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Introduction to Company Law

Introduction to Company Law (3rd edn)

Paul Davies
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date: 20 September 2021

p. 3079. The Social Function of Corporate Lawlocked

p. 3079. The Social Function of Corporate Lawlocked

  • Paul DaviesPaul DaviesSenior research fellow, Harris Manchester College, Oxford


Since the financial crisis of 2007–09, the shareholder orientation of company law has come under increasing question. This chapter first sets out the social benefits potentially provided by a shareholder orientation and analyses the strategies available within the current company law framework to promote these potential benefits. It then moves on to consider more radical critiques of shareholder orientation. The first questions the capacity of non-shareholders to protect themselves via contract, outside company law. This issue is analysed mainly from the standpoint of employee contracting and employee representation within the corporate structure. The second section promotes the idea that companies should state a corporate purpose beyond profit making.

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