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William Wilson Bratton

Deputy Dean and Nicholas F. Gallicchio Professor of Law; Co-Director, Institute for Law and Economics

William Bratton

 William Bratton is recognized internationally as a leading writer on business law. He brings an interdisciplinary perspective to a wide range of subject matters that encompass corporate governance, corporate finance, accounting, corporate legal history, and comparative corporate law. Continue reading…  William Bratton is recognized internationally as a leading writer on business law. He brings an interdisciplinary perspective to a wide range of subject matters that encompass corporate governance, corporate finance, accounting, corporate legal history, and comparative corporate law. His work has appeared in the Cornell, Michigan, Northwestern, Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Virginia law reviews, and the Duke and Georgetown law journals, along with the American Journal of Comparative Law and the Common Market Law Review. His book, Corporate Finance: Cases and Materials (Foundation Press, 7th ed. 2012), is the leading law school text on the subject.  Bratton is a Research Associate of the European Corporate Governance Institute. In 2009, he was installed as the Anton Philips Professor at the Faculty of Law of Tilburg University in The Netherlands, the fifth American academic to hold the chair.



  • Corporate Finance
  • Corporations
  • Accounting
  • Law and Economics
  • Legal History


[Available Here]

Articles and Book Chapters

A World Without Treasuries?, in IS U.S. GOVERNMENT DEBT DIFFERENT? 13 (Franklin Allen et al. eds., 2012).

Shareholders and Social Welfare, 36 Seattle U. L. Rev. 489 (2013) (with Michael Wachter)
[Available Here]

Reforming Securities Law Enforcement: Politics and Money at the Public/Private Divide, in REGULATORY BREAKDOWN: THE CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE IN U.S. REGULATION 200 (Cary Coglianese ed., University of Pennsylvania Press 2012). (with Michael L. Wachter)

At the Conjunction of Love and Money: Comment on Julie A. Nelson, Does Profit-Seeking Rule Out Love? Evidence (or Not) from Economics and Law , 35 WASH. U. J.L. & POL'Y 109 (2011)

The Political Economy of Fraud on the Market, 160 U. PA. L. REV. 69 (2011)(with Michael Wachter).

Heedless Globalism: The SEC’s Roadmap to Accounting Convergence, 79 U. CIN. L. REV. 471 (2011).

Lyondell: A Note of Approbation, 55 N.Y.L. SCH. L. REV. 561 (2010/2011).

Tracking Berle’s Footsteps: The Trail of The Modern Corporation’s Last Chapter, 33 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 849 (2010)(with Michael Wachter).

Unentrapped, 77 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 677 (2009).

The Case Against Shareholder Empowerment, 158 U. PA. L. REV. 653 (2010)(with Michael Wachter)

An Anatomy of Corporate Legal Theory, 24 RESEARCH IN L. & ECON. 21 (2009), reprinted in LAW & ECONOMICS: TOWARD SOCIAL JUSTICE (Dana L. Gold ed., JAI Press 2009).

Treatment Differences and Political Realities in the GAAP-IFRS Debate, 95 VA. L. REV. 989 (2009)(with Lawrence Cunningham).

How Does Corporate Mobility Affect Lawmaking: A Comparative Analysis, 52 AM. J. COMP. L. 347 (2009)(with Joseph McCahery and Erik Vermeulen).

Private Equity’s Three Lessons for Agency Theory, 3 BROOKLYN J. CORP. FIN. & COM. L. 1 (2008); and 9 EUR. BUS. ORG. L. REV. 509 (2008).

Shareholder Primacy’s Corporatist Origins: Adolf Berle and The Modern Corporation, 34 J. CORP. L. 99 (2008)(with Michael Wachter).

Private Equity’s Three Lessons for Agency Theory, 9 EUR. BUS. ORG. L. REV. 509 (2008)

Hedge Funds and Governance Targets, 95 GEO. L.J. 1375 (2007).

Private Standards, Public Governance: A New Look at the Financial Accounting Standards Board, 48 B.C. L. REV. 5 (2007).

The Equilibrium Content of Corporate Federalism , 41 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 619 (2006) (with Joseph McCahery), reprinted in 48 CORP. PRAC. COMMENTATOR 855 (2007) and MET RECHT (Peter Essers, et al. eds., Kluwer 2009).


Supersize Pay, Incentive Compatibility and the Volatile Model of the Shareholder, 1 VA. L. & BUS. REV. 55 (2006), reprinted in PERSPECTIVES ON CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (Scott Kieff & Troy Paredes, eds., Cambridge University Press 2010).

Bond Covenants and Creditor Protection: Economics and Law, Theory and Practice, Substance and Process, 7 EUR. BUS. ORG. L. REV. 39 (2006).

The New Dividend Puzzle, 93 GEO. L.J. 845 (2005) (Selected one of the ten best Corporate and Securities Articles of 2005, Corporate Practice Commentator poll of corporate law academics).

Pari Passu and a Distressed Sovereign’s Rational Choices, 53 EMORY L.J. 823 (2004).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

A Transactional Genealogy of Scandal: From Michael Milken to Enron to Goldman Sachs, 86 S. CAL. L. REV. (with Adam J. Levitin). (forthcoming 2013)
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Hedge Funds and Governance Targets: Long Term Results (forthcoming)
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Institutional Investor Activism: Hedge Funds and Private Equity, Economics and Regulation (ed. with Joseph McCahery)(collection to be published by Oxford University Press in 2013). (forthcoming 2013)


Penn Law – Nicholas F. Gallicchio Professor of Law (2011-); Deputy Dean (2012- ); Professor of Law (2010-11)

Anton Philips Professor, Tilburg University, Department of Business Law (2009-10)

Research Associate – European Corporate Governance Institute (2007- )

Georgetown – Peter P. Weidenbruch, Jr. Professor of Business Law (2007-10); Professor of Law (2003-07)

George Washington University – Samuel Tyler Research Professor of Law (1999–2003)

Rutgers University School of Law-Newark – Professor of Law (Professor II) and Governor Woodrow Wilson Scholar (1995-99); Professor of Law (Professor I) (1990-94)

Professional Activities

Board member, AALS Business Associations Section, 1990-1993, 1999-2003, 2005- 2008.

Board member, AALS Socio-Economics Section, from 1996-1999.

Member, American Law Institute; American Economics Association; American Finance Association; Society of American Law Teachers.


  • Corporations
  • Corporate Finance: Legal Aspects
  • Corporate Governance Seminar

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