ACT researchers share a common set of concerns related to the paradigm currently dominating the law of finance. Whether expressed in entrenched dogmas of ‘shareholder value’ or in the theory of ‘legal origins’ as a paramount of development, we depart from the contemporary paradigm that largely reduces the role of law in finance to an oscillation between the enhancement of market efficiency and prudentially safeguarding market stability.
Our work currently revolves around questions of sustainable finance, the regulatory role of multinational corporations, rights and corporate governance, creditor protection in insolvency procedures, issues of financial stability, and distressed debt investment strategies. We approach these subjects from a variety of angles. For example, we investigate how the contemporary world of finance challenges the private/public, national/international, coordination/regulation, or hard/soft law distinctions. We also explore the metaphor of growing and slicing the pie, according to which it is possible and normatively desirable to distinguish questions of socio-economic growth (i.e. how to make the pie bigger) from questions of distribution (i.e. how to slice the pie and duly share its benefits).
While opting for different entries into this world of finance, we collectively seek to understand and appraise the constitutive role of private law in producing and addressing the growing financialisation of socio-economic and political life. We explore how a transformative financial law, underpinned by a commitment to a broader set of policy goals such as equality, sustainability, and heterodox conceptions of value and development could be institutionalized or otherwise introduced into the financial ecosystem.