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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Company Law and Sustainability: Legal Barriers and Opportunities

Edited by: Beate Sjafjell, Benjamin J. Richardson

ISBN13: 9781107043275
Published: May 2015
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £80.00

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This investigation of the barriers to and opportunities for promoting environmental sustainability in company law provides an in-depth comparative analysis of company law regimes across the world. The social norm of shareholder primacy is the greatest barrier preventing progress, and it also helps explain why voluntary action by companies and investors is insufficient. By deconstructing the myth that shareholder primacy has a legal basis and challenging the economic postulates on which mainstream corporate governance debate is based, Company Law and Sustainability reveals a surprisingly large unexplored potential within current company law regimes for companies to reorient themselves towards sustainability. It also suggests possible methods of reforming the existing legal infrastructure for companies and provides an important contribution to the broader debate on how to achieve sustainability.

  • Unprecedented comparative analysis of company law will appeal to those interested in the legal infrastructure of business and how that relates to the impact of business on society
  • Questions the legal-economic postulates on which our current economic regimes are based on by challenging conventional wisdom about the significance of shareholders
  • Critiques the existing (largely voluntary) movements for corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investment, and highlights their inadequacies in leveraging significant change in business behaviour

Company Law, Environmental Law
1. Capitalism, the sustainability crisis and the limitations of current business governance Benjamin J. Richardson and Beate Sjåfjell
2. Corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability David Millon
3. Shareholder primacy: the main barrier to sustainable companies Beate Sjåfjell, Andrew Johnston, Linn Anker-Sørensen and David Millon
4. The role of board directors in promoting environmental sustainability Blanaid Clarke
5. Accounting, auditing and reporting: supporting or obstructing the sustainable companies objective? Charlotte Villiers and Jukka Mähönen
6. Financial markets and socially responsible investing Benjamin J. Richardson
7. Limits to corporate reform and alternative legal structures Carol Liao
8. The future for company law and sustainability Beate Sjåfjell and Benjamin J. Richardson.