Dr Simon Witney

Dr Simon Witney

Senior Fellow

LSE Law School

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Key Expertise
corporate governance in private equity-backed companies

About me

Dr Simon Witney is a practising lawyer who also teaches on the LLM programme at LSE. His doctoral thesis, completed at LSE in 2017, was on corporate governance in private equity-backed companies. Simon continues to research and write on corporate governance, company law and related topics.

Simon is also a Senior Consultant at London-based law firm, Travers Smith.

Simon has previously served in senior positions within the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA), including as Chair of its Legal and Accounting Committee and as a member of its Council.   He is also a past Chair of Invest Europe’s Tax, Legal and Regulatory Committee.


Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment in Private Equity (Cambridge University Press, 2021)

Private equity-backed companies are ubiquitous and economically significant. Consequently, the corporate governance of these companies matters to all of us, and – not surprisingly – is coming under increasing scrutiny. Simon Witney, a practicing private equity lawyer, positions private equity portfolio companies within existing academic theory and examines the laws that apply to them in the UK. He analyses the actual governance frameworks that are put in place and identifies problems created by the legal rules – as well as the market's solutions to them. This book not only explains why these governance mechanisms are established, but also what they are expected to achieve. Witney suggests that private equity owners have both the incentives and the capability to focus on responsible investment practices. Good governance, he argues, is a critical success factor for the private equity industry.

click here for publisher's site

Book chapters

  • 'Policy, regulation and private equity: the research agenda' (co-written with Sally Gibson) in Wright, M., Amess, K., Bacon, N. & Siegel, D. (eds) The Routledge companion to management buyouts (London: Routledge, 2017)  [forthcoming]
  • 'The impact of the AIFM Directive in Europe' (co-written with Emidio Cacciapuoti and Valentina Lanfranchi) in Anna Gervasoni (ed.) Private Equity and Venture Capital (2014)
  • 'Private Equity' in Tolleys Company Acquisitions Handbook (8th edition, 2007)

Journal articles

  • 'The Private Fund Limited Partnership: A New Fund Vehicle for the UK' Journal of Investment Compliance (2017) 18 (3) pp.75-78 (with Geoff Kittredge and Sally Gibson)
  • 'Corporate opportunities law and the non-executive director' Journal of Corporate Law Studies (2016) 16 (1) pp.145-186 
  • 'Duties Owed by Shadow Directors: Closing in on the Puppet Masters?' Journal of Business Law (2016) pp.311-324
  • 'Codes compared' International Financial Law Review (2008) p.24 (with James Bromley) 
  • 'In the Line of Fire?' European Lawyer  (2004)(December 2004/January 2005) pp.31-32 (co-authored with Bernard S. Black, Brian R. Cheffins and Michael Klausner)
  • 'Medical accident compensation: back to basics' Professional Negligence (1993) 3 p.129


  • LSE Policy Briefing Series: Reform of UK Limited Partnership Law, July 2017
  • Comments on Corporate Mobility and Company Law by Eilis Ferran, 2016, The Modern Law Review, Vol. 79, Issue 5, 813-839.
  • LSE Brexit Blog, Brexit in the Supreme Court – a landmark ruling, or monumental waste of time and money?, February 2017
  • Letter to the Editor, LSE Law Review 2016, What can legal academics add to the debate about private equity? (http://dx.doi.org/10.21953/lse.u6eifh8gf3ht), Winner of the Best Letter Prize
  • Oxford Business Law Blog, Reform of UK Limited Partnership Law, January 2018