Virtual Visiting Scholars Series

The Centre for Commercial Law & Regulatory Studies (CLARS) is pleased to introduce its new Virtual Visiting Scholars program, which aims to attract outstanding young scholars from around the world to present their current work and engage online with Monash Law School researchers. The program contributes to enriching our research environment and provides networking opportunities for faculty members. This is particularly important when traditional travel is not possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that the program will contribute to the development of ongoing research relationships with other scholars and universities, both nationally and internationally.

Hannah Wiseman, Professor of Law; Professor and Wilson Faculty Fellow in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; and Co-funded Faculty – Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State—University Park

7 October 2021

Monash Law HDR students and academic staff can access a recording of this event here

'The New Oil and Gas Governance'

As technologies change and the scale of human activity grows, so too does the law. The surge of oil and gas production in the United States, spurred by hydraulic fracturing in shale formations, has fomented a sea change in oil and gas law, substantially infusing this area with more complex environmental and property principles.

Widespread demands for legal and policy-based solutions to the environmental and social impacts of oil production and fracking have transformed the field from one focused on maximizing fossil fuel production into one of environmental conservation. This is dramatically demonstrated by sweeping Colorado legislation in 2019, changes to the common law of oil and gas by local governments and landowners, and the extension of procedural environmental protections and state constitutional environmental rights to the oil and gas realm.  Collectively, though not uniformly, a spectrum of changes to state statutes and common law has rendered an expansive reshaping of oil and gas law that amounts to a legal revolution.

About the Scholar

Hannah received her A.B. from Dartmouth College, summa cum laude, and her J.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to law school she served as a research assistant and then associate in the Climate and Air Group at ICF Consulting in Washington, D.C., and after law school she clerked for Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Professor Wiseman has taught at the University of Texas School of Law, University of Tulsa College of Law, and Florida State University College of Law in addition to Penn State. She has co-authored three books on energy law and has published articles in the Stanford Law Review (co-authored), NYU Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Duke Law Journal (co-authored), and Environmental Science & Technology, among other publications.

Jenifer Varzaly
Assistant Professor in Commercial & Corporate Law at Durham Law School

25 August 2021

Monash Law HDR students and academic staff can access a recording of this event here

'The Dynamics of Shareholder Dispersion and Control in Australia'

There is ongoing academic interest in understanding share ownership and control dynamics in publicly listed companies, given the corporate governance and regulatory implications arising therefrom. This article presents a new dataset and analysis of shareholder information, focusing on the largest 50 publicly listed companies in Australia, filling a striking gap in the existing literature. Specifically, the following issues are addressed:

1. The level of institutional ownership within the largest 20 shareholders in each of the 50 companies;
2. The concentration of that ownership based on the percentage of issued capital owned by the largest three shareholders;
3. The control of that ownership, to determine whether ownership and control diverge; and
4. Where ownership and control diverge, substantial shareholding information is collected and analysed, in order to provide a more complete picture of share ownership patterns in the Australian context. The empirical findings will be discussed, followed by the regulatory and policy implications arising from the results.

The full working paper is accessible through the following link:

About the Scholar

Prior to joining the Law School in 2020, Jenifer was Director of Studies and Bye-Fellow in Law at Downing College, Cambridge University. She completed her M.Phil at Oxford University, prior to joining Cambridge University to undertake her PhD. Before joining Oxford, Jenifer was a Corporate Law Lecturer at the University of Adelaide, Australia, where she graduated with Honours from Law and was the top graduate in the Master of Laws degree.

Jenifer has been a visiting academic at Columbia University and at Stanford University, and consulted in the areas of corporate law and finance in the US, Australia, and the UK. She has been invited to present at a range of international forums, including the Oxford University Commercial Law Centre, the Cambridge University Law Faculty, UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT, and the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. Jenifer is admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in Australia, and has served as a director and chair of the governance committee on a public company board.

