IE Law School

Activities

The Pérez-Llorca / IE chair organizes two different kinds of activity:

  • Lectures: guest lecturors with an international profile and renowned  in their own professional fields will be invited to lecture at the research Chair. Some of the topics that are of interest to this Chair are: European economic government, corporate governance regulation, regulatory bodies such as the Banco de España (Bank of Spain), the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (National Stock Market Comission), the Comisión Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia (National Competition Comission) and International Arbitration and the European Central Bank.
  • Research seminars: running at the same time as the lectures, and following the same framework, the chair will organize research seminars. These seminars will be discussion and presentation forums for research papers by the members of the team of professors. The research seminars will be attended by professors, students and lawyers in order to debate the working papers prior to their publication. 
Takeover Strategies and Issues: EU and the US

New York City was the host city for the latest event of the Pérez-Llorca/IE Chair on Commercial Law, which reflected on takeover bids, the best strategies for success and complications that arise with this type of transaction, all of which in the context of a comparison of the European and US legal frameworks.
Todd Crider, Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, introduced the event and acted as moderator. The panel was also made up of four other speakers: Javier Carvajal, Partner of the Corporate practice at Pérez-Llorca; Kurt N. Simon, Global Chairman of Mergers and Acquisitions at JP Morgan; Alan M. Klein, Co-Head of the Mergers & Acquisitions practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; and Sara Sánchez, a lecturer at IE Law School.
Kurt N. Simon opened the Chair by presenting the situation in the US market in terms of M&A and Capital Market transactions. He discussed the lack of competitiveness of the previous US tax regulation and added that the new tax reform will hopefully result in an increase in competitiveness for the United States and an increase in the number of cross-border transactions. He also highlighted the significant growth in large transactions in the United States, in terms of both volume and quantity (63 % more than in 2017) and the cross-border transactions between the US and Europe (94 % more than in 2017). He noted the potential risk to the positive outlook derived from trade disputes.
Sara Sánchez then explained the European legal framework that regulates takeover bids, focusing on three of the fundamental pillars of Directive 2004/25/EC of the European Parliament: the concept of control, the duty of passivity and defensive measures. Todd Crider then led a discussion as to the differences between the regulation and practice of takeover bids in the North American and European markets.
Javier Carvajal provided a practitioners perspective and stressed that despite the different characteristics of each jurisdiction in the European Union, it is important for lawyers to speak the “same language” in relation to takeover bids. Alan Klein provided an overview of key differences between the EU and US approaches to takeover transactions, which yielded a useful exchange as to differences between the Spanish/European and US markets, covering issues such as dealing with the conflicts of interest that can arise in the administrative bodies of the company affected by a takeover bid, its fiduciary duties, minority protections, the implications of due diligence on acquisitions of control, as well as strategies for build-up processes in these types of transactions, and the implications in the US and Europe. They also discussed the implications of the expansion of activity of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and the difference in treatment of these subjects in the EU and especially in Spain.
This is the fourth Chair that Pérez-Llorca and IE have organised in the United States, following the opening of the firm’s New York office in October 2015.
 

Panel Discussion: "Corporate Governance in listed companies: a US and a European perspective"

 New York had the pleasure of hosting the Perez- Llorca Chair/IE Commercial Law lecture for the second time in honor of a seminar celebrated in conjunction with the North American Law Firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. The guest lecturers focused on the new corporate governance in listed companies from a US and European point of view. More specifically, they analyzed the changes occurring to the company’s Board of Directors and how relationships with their shareholders are evolving.

The conference was presented and moderated by Sara Sánchez, IE Law Professor, and included guest speakers Steven J. Gartner, Chairman at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP andPedro Pérez-Llorca, Managing Partner at Pérez-Llorca.  The event commenced by presenting the most coming demands made by the most active and influential shareholders in the listed companies when deciding where to invest.  Both guest speakers agreed that majority shareholders, both in Europe and the United States, are requesting to have more control over the managers of the listed companies. This, at times, has led the investors to request a seat on the Board of Directors in exchange for their investment.

A discussion followed concerning the manager’s remuneration, where special emphasis was placed on the importance of the relationship between the investor and the Board of Directors, the strategies utilized by investment funds when investing in listed companies, and tactics employed in order to increase their influence over the company’s corporate governance.  Moreover, they briefly spoke about the influence a majority shareholder can access over the company’s operations and the obligations and limitations imposed upon the funds in order to avoid possible conflicts of interest.  Lastly, Mr. Pérez-Llorca and Mr. Gartner discussed a matter of great importance; the liability of the directors, including the investors when they have access to the Board. 

The seminar concluded with a question and answer session between the speakers and attendees. This was the second Commercial Law Seminar held by Pérez-Llorca and the IE Chair in New York City and the third in the United States, following a successful event this past May in Miami in conjunction with Akerman LLP.

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