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The Danish Green Paper on Company Law Reform – Modernising Company Law in the 21st Century

  • Jesper Lau Hansen (a1)

Abstract

A wave of company law reform has swept across Europe and has now reached Denmark, where a proposal for a new combined companies act has been put forward and will soon enter the legislative process. In this article, the driving forces behind these reforms are explored. They are: the freedom to choose among the company law regimes of the European Union that follows from the case law of the EC Court of Justice; the demise of the doctrine of protection of capital; and the increasing insignificance of the distinction within company law between public and private limited companies. The main tenets of the Danish reform are: the introduction of a combined companies act to cover both the public and the private limited company; the possibility to choose between the main corporate governance models known in European company law, which, in combination with the possibility to use English at board meetings, the general meeting of shareholders and in public documents and accounts, should cater to the needs of cross-border business and investment; and a relaxation of the capital regime allowing limited companies more freedom in deciding the structure of their share capital and the distribution of control.

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* Professor of Financial Market Law (Dr. Jur. & LL.M.) and head of the FOCOFIMA research centre at the University of Copenhagen Law Faculty, Denmark. The author was a member of the Danish Committee on the Modernisation of Company Law. The Committee was dissolved after presenting its report and consequently all comments are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Committee.

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The Danish Green Paper on Company Law Reform – Modernising Company Law in the 21st Century

  • Jesper Lau Hansen (a1)

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