Private Contracting, Law and Finance

Graeme G. Acheson, Gareth Campbell, John D. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
185 Downloads (Pure)


In the late nineteenth century Britain had almost no mandatory shareholder protections, but had very developed financial markets. We argue that private contracting between shareholders and corporations meant that the absence of statutory protections was immaterial. Using circa 500 articles of association from before 1900, we code the protections offered to shareholders in these private contracts. We find that firms voluntarily offered shareholders many of the protections which were subsequently included in statutory corporate law. We also find that companies offering better protection to shareholders had less concentrated ownership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4156–4195
Number of pages40
JournalReview of Financial Studies
Issue number11
Early online date14 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2019


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