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date: 27 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the evolution of private enforcement in the United States and the lessons that can be learned by German public companies from the experiences of their US counterparts. It first looks at the place of representative shareholder litigation within the US corporate governance system before turning to the broad-based criticisms against all forms of representative shareholder litigation on the grounds of excessive litigation agency costs. It then discusses the role of shareholder derivative suits in remedying breaches of duty of loyalty, along with the use of hedge funds in shareholder monitoring. It explores the increasing role of appraisal remedy against the backdrop of developments in shareholder litigation focused on acquisitions, and highlights the limitations of hedge fund activism. Finally, it assesses the implications of shareholder monitoring mechanisms in the United States for shareholders in Germany.

Keywords: private enforcement, United States, Germany, public companies, representative shareholder litigation, agency costs, shareholder derivative suits, hedge funds, shareholder monitoring

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