Kahan wins most Corporate Practice Commentator awards

Taking stock of Kahan's high-yield scholarship

This spring, Marcel Kahan, George T. Lowy Professor of Law, was honored by Corporate Practice Commentator for writing two of the "Top 10 Corporate and Securities Articles of 2008" from among 450 published pieces considered. He won for his work with Edward Rock on the "The Hanging Chads of Corporate Voting,” published in the Georgetown Law Journal, and for “The Market Penalty for Mutual Fund Scandals,” co-authored with Stephen Choi, Murray and Kathleen Bring Professor of Law, and published in the Boston University Law Review.

Over the 15-year history of the poll, Kahan has written or co-written more winning articles than any other author, with a total of 11. Running a close second, Choi has a total of nine. Kahan is modest about his frequent honors by Corporate Practice Commentator. “In terms of what accounts for my articles getting recognition, I think one factor is that many are on topics that are of interest to other academics in the field, which makes it more likely that people read them,” he said.

His articles don't only appeal to other academics. In fact, a recent article in the Economist cites a paper by Kahan and Edward Rock of the University of Pennsylvania which takes a counter-intuitive position: that chief executive officers of publicly-held corporations in the United States are actually losing power to their boards of directors and to their shareholders. In "Embattled CEOs," Kahan and Rock write that "even in America, the land of the superstar chief executive, boards are not bosses' poodles." 

Never one to rest on his laurels, Kahan already has several new articles in the pipeline. Two are co-authored by Rock, with whom he writes frequently. The first article, “Hedge Fund Activism in the Enforcement of Bondholder Rights,” to be published in the Northwestern University Law Review, examines the role of hedge funds in dealing with (actual and alleged) defaults in bond indentures. It grows out of Kahan’s work on hedge funds with Rock and Kahan’s course on corporate bonds. “How to Prevent Hard Cases from Making Bad Law: Bear Stearns, Delaware and the Strategic Use of Comity,” forthcoming in the Emory Law Journal, looks at the Delaware and New York litigation regarding the validity of the merger agreement and the stock exchange agreement through which J.P. Morgan acquired Bear Stearns.

Kahan and Choi also are continuing to write together. “Steve and I are collaborating on a series of articles on shareholder voting and proxy advisors, together with Jill Fisch at Penn,” Kahan said. “The USC article, [“Director Elections and the Role of Proxy Advisors,”] is the first in the series and this summer we hope to complete a second one and start work on a third. Steve is great to work with and I hope to continue collaborating with him beyond these papers.”

Posted on June 18, 2009