Anna Christie
Assistant Professor of Banking, Corporate & Financial Law, University of Edinburgh Law School & Research Associate at the University of Cambridge Centre for Business Research

17 March 2021

Monash Law HDR students and academic staff can access a recording of this event here

‘The Rise of Passive/Index Investing in the Context of Climate Change'

About the Scholar

Anna read for an LLB degree in Law with Accounting and Finance at the University of Aberdeen and graduated top of her class with Starred First Class Honours. She then earned an LLM in Law at Harvard Law School and a BCL in Law (with Distinction) at Balliol College, Oxford. She later gained an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business. After qualifying as an Attorney-at-Law in New York, as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales and as a Solicitor and Notary Public in Scotland, Anna spent considerable time in practice. She worked as an Associate in corporate and energy law at the international law firm CMS, as Chief of Staff to the CEO and Senior Legal Counsel at a global FTSE 100 company and as a Senior Associate in cross border mergers and acquisitions at the US law firm Skadden. Anna is an Academic Member of the European Corporate Governance Institute and is a Virtual Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies at Monash University Law School. She also served as a Director and Secretary of the Harvard Law School Association of the United Kingdom.

Anna has broad research interests in comparative corporate governance, law and finance, law and technology and financial regulation. She is particularly interested in ESG investing and shareholder activism (the focus of her doctoral research at Trinity College, Cambridge). Anna's work is interdisciplinary in nature, combining legal scholarship with economic and financial analysis and utilising empirical research methods to inform policy choices and examine the impact of laws in practice. Her academic research has been published in a variety of leading journals, including the Cambridge Law Journal, the Journal of Corporate Law Studies, the European Business Organization Law Review and the Edinburgh Law Review. She is also a contributor to the Oxford Business Law Blog.

Fabio Morosini
Professor of Law at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul School of Law, Porto Alegre

4 March 2021

Monash Law HDR students and academic staff can access a recording of this event here

‘The Role of Law in Chinese investments in Brazil'

About the Scholar

Fabio Morosini is Professor of Law at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul School of Law, Porto Alegre, Brazil and a research fellow at the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Ministry of Science and Technology, Brazil).

During Winter 2020, he was Visiting Professor at University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, USA, teaching Law and Policy of Trade and Foreign Investment in Latin America and has also been a Global Hauser Research Fellow at New York University School of Law.

Professor Morosini holds a PhD and an LLM from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree, with honors, from the University of Paris 1/ Paris' Institute of Political Sciences. Upon completion of his PhD, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the World Trade Organization.

Professor Morosini has taught at the United Nation's Regional Courses in International Law. His recent edited and co-edited books include Reconceptualizing International Investment Law from the Global South (CUP, 2018), Regulacao do Comercio e Investimento Estrangeiro (Saraiva, 2017), and Direito Internacional: Abordagens Criticas (Almedina, forthcoming).

Aurelio Gurrea-Martínez is Assistant Professor of Law at Singapore Management University

10 November 2020

Monash Law HDR students and academic staff can access a recording of this event here

'Insolvency Law in Times of COVID'

The international spread of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) is not only generating dramatic consequences from a humanitarian and social perspective but it is also heavily affecting the global economy. For this reason, governments, financial regulators and international organizations are responding to the COVID-19 crisis with a package of legal, economic and financial measures. Among the legal responses included in these packages, many countries, such as Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Luxembourg, India, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have implemented temporary changes to their insolvency frameworks. This article starts by discussing whether using the insolvency system should be the optimal solution to deal with companies affected by COVID-19. For that purpose, it will analyze the role and limits of insolvency law. It then discusses the most relevant insolvency reforms taking place around the world as a response to the global pandemic, as well as other insolvency and insolvency-related reforms that could be implemented to minimize the harmful economic effects of COVID-19.

About the scholar

He teaches company law, financial and securities regulation, corporate governance, and comparative and international insolvency law. He is also the head of the Singapore Global Restructuring Initiative. Before joining SMU, he was a Fellow of the Program on Corporate Governance and a Fellow of the Program on International Financial Systems at Harvard Law School. He has taught, studied or conducted research at several institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Asia, and Latin America, including the University of Oxford, Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, Yale Law School and Stanford University.

He is a member of the Steering Committee of INSOL International’s Academic Group, as well as a member of the European Corporate Governance Institute, the American Law and Economics Association, and the International Insolvency Institute’s NextGen Group. Aurelio is also the director of the Ibero-American Institute for Law and Finance and head of the research group on fintech at the SMU Centre for AI and Data Governance. He has received several scholarships and awards, including the Talentia Fellowship to conduct his studies in law and finance at the University of Oxford, the Class Prize for Best Paper in Law and Economics at Stanford Law School, the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award at Singapore Management University, and the Silver Medal in International Insolvency Studies given by the International Insolvency Institute. In 2016, he also received the Rising Star of Corporate Governance Award by the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School. His research interest lies in the intersection of law and finance, with particular emphasis on corporate governance, financial regulation, corporate finance and corporate insolvency law, and how legal and institutional reforms may promote entrepreneurship, innovation, access to finance and economic growth.

