the firm law

Systemic Risk Centre Event

Date: 16-17th June 2022   Time: 1.5 day event
Venue: LSE
Organisers: Eva Micheler (SRC/LSE), David Gindis (University of Hertfordshire)
Speakers: Vicky Barnes (Max Planck), Sandrine Blanc (ESSEC), Rutger Claassen (Utrecht), Simon Deakin (Cambridge), Isabelle Ferreras (Louvain), Joshua Getzler (Oxford), David Gindis (Hertfordshire), Jonny Hardman (Edinburgh), Stephan Leixenring (WU Vienna), Samuel Mansell (St Andrews), Ewan McGaughey (KCL), Tim Meijers (Leiden), Eva Micheler (SRC/LSE), Christopher Napier (Royal Holloway), Lucy Newton (Reading), Eric Orts (Wharton), Sarah Paterson (LSE), Alexander Pepper (LSE), Tully Rector (Utrecht), Alexander Styhre (Gothenburg), Carien van Mourik (OU)

For some time the nexus of contract model of the firm and agency theory have operated as the dominant theoretical approach in law, economics and other social sciences. Following the 2008 financial crisis this approach has received substantial and sustained criticism. Despite this critique no alternative positive or normative theory of the firm has yet taken hold.

The aim of this conference is to fill this gap and to articulate an institutional theory of the firm. This theory (a) emphasizes the real economic enterprise underlying the legal form supplied by law, (b) highlights that and how the enterprise is constituted by law, (c) examines the relative roles of governance mechanisms, organizational routines, codes of practice, social norms and shared beliefs, in a manner that aims to (d) shine a light on current and future reform proposals.

Details to be made available shortly.


* presenting author

Day 1

Thursday, 16th June 2022

Welcome address

Session 1

Institutional theory in company law
Eva Micheler (LSE, UK - law)

A legally-grounded real entity view of the firm
David Gindis (Hertfordshire, UK)

The Corporation: A Neo-Realist Account
Simon Deakin (Cambridge, UK – law)


Session 2

Real Entities in Fictitious Persons: Separate Legal Personality and the Firm
Jonny Hardman (Edinburgh, UK – law)

The theory of enterprise law: The eclipse of corporate law
Ewan McGaughey (KCL, UK – law)

A theory of the firm anchored in the labour investment it necessitates: Descriptive stakes and normative challenges
Isabelle Ferreras (Louvain, Belgium – sociology)

Day 2

Friday, 17th June 2022


Session 3

How corporate reporting underpins a financial conception of the firm
Christopher Napier (Royal Holloway, UK – accounting)

Property rights, markets, and externalities in corporate external reporting theory and practice
Carrien van Mourik (OU, UK – accounting)

CLO incentives and financial distress: The case for regulating covenant-life loans
Sarah Paterson (LSE, UK – law)


Session 4

Who speaks for the corporation? A Hobbesian theory of managerial authority
Samuel Mansell (St Andrews, UK – business ethics)

Common knowledge and group minds
Joshua Getzler (Oxford, UK – legal history)

Justice Inc.
Sandrine Blanc* (ESSEC, France – business ethics)
Tim Meijers (Leiden, Netherlands – philosophy)


Session 5

Communicating purpose: The English joint stock bank in law and society
Vicky Barnes* (Max Planck, Germany – legal history)
Lucy Newton (Reading, UK – business history)

Toward a theory of plural business purposes
Eric Orts (Wharton, US – law)

Corporate Purpose: An Institutional Perspective
Stephan Leixenring (WU Vienna, Austria – management)


Session 6

The multi-capital corporation: in or beyond capitalism?
Rutger Claassen* (Utrecht, Netherlands – political theory)
Tully Rector (Utrecht, Netherlands – political theory)

An institutional approach to executive compensation: FTSE100 CEO pay 1980-2020
Alexander Pepper (LSE, UK – management)

Market concentration and weaker antitrust enforcement: A legal-institutional theory view of economic welfare consequences
Alexander Styhre (Gothenburg, Sweden – management)

Closing remarks

The conference will conclude with a lecture by Katharina Pistor (Columbia, US – law) entitled "Financializing the non-financial firm". Details of the lecture can be found below.

Both events are co-sponsored by the Systemic Risk Centre and the Law and Financial Markets Project.