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Piercing the Corporate Veil in Australia

39 Pages Posted: 8 May 2002  

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne

David B. Noakes

University of Melbourne Law School

Abstract

There has been a significant amount of literature by commentators discussing the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil. However, there has not been a comprehensive empirical study of the Australian cases relating to this doctrine.

In this article, the authors present the results of the first such study. Some of the findings are: (1) there has been a substantial increase in the number of piercing cases heard by courts over time; (2) court are more prepared to pierce the veil of a private company than a public company; (3) piercing rates decline as the number of shareholders in companies increases; (4)courts pierce the corporate veil less frequently when piercing is sought against a parent company than when piercing is sought against one or more individual shareholders; and (5) courts pierce more frequently in a contract context than in a tort context.

Keywords: corporate veil

JEL Classification: K22

Suggested Citation

Ramsay, Ian and Noakes, David B., Piercing the Corporate Veil in Australia. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=299488

Ian Ramsay (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 5332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/ian-ramsay

David B. Noakes

University of Melbourne Law School ( email )

Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation
Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 834 46190 (Phone)

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