Corporate Law Reform


The limited liability company has been the vehicle for facilitating phenomenal levels of economic growth globally. In economic terms it reduces transaction costs, shifts risk to the most efficient risk-bearer, enables investor diversification and the growth of efficient stock markets. In moral terms, however, it has been criticised for infringing the principle of personal responsibility for debt, encouraging undue-risk taking, enabling shareholders to evade tort liabilities and facilitating the growth of excessively large and unaccountable businesses. Companies are prone to failure and scandal reflecting both entrepreneurial risks and human greed. Against this background there has been almost constant reform of company law in the UK since the mid-19th century. The regulatory environment both internationally and nationally is extremely complex and burdensome, both in terms of the quantity of institutions and the regulatory material itself. The costs of this are immense, for example, the Administrative Burdens Measurements Exercise (ABME) in 2006 estimated that the regulation of accounting and company law accounted for a massive £6,680 million, 51% of the total estimated administrative cost of business. My research is focused on how the economic success of the company can be retained whilst addressing problems of failure and scandal in a cost-effective fashion.

Reports and submissions to government and other bodies

Copp, S.F., P. Hardwick, R. Teather, & J.Z. Yang (2004) Governance and Regulation of New Economy Companies: The Role of Human Capital sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators

Copp, S.F. (1999) Response to the DTI Consultation Paper Modern Company Law, The Strategic Framework

Copp, S.F. (1998) Response to the DTI Consultation Paper Modern Company Law

Copp, S.F., S. Letza, & C.W. Maughan (1998) Joint Response to the Law Commission Consultation Paper Company Directors: Regulating Conflicts of Interests and Formulating a Statement of Principles

Copp, S.F. (1997) Response to the Law Commission in respect of Consultation Paper No. 142 Shareholder Remedies

Books, book contributions and conference proceedings

Copp, S.F. (ed.) (2008) The Legal Foundations of Free Markets (London: Institute of Economic Affairs), contributed Chapter 1 The Legal Foundations of Free Markets and Chapter 8 Limited Liability and Freedom [ISBN 978 0 255 36591 8]. For a review by Professor Andrew P. Morriss of University of Illinois, US, in The Independent Review 14(4), Spring 2010, see https://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=782.

Copp, S.F. (2001) The Law and Christian Ethics in Business. This was first published in The Law and Christian Ethics on behalf of The Church of Scotland Board of Social Responsibility (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press) pp. 36 – 75 [ISBN 0 86153 310 0]

Copp, S.F. (1998) A Christian Vision for Corporate Governance. This was first published as Chapter 5 in Christian Perspectives on Law Reform ed. Beaumont, P. (Carlisle: Paternoster Press) pp. 105 – 154 [ISBN 0-85364-852-2]

Copp, S.F. & A. Thomas (1988) Becoming a Director – What You Need To Know (Deloitte, Haskins + Sells) [ISBN 0 86349 109X]

Articles and published letters

Copp, S.F. & A. Cronin (2015) The Failure of Criminal Law to Control the Use of Off Balance Sheet Finance During the Banking Crisis 36 The Company Lawyer 99 – 120 [ISSN: 0144-1027]

Copp, S.F. (2011) The Unsound Foundations of the Companies Act 2006: The Flawed Use of Regulatory Impact Assessment 32 The Company Lawyer 323 – 335 [ISSN: 0144-1027]

Copp, S.F. (2011) A Theology of Incorporation with Limited Liability 14(1) Journal of Markets & Morality 35 – 57 [ISSN 1098 – 1217]; see also The Association of Christian Economists Discussion Papers 006 Stephen Copp, A Theology of Incorporation with Limited Liability, including Reflections on Methodology; 007 Richard Higginson, A Response to Stephen Copp; 008 Clive Beed and Cara Beed, Biblical Principles Antipathetic to the Joint Stock Company; and 009 Stephen Copp, A Theology of Incorporation with Limited Liability Reaffirmed at https://www.christian-economists.org.uk/journal.htm [ISSN 2044-8635].