Anna Beckers, Assistant Professor of Private Law and Legal Methodology at Maastricht University, The Netherlands

15 October 2020

Monash Law HDR students and academic staff can access a recording of this event here

'Towards a legal conception of the global value chain: Lead firm duties, liability and review of trade practices'

Global value chains are a much-discussed organizational form of global trade. Social scientists, economists and geographers have revealed that global trade not only takes place predominantly in the form of global value chains, but also that this form of organization implies a qualitative shift in the way that global markets are organized. Organizationally, global value chains combine competitive elements with control by lead firms, they further entail a move from an industry-centric to a value-centric perspective of production and they are pivotal on a macro-level for amongst others economic development and sustainability. In legal scholarship, global value chains have only recently attracted attention as a regulatory object. Most current research is linked to the business and human rights debate with respect to carving out duties and liability of firms for their value chains and to product-centric legislation that seeks to oblige importers of risk products or from risk areas to conduct due diligence among the value chain. In addition, a few legal scholars look at the contractual dimension of global value chains.

In my research, I seek to link these regulatory developments to the overall idea of a holistic legal-doctrinal conception of global value chains. For this purpose, my talk entails an overview of the legal areas that I consider relevant for understanding and regulating global value chains to then focus on three levels where value chains become legally conceptualized: the micro-level of lead firm duties, the meso-level of liability rules within and of value chains and the macro-level of the review of the underlying trade structure. These three building blocks will be approached with a view to how they can capture the structure of global value chains, provide entry points for any normative re-orientation along objectives like sustainability, and how the levels are intertwined within the legal system.

About the scholar

Anna Beckers' areas of expertise are company and commercial law. She is specifically working in these areas on questions related to corporate social responsibility/business and human rights, corporate governance and global value chains. Her research combines doctrinal comparative analyses with theoretical approaches that use in social and regulation theory as a basis. She is author of Enforcing Corporate Social Responsibility, Hart Publishing 2015 and has been publishing widely amongst others on corporate social responsibility in EU consumer law (eg in Common Market Law Review), fair business taxation (Yearbook of European Law) and human rights in corporate governance (with Oxford University Press). Currently, Anna is working on a large-scale research project that seeks to develop a doctrinal reconstruction of global value chains in private law.

Shelly Kreiczer-Levy, Professor of Law
College of Law and Business, Ramat Gan, Israel

7 September 2020

Monash Law HDR students and academic staff can access a recording of this event here

'Destabilized Property: Property Law in the Sharing Economy'

New consumption patterns, commonly known as the sharing or access economy, are changing the way we think of property. Consumers are losing interest in ownership. They prefer to access property when needed on a casual, short-term basis. Meanwhile, owners are using the property they do own differently. They are willing to rent out their private, intimate, personally used possessions repeatedly to complete strangers for short periods. Powerful online platforms mediate, control and constitute these transactions.

These processes profoundly challenge contemporary property law. Does the rise of access render our conception of property obsolete? What are the normative and theoretical implications of choosing casual short-term use of property over stable use? What are the relational and social complications of blurring the line between personal and commercial use of property? What is the role of platforms in shaping property use and how should we regulate platform power?

In this talk, based on my book Destabilized Property: Property Law in the Access Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2019), I will discuss the impact of new consumption technologies on property’s role as a social institution, the advantages and vulnerabilities created by access-based property use, and offer guidelines for law reform. I will also discuss the possible implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sharing economy and property practices.

About the Scholar

Shelly Kreiczer-Levy is a Professor of Law at the College of Law and Business, in Ramat Gan, Israel. She holds an LL. B. (2004) and a PhD (2009) from Tel Aviv University law school. Prof. Kreiczer-Levy clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice, Aharon Barak (2003-2004). She served as the President of the Israeli Association of Private Law, and was the recipient of the Zeltner Award for Young Scholars (2016). She has taught at Cornell Law School, and served as a Visiting Researcher at Yale Law School, and a Visiting Scholar at both Harvard Law School and Emory Law School. She is a co-editor of the peer review journal, Journal of Property, Law and Society. Her work has been published in leading law reviews including Wisconsin Law Review, Yale Law and Policy Review, Maryland Law Review, and Law and Social Inquiry. Her book Destabilized Property: Property Law in the Sharing Economy was published by Cambridge University Press (2019).