About Dr Stephen F. Copp

More about Dr Stephen F Copp


I’m an Associate Professor and former Head of the Law Department at Bournemouth University and a Visiting Professor of Law in the School of Management and Social Sciences at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London. My former posts have included being Legal Advisor in the National Auditing and Accounting Technical Department of a “Big Eight” accountancy firm based in London.


I gained my LLB (Hons) from Exeter University in 1982. I hold the dual-qualifications of solicitor and barrister, having been called to the Bar in 1985 and admitted as a solicitor in 1989; in 1994, I was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Indirect Taxation (I don’t practice in these capacities). In 2004, I gained a PhD for my inter-disciplinary thesis, “The Early Development of Company Law in England and Wales: Values and Efficiency”. In 2007, I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Main research themes

I specialise in creating solutions to legal problems based on understanding their historical context, utilising the tools of good governance, free market economics and faith based solutions. The goals behind much of my research are to tackle poverty, address fraud and corruption and create better relationships. Examples of topics I’ve examined include the role of the limited liability company, directors’ duties, directors’ remuneration and off balance sheet finance.

My main research themes currently are:

Speaking, writing and consultancy

I speak and publish widely on on company law and corporate governance.

I’ve delivered academic papers at numerous conferences, including international conferences at Cambridge University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; continuing professional education to lawyers and others in London; and board level training to not-for-profit organisations in health-care and housing regionally.

Journals in which I’ve published include Accountancy, Chartered Secretary, the Company Lawyer, Economic Affairs, Faith in Business Quarterly, the International Company and Commercial Law Review, the Journal of Banking Regulation, the Journal of Corporate Law Studies, the Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics and the Journal of Markets & Morality.

 I’ve led consultancy projects on corporate governance for the Top Pay Research Group and the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Recognition and awards

I’m an Executive Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Disclosure and Governance and has been a Consulting Editor (Company Law) of the Journal of ADR, Mediation and Negotiation.

I’ve also been a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Legal Scholars and its Research Sub-committee.

I’m currently a patron and academic advisor to the Cambridge University “Transforming Business” project.

I was one of the founders of the Institute of Indirect Taxation and consequently a former Council Member and Secretary; other roles have included membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ Consultative Panel for its “Reporting with Integrity” project and membership of the Relational Finance Group.

In 2004 my work with Professor Kevin McGuinness on “Legitimate or Reasonable Expectations of Minority Shareholders: The United Kingdom and Canada Compared, Part 2”, published in the International Company and Commercial Law Review, was cited by the New Zealand Court of Appeal.

In 2009 I received a Seldon award (joint) in respect of the Hobart Paperback “The Legal Foundations of Free Markets”, edited by him (London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 2008).