Eddy Wymeersch

Company Law in Turmoil and the Way to Global Company Practice

WP 2002-10

In the first part of this paper, the point is argued that in practice, company law, at least as far as listed companies are concerned, is increasingly the product of international practice, which generally draws on American law and regulation. This effect is the consequence of the requirements imposed by the financial markets, by the existence of an international community of business leaders and advisors, etc. "Global Company Practice" may become increasingly important in real company life, notwithstanding the differences in regulation. In the second part, a first and preliminary analysis is made of the potentialextraterritorial effects of the new American regulations ( Sarbanes-Oxley Act, NYSE and Nasdaq corporate governance requirements) on European company practice. Increasingly integrated company practice may be the consequence. The voluntary nature which was so characteristic of the emergence of the "global company practice" is suffering heavily.