James Cox discusses legal developments that occurred during the “Golden Age” of American corporate law when courts strengthened legal doctrines that protect and benefit shareholders.
Shareholder suits occur much more frequently in the U.S. than in Britain or for that matter Europe. The frequency of such suits masks the limited legal areas in which American shareholder pursue through litigation managers and controlling stockholders. Professor Cox will discuss several legal developments that occurred during what might be considered the “Golden Age” of American corporate law in which the courts created or strengthened various legal doctrines that protect and benefit shareholders. This trend is now being reversed. The reversal is observable in a series of recent important judicial decisions the causes for reversal remain somewhat speculative. However Professor Cox develops the thesis that business interests, most particularly the executives of publicly traded companies, have succeeded in pressuring courts to weaken shareholder rights so as to curb rising tide of activist shareholders as well as what can be seen as an epidemic of shareholder litigation.
James Cox is Brainerd Currie Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law and Visiting Professor at LSE Law.
Tobias Tröger is a professor at Goethe University Frankfurt.
Carsten Gerner-Beuerle is a professor at UCL.
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