Copp, S.F. (2011) The Economic (and Moral) Case Against Capping Directors’ Remuneration Economic Affairs 31(2) Student and Teacher Supplement, Summer 2011, 2 – 3, see https://www.iea.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/files/StudentTeacherSuppJun11.pdf

Copp, S.F. (2010) s. 172 Companies Act 2006 Fails People and Planet? 31 The Company Lawyer 406 – 408 [ISSN: 0144-1027]

Copp, S.F. (2009) Corporate Social Responsibility and the Companies Act 2006 Economic Affairs Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 16 – 21 [ISSN 0265-0665]

Copp, S.F. (2007) Kiss and Tell Accountancy, December, p. 22 [ISSN 0001-4664]

Copp, S.F. (2006) The Institutional Architecture of Corporate Governance Reform: an Evaluation 7 Journal of Banking Regulation 41 – 63 [ISSN: 1745 – 6452]

Copp, S.F. (2005) TescoLaw, AsdaAudit? Accountancy, December, p. 24 [ISSN 0001-4664]

Copp, S.F. (2005) Sex, Lies and Corporate Governance Accountancy, April, p. 27 [ISSN 0001-4664]

Copp, S.F. (2005) Power vs Accountability: What Can Good Corporate Governance Teach the Church? 9 Faith in Business Quarterly, pp. 11 – 18 [ISSN 1369-653X]

Copp, S.F. (2004) Thinking Ahead: “Flexibility and Accessibility” “Opinion” article. This article was first published in (2004) 25 The Company Lawyer 291 – 292 by Sweet & Maxwell [ISSN: 0144-1027]

Copp, S.F. (2003) Corporate Governance: Change, Consistency and Evolution Part 2 14 International Company and Commercial Law Review 115 – 128 [ISSN 0958 – 5214]

Copp, S.F. (2003) Corporate Governance: Change, Consistency and Evolution Part 1 This article was first published in 14 International Company and Commercial Law Review 65 – 74 by Sweet & Maxwell [ISSN 0958 – 5214]

Copp, S.F. (2003) Bill Maughan, Obituary 14 Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics 299 – 301

Copp, S.F. (2003) A Winter’s Tale This article was originally published in CIMA’s Financial Management magazine April, pp. 30 – 31 [ISSN 1471-9185]

Copp, S.F. & R. Teather (2003) Academics willing and able to speak up letter Financial Times, 13th February

Maughan, C.W. & S.F. Copp (2003) Economic Efficiency, The Role of Law, and the Old Testament 14 Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics 249 – 298

Copp, S.F. (2002) Company law and alternative dispute resolution: an economic analysis This article was first published in (2002) 23 The Company Lawyer 361 – 375 by Sweet & Maxwell. [ISSN: 0144-1027]

Copp, S.F. (2002) Who Needs Universities? 25 Society of Legal Scholars Reporter 29 – 33 [ISSN 0967 2184]

Copp, S.F. (2002) C.S. Lewis’s Concept of the Inner Ring and the Problem of Evil in Corporate Governance 6 Faith in Business Quarterly 3 – 7 [ISSN 1369-653X]

Copp, S.F. (2002) The Enron Scandal 6(1) Faith in Business Quarterly 8 – 13 [ISSN 1369-653X]

Copp, S.F. (2002) Why I … believe academics should serve as non-executive directors of companies Times Higher Education Supplement August 2nd, p. 12

Copp, S.F. (2001) Company Law Reform and Economic Analysis: Establishing Boundaries 1 Journal of Corporate Law Studies 1 – 19 [ISSN: 1473-5970]

Copp, S.F. & C.W. Maughan (2001) Innovative High Growth Companies: The Case Against Special Rules 22 The Company Lawyer 234 – 243 [ISSN: 0144-1027]

Copp, S.F. & N. Astbury (2000) ADR and Shareholder Disputes – An Alternative to Using s. 459 CA 1985 1 Journal of ADR, Mediation and Negotiation 51 – 68 [ISSN 1470-6717]

Maughan, C.W. & S.F. Copp (2000) Company Law Reform and Economic Methodology Revisited 21 The Company Lawyer 14 – 22 [ISSN: 0144-1027]

Copp, S.F. & K. McGuinness (2000) Legitimate or Reasonable Expectations of Minority Shareholders: The United Kingdom and Canada Compared, Part 2, 11 International Company and Commercial Law Review 217 – 229 [ISSN 0958 – 5214] See citation in New Zealand Court of Appeal in Latimer Holdings Ltd & Powell v. Sea Holdings New Zealand Ltd [2004] NZCA 226 (15 September 2004), Australasian Legal Information Institute at https://www.austlii.edu.au/nz/cases/NZCA/2004/226.html

