Thesis Title: 'Corporate governance in private equity-owned companies'
Research Interests: Company law, corporate governance, private equity and venture capital
There is considerable academic research into the performance of these companies, and good evidence that they perform well across a number of metrics. My research will build on that body of research and examine how, in practice, UK private equity backed companies are governed, and the extent to which existing law facilitates – or hampers – such governance.
Existing academic theory would suggest that “one size fits all” governance frameworks are not helpful, and that effective governance mechanisms will be created by sophisticated firms to deal with specific company needs. I will examine the extent to which this is true in practice using empirical data, and measure existing legal rules by their ability to accommodate and encourage the adoption of such bespoke mechanisms.
I expect my research to inform Europe’s critical corporate governance debate. It will be of interest to anyone who wants to better understand which forms of governance – and which company law frameworks – drive companies to create long term sustainable value. That is a subject of acute interest to practitioners, academics, policy-makers, and to society as a whole.
My research is funded by the Economic and
Social Research Council (ESRC).
I am a PhD student in the Law Department at LSE, supervised by Professor David Kershaw and Dr Carsten Gerner-Beuerle.
Before joining LSE’s PhD programme I was a partner practising private equity law at King & Wood Mallesons (formerly SJ Berwin). My first degree was in Law at Oxford University, and I have also attained an MPhil in Law from Leicester University and an MBA from INSEAD.
I currently chair the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s (BVCA) Legal & Technical Committee.
'Duties Owed by Shadow Directors: Closing in on the Puppet Masters?' Journal of Business Law (2016) 311
'Corporate opportunities law and the non-executive director' Journal of Corporate Law Studies (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735970.2015.1117349
'What can legal academics add to the debate about private equity?', LSE Law Review, 2016, http://www.lselawreview.com/#!private-equity-simon-witney/uht8d
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