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Comparative Corporate Law


Admission requirements

  • Background in law

  • Sufficient command of English


The main theme of the "Comparative Corporate Law" course is doing business in a global world. It covers the rights and duties of the key stakeholders of companies, including the board of directors, shareholders, creditors and employees, as well as the conflicts that arise among these stakeholders. The course has an international, comparative perspective which allows students to become acquainted with different ownership structures and the rules and regulations of major jurisdictions. In particular, the course initiates students into the similarities and differences between corporate law in continental Europe and in the Anglo-American world. Students gain an understanding of the different policy challenges legislators are facing in continental Europe and the Anglo-American world, issuing mainly from the size of the firms, their ownership structure and the position of labor within business organizations. Thus, the effects of regulatory competition. in the field of corporate law inside the EU and the US are also touched upon, enabling students to understand the extent to which legal convergence has been spurred by such competition.

Students will deepen their knowledge in the areas of corporate law that are chosen for comparative analysis, while students with no prior background in corporate law will gain insight into fundamental regulatory issues in corporate law, including: the duties and liabilities of directors, the powers of the shareholders’ general meeting vis-à-vis the powers of the management bodies (incl. principles of decision-making), minority shareholders’ protection, employee participation and ownership as well as fundamental changes in the relationship among participants of the firm through mergers and acquisitions.

Course objectives
This course seeks to equip students with knowledge and understanding of the differences and similarities of selected issues of corporate law in Europe and the U.S.A. Within this context, the course aims to provide students with an understanding of the sources, nature and application of corporate law.

Achievement levels

  • Familiarity with the sources and purposes of corporate law and corporate governance;

  • A critical understanding of the actors in the corporate governance framework of a corporation and how corporate law regulates the conflicts between management and shareholders, between dominant shareholders and minority shareholders and between shareholders and stakeholders;

  • A clear understanding of the position of shareholders in different situations, their rights and the ability to reflect upon this;

  • Awareness of the various board structures and how they manifest in different jurisdictions;

  • A sound grasp of directors' duties and toolds to minimize risks related to business decisions, including D&O insurance and indemnities;

  • An understanding of the changing nature of director's duties in financially distressed and asset purchase mergers;

  • A sound appreciation of the special status of employees and employee participation within corporate law, including an understanding of the differences thereof across jurisdictions;

  • A basic comprehension of the concept of employee ownership;

  • An understanding of the differences between the regulatory philosophy and core principles of corporate law in continental Europe and the Anglo-American world.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and tutorials

  • Lecturers: M. Mannan, LLM; I. Kokorin, LLM; Y.M.G. Walhof LLM

  • Number: 7 two-hour lectures and 3 working group sessions/seminars

  • Required preparation by students: Complete assigned reading and seminar assignments

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam (100%).
    If only a few of you fail the written exam at the first attempt, the retake of the written exam may be an oral exam. In that case, you will be informed by the coordinator at least 10 days ahead of the scheduled resit date.

  • The course has to be completed within the academic year.

Submission procedures
To be announced in the course information guide and/or on Blackboard.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The course information guide consists of the required reading (literature) for the course and the subjects taught in class and all other instructions which are part of the course.


More information on this course is offered on Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • The literature list will be included in the course information guide and published on Blackboard.

Course information guide:

  • The course information guide will be published on Blackboard.


  • The reader, if any, will be published on Blackboard.

  • Recommended course materials will be published on Blackboard.


Through uSis.
Exchange students have priority and will be registered for the course first. Any remaining seats will be available for students from Leiden University and other Dutch Universities.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: M. Mannan, LLM

  • Work address: Company Law Department

  • Contact information: see below

  • Telephone number: 071 527 8871

  • Email:


  • Institute: Private Law

  • Department: Company Law

  • Room number secretary: B2.43

  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 13.30

  • Telephone number secretary: 071 527 7235

  • Email:


Belangstellenden die deze cursus in het kader van contractonderwijs willen volgen (met tentamen), kunnen meer informatie vinden over kosten, inschrijving, voorwaarden, etc. op de website van Juridisch PAO