Copp, S.F. & K. McGuinness (2000) Legitimate or Reasonable Expectations of Minority Shareholders: The United Kingdom and Canada Compared, Part 1, 11 International Company and Commercial Law Review 184 – 189 [ISSN 0958 – 5214]

Copp, S.F. (2000) United Kingdom, Individual Shareholder Rights O’ Neill and Another v. Phillips and Others 1 International Company and Commercial Law Review N-6 – N-8 [ISSN 0958 – 5214]

Maughan, C.W. & S.F. Copp (1999) The Law Commission and Economic Methodology: Values, Efficiency and Directors’ Duties 20 The Company Lawyer 109 – 116 [ISSN: 0144-1027]

McGuinness, K., C.W. Maughan, & S.F. Copp (1999) Defining the Boundaries of Contract: A Law and Economics Rationale for the Doctrine of Privity of Contract 10 Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics 355 – 414

Maughan, C.W. & S.F. Copp (1999) The Barbarians at the Gate 19 SPTL Reporter 17 – 19 [ISSN 0967 2184]

Copp, S.F. (1999) Company Law Reform: The Legal Framework Chartered Secretary, January, pp. 28 – 31 [ISSN 1363-5905]

McGuinness, K. & S.F. Copp (1999) The Privity Problem Chartered Secretary, May [ISSN 1363-5905]

McGuinness, K., W. Rees & S.F. Copp ((1998)) Recent Perspectives on Corporate Law 19 The Company Lawyer 290 – 296 [ISSN 0144-1027]
Copp, S.F. & R. Goddard (1998) Corporate Governance Principles on Trial 19 The Company Lawyer 277 – 279 [ISSN 0144-1027]

Maughan, C.W. & S.F. Copp (1998) Piercing the Corporate Veil 148 New Law Journal 938 – 940 [ISSN 0306-6479]

Copp, S.F. & S. Letza (1998) New Century, New Boardroom 122 Accountancy 40 – 41 [ISSN 0001-4664]

McGuinness, K. & S.F. Copp (1998) Company Law – Where Now? Chartered Secretary, June, pp. 22 – 23 [ISSN 1363-5905]

McGuinness, K. & S.F. Copp (1998) The Reform of Company Law: A Search for Guiding Principles Chartered Secretary, May, pp. 30 – 32 [ISSN 1363-5905]

McGuinness, K. & S.F. Copp (1998) Redenominating UK Company Capital – A Hidden Euro Cost Chartered Secretary, March, pp. 26 – 27 [ISSN 1363-5905]

Copp, S.F. (1990) Comfort letters: some not so comforting thoughts 106 Accountancy 81 – 82 [ISSN 0001-4664]

Copp, S.F. (1986) VAT Tribunal Review (April to July 1986) 7 Tolley’s Practical Tax 151 – 152 [ISSN 0143-294X]

Copp, S.F. (1986) VAT Tribunal Review (July 1986 to September 1986) 7 Tolley’s Practical Tax 191 – 192 [ISSN 0143-294X]

Academic conference, professional education and workshop papers

Copp, S.F. (2018) Company Law Since the Summer of Love: Confusion will be my Epitaph? Association for Psychosocial Studies Biennial Conference Psychosocial “Reflections on a Half Century of Cultural Revolution: The 50th anniversary of seasons of love and protest” (Bournemouth University) Abstract

Copp, S.F. (2015) The Separate Legal Personality of Corporations in the UK: A Law and Economics Analysis delivered at the Banking and Finance Stream of the Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference (Warwick University, Coventry)

Copp, S.F. & A. Cronin (2014) Off Balance Sheet Finance and the 2008 Financial Crisis: The Case for Deterrence Evaluated delivered at the Banking & Finance Stream of the Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen)

Copp, S.F. (2012) Why the Limited Company Works (And Sometimes Doesn’t): Economic and Theological Perspectives delivered at the Association of Christian Economists Annual Study Group Meeting (Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University)

Copp, S.F. (2010) s. 172 Companies Act 2006 in Court delivered to the Company Secretaries Group (RIAS House, Bournemouth

Copp, S.F. (2009) Corporate Governance After the Crash delivered at A Taste of Tomorrow, one of the launch events for Bournemouth University’s Executive Business Centre (Bournemouth University)

