places Centros in internal market law. It starts by
turning the judgment on its head and imagines an alternative Centros: the judgment that the
Danish authorities...Read more
Comparative company law is at once very old and very modern. It is very old
because ever since companies and company laws first existed, trade has not
stopped at the frontiers of countries and states. The persons concerned, ...Read more
The European Court of Justice’s landmark decision in Centros was heralded as creating the preconditions for a vibrant market for incorporations in the EU. In practice, however, today’s corporate landscape in Europe differs little from...Read more
We examine the Centros decision through the lens of SB 826 – the California statute mandating a minimum number of women on boards. SB 826, like the Centros decision, raises questions about the scope of the internal affairs doctrine...Read more