30th ICCML Lecture

Apart or together? 

Prof. Moloney (LSE) and Prof. Grundmann (HU Berlin) discussed the post-Brexit future of capital markets law in Europe

The Institute for Corporate and Capital Markets Law (ICCML) at Bucerius Law School was delighted to host Prof. Niamh Moloney and Prof. Dr. iur. Dr. phil. Stefan Grundmann, LL.M. for an evening lecture on December 5th 2022. Both speakers delivered an in-depth analysis of the post-Brexit future of capital markets law in Europe.

Prof. Moloney looked at the different developments on both sides of the Channel after Brexit. While it was first believed that the European Union would adopt even stricter rules regarding financial services and capital markets once the more market-oriented United Kingdom would have left the European Union, the developments have shown a remarkable shift towards a more laissez faire approach after Brexit in the European Union. On the other side of the channel far-reaching reforms have been set off by the British government that is faced with a shrinking financial market in the United Kingdom. Overall, it can already be seen that the regulatory regime in the United Kingdom and in the European Union will diverge over time. This will most likely lead to a situation in which the European Union will have to decide whether the regulatory regime in the United Kingdom can be regarded as equal to those rules adopted in the European Union.

Prof. Grundmann focused on the development of both company and capital markets law in the European Union. He highlighted that the intensity and the focus of the European legislator evolved over time. Starting in the late 1960s the European legislator first focused on the reliability of companies (blackbox). Here the European Union promoted cross border trade and cross border establishments by relying on academic approaches stemming from institutional economics. Later on, in the 1990s, the focus of the European legislator shifted towards participation of shareholders (redbox). Both the black- and redbox approach can be mostly assigned to company law. Starting in 2010s a greenbox approach was adopted at the European level that tries to promote the idea of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and now has a particular focus on sustainability. This approach tries to use capital markets law as an effective tool to promote the decarbonisation of the economy and to improve social conditions by different means, most notably disclosure requirements.

After a discussion with Prof. Moloney and Prof. Grundmann the evening was concluded with the obligatory pretzels and wine.