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Penn Law faculty top list of year’s best corporate, securities articles

May 05, 2014

Once again Penn Law faculty top the Corporate Practice Commentator’s annual poll of “Top 10 Corporate and Securities Articles,” with three articles written or co-authored by four University of Pennsylvania Law School faculty members.

Articles by Professors William Bratton, Michael Wachter, Jill Fisch, and Edward Rock L’83 were among the top 10 of 2013 selected by teachers in corporate and securities law, from more than 550 articles. It is the second year in a row that all four of those faculty members have been so honored. Only Stanford Law had as many faculty members and articles represented.

“Penn Law’s business and corporate law program is second to none,” said Law School Dean Michael A. Fitts. “This latest accomplishment is indicative of our faculty’s impressive scholarship and wide-ranging expertise.”

William Bratton and Michael Wachter co-authored “A Theory of Preferred Stock,” which appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Bratton, the Nicholas F. Galicchio Professor Law and Co-Director of the Law School’s Institute for Law and Economics (ILE), is recognized internationally as a leading writer on business law. Wachter, the William B. and Mary Barb Johnson Professor of Law and Economics and ILE Co-Director, is a prominent cross-disciplinary scholar whose current research focuses on topics at the intersection of corporate law and finance. Their article maintains that preferred equity “sits on a fault-line between two great private law paradigms, corporate and contractual law, and draws on both.”

Jill Fisch, the Perry Golkin Professor of Law and Co-Director of ILE, focuses her work on the intersection of business and law, including the role of regulation and litigation in addressing limitations on the disciplinary power of capital markets. Her article, “Who Calls the Shots? How Mutual Funds Vote on Director Elections,” was co-written with two colleagues from NYU School of Law and appeared in the Harvard Business Law Review. The article analyzes mutual fund voting decisions in uncontested director elections and finds evidence that only a small proportion of mutual funds appear to vote in “blind reliance” on recommendations of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the  leading provider of proxy research and analysis. “To the contrary, as measured by asset size, more funds seem to blindly follow management recommendations than blindly follow ISS,” the authors write.

Edward Rock L’83, the Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law, was recognized for his article “Adapting to the New Shareholder-Centric Reality,” published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.  The article explores how U.S. business can respond to the need for increased creditor protection in a system that, since the early 1980s, has shifted from a manager-centric system to a shareholder-centric system. This is the eighth year in a row that Rock has written a Top 10 article.