London as Delaware?

39 Pages Posted: 21 May 2009 Last revised: 23 Jul 2013

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 20, 2009


Regulatory competition has long driven the path of corporate law in the federal system of the United States. Now, jurisdictional competition has spread to exchange listings. New York took an early lead in that competition in the 1990s, but has now been overtaken by London. Can London prevail in the competition for stock listings in the long term? This essay explores that question through the insights offered by Delaware's dominance in the market for corporate listings. Delaware has prevailed by offering corporate directors a predictable body of that credibly shields directors from the vagaries of political backlash in times of financial crisis. London's performance during the recent financial crisis suggests that it - like New York - lacks the capacity to shield players in the financial system from the populist forces that seek retribution in the wake of economic reversals. In the long run, neither London nor New York is likely to enjoy a comparative advantage in the market for stock exchange listings.

Keywords: London Stock Exchange, corporate law, SEC disclosure

JEL Classification: K22

Suggested Citation

Pritchard, Adam C., London as Delaware? (May 20, 2009). University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 78, No. 2 (2009): 473-500, Available at SSRN:

Adam C. Pritchard (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
734-647-4048 (Phone)
734-647-7349 (Fax)

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