Christopher Bruner, the William Donald Bain Family Professor of Corporate Law at Washington and Lee, visited the University of Leeds School of Law as an invited Liberty Fellow during the week of November 9, 2015. As a part of his visit, hosted by the Leeds School of Law’s Centre for Business Law and Practice, Professor Bruner gave a public keynote lecture based on his book, Corporate Governance in the Common-Law World: The Political Foundations of Shareholder Power (Cambridge University Press, 2013). This lecture, together with responses by Professors Andrew Keay and Joan Loughrey of the Leeds law faculty, formed the basis for a half-day workshop on shareholder power that brought together faculty and student attendees from Leeds and other universities in England and Ireland. Throughout his visit Professor Bruner met with Leeds law faculty working in the areas of corporate, securities, and financial law, and conducted further research for his second book, Market-Dominant Small Jurisdictions in a Globalizing Financial World (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016), which examines the roles of small jurisdictions in cross-border corporate and financial services.
Corporate Governance in the Common-Law World has been called “a revelation,” and “a work of monumental significance and scholarly craft.” In the book, Professor Bruner develops a new political theory to explain why shareholders in the U.K. and other common-law jurisdictions are both more powerful and more central to the aims of the corporation than are shareholders in the U.S. Specifically, he argues that relatively robust social welfare protections in countries like the U.K., Australia, and Canada have freed up their corporate legal systems to focus more intently on shareholder interests without giving rise to “political backlash” – because other legal structures accommodate the interests of employees. Read more about Professor Bruner’s scholarship here.