Blockchains, Corporate Governance, and the Lawyer's Role

40 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2019 Last revised: 23 Jan 2020

See all articles by Joan MacLeod Heminway

Joan MacLeod Heminway

University of Tennessee College of Law

Adam J. Sulkowski

Babson College

Date Written: July 16, 2019


Significant aspects of firm governance can (and, in coming years, likely will) be conducted on blockchains. This transition has already begun in some respects. The actions of early adopters illustrate that moving governance to blockchains will require legal adaptations. These adaptations are likely to be legislative, regulatory, and judicial. Firm management, policy-makers, and judges will turn to legal counsel for education and guidance.

This article describes blockchains and their potentially expansive use in several aspects of the governance of publicly traded corporations and outlines ways in which blockchain technology affects what business lawyers should know and do — now and in the future. Specifically, this article describes the nature of blockchain technology and ways in which the adoption of that technology may impact shareholder record keeping and voting, insider trading, and disclosure-related considerations. The article then reflects on implications for business lawyers and the practice of law in the context of corporate governance.

Keywords: blockchains, corporate governance, lawyering

JEL Classification: K22, O30

Suggested Citation

Heminway, Joan MacLeod and Sulkowski, Adam J., Blockchains, Corporate Governance, and the Lawyer's Role (July 16, 2019). Wayne Law Review, Vol. 65, 2019, University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 388, Available at SSRN:

Joan MacLeod Heminway (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
865-974-3813 (Phone)
865-974-0681 (Fax)

Adam J. Sulkowski

Babson College ( email )

231 Forest St.
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States


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