Limited Partnership Reform in the United Kingdom: A Competitive, Venture Capital Oriented Business Form

Tilburg Law and Economics Center Discussion Paper No. 2004-024

32 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2005

See all articles by Joseph A. McCahery

Joseph A. McCahery

Tilburg University - School of Law; European Banking Center (EBC); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Erik P. M. Vermeulen

Tilburg University - Department of Business Law; Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) - Legal Department; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law

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Date Written: December 2004

Abstract

This paper evaluates the primary legal and financial mechanisms that help support the development of a venture capital market. Specifically, we argue that emulating the organizational and contractual pattern of the US venture capital market could enhance the development of the European venture capital market. We first show that the modernization of the 'venerable' limited partnership form, based on US experiences, offers substantial contracting benefits for investors and is crucial to the operation of a mature venture capital market. We then argue that the emergence of more efficient limited partnership structures may arise as a consequence of the competition between European states. We argue that the United Kingdom, which has recently embarked on general and limited partnership law reform, could, in light of the competitive lawmaking environment that the ECJ has opened up, be in the best position to enter the competition within the EU. It then explores the prominent features of the UK special Limited Partnership statute, which makes it possible for venture capitalists to organize their contractual relations that are best suited to the characteristics of the venture capital market. Finally, our analysis provides an understanding of the competitive forces that shape the ongoing reforms of limited partnership law and related business forms in Europe.

Keywords: Venture capital, venture capital market, innovative companies, limited partnership, public policy

JEL Classification: K2

Suggested Citation

McCahery, Joseph A. and Vermeulen, Erik P.M., Limited Partnership Reform in the United Kingdom: A Competitive, Venture Capital Oriented Business Form (December 2004). Tilburg Law and Economics Center Discussion Paper No. 2004-024. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=664166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.664166

Joseph A. McCahery (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - School of Law; European Banking Center (EBC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31-(0)13-466-2306 (Phone)
+31-(0)13-466-2323 (Fax)

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Erik P.M. Vermeulen

Tilburg University - Department of Business Law ( email )

Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) - Legal Department ( email )

Amstelplein 2
Amsterdam
Netherlands

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law ( email )

6-19-1, Hakozaki, Higashiku
Fukuoka, 812-8581
Japan

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