Professor John Farrar

The move from private enforcement to public enforcement and now the move to shareholder activism: Internationally, are we entering a new era of enforcement in corporate law?

Western systems are based substantially on the premise of private enforcement although an increasing emphasis is placed on public enforcement because in the past private enforcement has not really worked. However, now we are seeing the rise of new forms of shareholder activism.

The paper deals with shareholder activism in the UK and Australia. It discusses the following topics:

  • The nature of a share as a bundle of rights
  • The separation of ownership and control
  • The different types of shareholder
  • An overview of remedies
  • The different forms of activism including class actions and the recent radical changes in Australia
  • Whether shareholder activism gives rise to conflicts of interest and whether overall it adds value