Commercial, Company and Capital Market Law
Commercial, company and capital market law is another of the Institute’s main research areas. Foundational and current issues are examined critically on a broad comparative basis and placed in a wider historical and international context. The Institute also develops regulatory proposals for reforms at the national, European and international levels as appropriate.
This research particularly distinguishes itself through its interdisciplinary orientation, as is particularly evident in the Institute’s work on company valuation and the law and management of family firms. Social relevance intersects with foundational research on company law in the field of corporate social responsibility. The research series on stories from company law exemplifies an innovative methodological approach.
Selected Research Projects
The question of how to reconcile profitability with social responsibility is a key issue that has long been discussed across disciplines. Amidst growing public attention to social and environmental standards as well as the fight against corruption in third countries, the issue of corporate social responsibility (CSR) also raises important legal questions.
A telegram from the Federal Banking Supervisory Office sealed the fate of the Cologne-based bank Herstatt on 26 June 1974. The bank’s license was withdrawn and all counters at the bank were immediately closed. Within hours tumult broke out amongst frustrated depositors and investors. These events were preceded by rescue efforts undertaken at the highest level to avert the largest bank collapse in the German post-war period.
Family firms are attracting growing attention in company law research. This comes as little surprise given that family businesses account for 91 per cent of all companies in Germany, employing 57 per cent of the workforce and generating 55 per cent of private sector revenue. In many other countries, too, they are the backbone of the economy.