Copp, S.F. (2009) Who Needs ‘Good’ Corporate Governance? delivered at the Law, Free Markets and the Crash law and economics seminar (Institute of Economic Affairs, London)

Copp, S.F. (2009) Company Law Reform – The Last Chapter? delivered to the Company Secretaries Group (Paris, Smith & Randall, Southampton)

Copp, S.F. (2007) The Companies Act 2006 – Still an Untamed Monster? delivered to the Company Secretaries Group (Bournemouth University)

Copp, S.F. (2006) Company Law Reform: The Role of Regulatory Impact Assessment delivered at the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, Company Law Section (Keele University) Abstract/ Slides

Copp, S.F. (2006) The Company Law Reform Bill – an Untamed “Monster”? delivered to the Company Secretaries Group (Board Room, Southampton Football Club, St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton)

Copp, S.F. (2005) Company Law and Cod-liver Oil delivered at the Enhancing Graduate Employability: The Roles of Learning and Teaching, Research and Knowledge Transfer conference, Bournemouth University (Bournemouth)

Copp, S.F. (2004) The Institutional Architecture of Corporate Governance Reform delivered at the Corporate Governance of Financial Institutions conference (organised jointly by Oxford Brookes University and the Journal of International Banking Regulation) (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London)

Copp, S.F. (2004) What is Good Corporate Governance: The New Code on Corporate Governance public lecture in the Company Lawyer series (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London) Abstract

Copp, S.F. (2004) Corporate Governance and Enterprise delivered to a workshop of Devon Volunteer Business Mentors (Plymouth)

Copp, S.F. (2004) Corporate Governance in the UK delivered at the CLT Corporate Governance Update Conference (Cafe Royal, London)

Copp, S.F. (2004) Corporate Governance and the European Union delivered at the CLT Corporate Governance Update Practitioner Conference (Cafe Royal, London)

Copp, S.F. (2004) Corporate Governance and the European Union delivered at the CLT Corporate Governance Update Practitioner Conference (Cafe Royal, London)

Copp, S.F. (2004) Governance in Listed Companies: The Implications for NHS Foundation Trusts delivered as a half-day seminar in the form of a facilitated discussion for the Board of Directors of Bournemouth & Christchurch NHS Trust (Bournemouth)

Copp, S.F. (2004) Corporate Governance: The New Regime for UK Listed Companies delivered at a continuing professional development seminar at the launch of the Bournemouth Law School (Bournemouth University)

Copp, S.F. (2004) Corporate Governance delivered at the CLT Company Law Conference on Company Law for In-house Lawyers (Charing Cross Thistle, London)

Copp, S.F. (2003) The Societas Europaea: An Economic Analysis public lecture in the Commercial Law series (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London) Abstract

Copp, S.F. (2002) The Harmonisation of EU Law Affecting Companies and Not-For-Profit Organisations: Implications For Religious Associations delivered at the Conference on Structured Pluralism: A Practical Legal Framework for Faith in the European Union organised by Newcastle University Law School and the Jean Monnet Centre, Department of Politics, Newcastle University in conjunction with the Centre for Law and Religion, University of Cardiff and the Group of Policy Advisors to the President of the European Commission (Newcastle University) Abstract

Copp, S.F. (2002) Enron: Markets & Morality, delivered at a discussion hosted by the School of Finance and Law and the Chaplaincy, Bournemouth University (Bournemouth University)

Copp, S.F. (2002) The Impact of the Companies Bill and Enterprise Act on Legal Practice staff development seminar (Bournemouth University)

Copp, S.F. (2002) Director/ Shareholder Relations at the CLT Conference on Shares and Shareholders (Posthouse Kensington, London)

Copp, S.F. (2002) Directors’ Duties delivered at the CLT Company Law Conference on Directors’ Duties and Liabilities (Mayfair Conference Centre, London)

Copp, S.F. (2002) Directors in the Family Company delivered at the CLT Company Law Conference on Directors’ Duties and Liabilities (Mayfair Conference Centre, London)

Copp, S.F. (2002) Director/ Shareholder Relations delivered at the CLT Company Law Conference on Company Law for In-house Lawyers (Cafe Royal, London)

Copp, S.F. (2002) Corporate Governance delivered at the CLT Company Law Conference on Company Law for In-house Lawyers (Cafe Royal, London)

Copp, S.F. (2001) ADR and Company Law: An Economic Analysis, delivered as part of The Company Lawyer series at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (London)

