Corporate Law in the Twenty-First Century: The Practitioners' Prognosis
32 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2001
PROFESSOR REGAN: Well, good morning and welcome back from your break. My name is Paul Regan and I'm a professor at Widener Law School. Originally, I was to have been on the earlier interesting panel on corporate litigation into the next century, but I'm substituting for Professor Stilson on this panel who was unable to be with us this morning. It falls to us to bring to you the last segment of this very interesting conference and it's been very pleasurable to be here the last couple of days with such distinguished speakers, and this panel is no exception. It's my privilege to be on this panel with such esteemed colleagues. The first member I'd like you to meet, on my immediate left, is Peter Atkins who is an M&A partner at Skadden, Arps in New York. Further to my left is Art Fleischer, from the firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Peter and Art are both very experienced practitioners in this field and appropriate presenters for us on this topic today of the practitioner's prognosis. And we, on this panel, will also hazard some predictions about the near and long-term future. Sharing responsibilities with me as a commentator is Vice-Chancellor Stephen Lamb of the Delaware Court of Chancery. We are all most grateful for the time and insight which our Delaware judges have contributed to the conference, and I know all of us are looking forward to Vice-Chancellor Lamb's remarks as well. So without further ado, Peter, you can kick us off. Thanks.
MR. ATKINS: It is a real pleasure to be here ? although I almost declined the invitation. Somehow I had a hard time imagining myself publicly prognosticating about what would happen over the next 100 years ? even in a very targeted area of human endeavor. However, I decided to say yes. Mostly because it seemed like an interesting exercise ? to peek above the trenches and look into the future of corporate law. Also, I recognized that it is quite unlikely that I'll be around at the next centennial symposium to see how off-base I was. Having said yes, naturally, as a good corporate lawyer, the first thing I did was to make a list. I've kept it short in the interests of time ? there are many other subjects that could be added. My thought was to pick out a few topics which seemed to have a potential for influencing the direction and nature of the practice of corporate law well into next century. For better or worse, I now have such a list. Your lists may be quite different. However, I would like to say a few words about each of the items on mine. These items are:
The impact of globalization The impact of information technology developments Corporate governance and director responsibility And finally, change in control in the unsolicited bid context
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