Copp, S.F. (2001) Globalisation, Corporate Governance and the Public Interest delivered by inter-active video-link at the Administration Day conference (Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland)

Copp, S.F. & C.W. Maughan (2001) Corporate Reorganisations: Externalities or Efficiency? delivered at the Corporate Governance: Reassessing Ownership and Control conference, held at the Faculty of Law, Cambridge University, organised by the ESRC Centre for Business Research, Cambridge University, and supported by 3CL and the European Centre for Corporate Governance, Bournemouth University (Cambridge)

Copp, S.F. & C.W. Maughan (2001) Innovative High Growth Companies: The Case Against Special Rules, delivered at Governance & Regulation, a Law and Economics Workshop sponsored by Hermes Investment Management, the ESRC Centre for Business Research, Cambridge University and Institutional Design Ltd (London)

Copp, S.F. (2000) Company Law Reform and Economic Analysis: Establishing Boundaries, delivered at the SPTL Company Law Section workshop held at Bournemouth University (Bournemouth)

Copp, S.F. (2000) Corporate Governance: Why Both Theory and Practice Matter, delivered at the Annual Dinner of the AGM of the Wessex Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (Lyndhurst)

Copp, S.F. (1999) A Vision For Corporate Governance delivered at the IIR Ltd conference on Corporate Governance in Practice, The Changing Relationship Between The Institutional Investor & Corporates (London)

Copp, S.F. (1999) New Frontiers in Governance: An Application of Emerging Principles Beyond Public Companies to Owner-Managed Businesses delivered at the Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference (Loughborough University, Loughborough) Abstract

Copp, S.F. (2000) Corporate Governance Research, The Future delivered at the launch of the European Centre for Corporate Governance, Bournemouth University (Bournemouth) Slides

Copp, S.F. (1996) A Christian Vision for Corporate Governance delivered at the LCF Academic Conference on Christian Perspectives on Law Reform (London)

Copp, S.F. (1990) Advising on Dividend Policy in the Light of the Glossop and Sam Weller cases at a number of seminars individually organised by Veale Wasbrough, solicitors, for leading firms of chartered accountants (Bristol)

Copp, S.F. (1990) Acquiring/ Disposing of Shares With Special Reference to Articles of Association and Shareholder Agreements at a public seminar on Directors and Senior Employees organised by Veale Wasbrough Training (Bristol)

Copp, S.F. (1990) Raising the Money – The Lawyer’s View at a seminar on Buying or Selling a Private Company or Business organised by Veale Wasbrough, solicitors, in conjunction with Touche Ross, Chartered Accountants, 3i, and R Watson & Co, Consulting Actuaries (Bristol University)

 

Book reviews

Copp, S.F. (2005) The Governance of Close Corporations and Partnerships ed. McCahery, J.A., Raaijmakers, T. & Vermeulen, E.P.M. 13 Corporate Governance: An International Review 338 – 340

Copp, S.F. (2003) Introduction to Company Law by Davies, P. 37 Law Teacher 116 – 119 [ISSN 0303 9400]

Copp, S.F. (2001) An Economic and Jurisprudential Genealogy of Corporate Law by Whincop, M.J. 12 International Company and Commercial Law Review 326 – 327 [ISSN 0958 – 5214]

Copp, S.F. (2001) Company Law and the Human Rights Act 1998, by Dignam, A.J. & Allen, D. and Business and the Human Rights Act 1998, by Smyth, M 12 International Company and Commercial Law Review 287 – 288 [ISSN 0958 – 5214]

Copp, S.F. (2000) Personal Liability and Disqualification of Company Directors, by Griffin, S. 34 Law Teacher 391 – 393 [ISSN 0303 9400]

Copp, S.F. (2000) International Corporate Law Annual, Volume 1, ed. Macmillan, F. 11 International Company and Commercial Law Review 360 [ISSN 0958 – 5214]

Copp, S.F. (1999) Corporate Finance Companion 1998/99 33 Law Teacher 248 – 250 [ISSN 0303 9400]

Copp, S.F. (1999) The Corporate Dimension, ed. Ryder, B. 33 Law Teacher 126 – 128 [ISSN 0303 9400]

Copp, S.F. (1998) Blackstone’s Statutes on Company Law 1997-98, 32 Law Teacher 228 – 229 [ISSN 0303 9400]