Gesellschaftsrecht II / Comparative Corporate Law

General Information and Module Booking (updated information)

The course will examine the main principles of corporate law from a comparative and European perspective. In doing so, the major doctrines of common law and civil law systems will be analysed. The areas covered include ‘Why do we have companies?’, shareholder rights, directors’ duties, agency principles, corporate governance, capital raising, insider dealing and market misconduct. The EU law principles of free movement and shareholder control of financial decisions will be covered. Also covered will be investor protection, the regulation of compensation, corporate personality, formation and limited liability. Theories of corporate social responsibility and employee rights will be explored along with the role of auditors and rating agencies. The course will use several case studies to highlight key issues.

Note (new):

Those students who are enrolled at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics, and have had issues booking this course, please send a request for correction of modules (DOT, 101 KB) (Antrag zur Korrektur von Modulbuchungen) via email to Ensure you date and sign it and send it electronically to them. This must be done before Monday, 19.10.2020, at 11:30am. Alternatively, please contact +41 (44) 634 21 24 for more information. 


The lectures will be held on Monday, 14:00-15:45, starting 14 September 2020 until 14 December 2020. Due to the Coronavirus, we will be holding the lectures online as live stream Zoom meetings. Subsequently, they will be available to view online as presentations.

Please monitor this page for the Link to the Zoom meetings.

Zoom Live Stream

Kern Alexander is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Gesellschaftsrecht II / Comparative Corporate Law
Time: Sep 14, 2020 02:00 PM Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna
        Every week on Mon, until Dec 14, 2020, 14 occurrence(s)
        Sep 14, 2020 02:00 PM
        Sep 21, 2020 02:00 PM
        Sep 28, 2020 02:00 PM
        Oct 5, 2020 02:00 PM
        Oct 12, 2020 02:00 PM
        Oct 19, 2020 02:00 PM
        Oct 26, 2020 02:00 PM
        Nov 2, 2020 02:00 PM
        Nov 9, 2020 02:00 PM
        Nov 16, 2020 02:00 PM
        Nov 23, 2020 02:00 PM
        Nov 30, 2020 02:00 PM
        Dec 7, 2020 02:00 PM
        Dec 14, 2020 02:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 916 9450 9447
Passcode: 962228

You may download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Podcast / Zoom Recording

The podcasts / Zoom recordings can be watched here. Please note that due to technical difficulties individual lectures may not be recorded or only with disturbance. Students who forgo the attendance of a lecture or the writing of their own notes do so at their own risk. For technical reasons, the constant availability of records cannot be guaranteed. The loss of access to the recordings is not sufficient cause for an appeal against the examination. Scripts or other materials declared as examination relevant take priority over the podcasts / zoom recordings. In case of ambiguity contact the lecturer immediately. The recordings are for private use only. Redistribution in whatever form, in whole or in part, is not permitted without consent of the lecturer and may be punished by disciplinary measures or otherwise.

Zoom Recording - Lecture 1 (14 Sep 2020) (MP4, 145 MB)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 2 (21 Sep 2020) - Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we are unable to provide this lecture at this time. Please refer to the powerpoint slides.

Zoom Recording - Lecture 3 (28 Sep 2020) (MP4, 185 MB)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 4 (5 Oct 2020) Part 1 (MP4, 92 MB)Part 2  (MP4, 144 MB)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 5 (12 Oct 2020) Part 1 (MP4, 75 MB)Part 2  (MP4, 77 MB)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 6 (19 Oct 2020) Part 1 (MP4, 24 MB) & Part 2 (MP4, 73 MB) (Dr David Roth)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 7 (26 Oct 2020)  (MP4, 165 MB)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 8 (02 Nov 2020) (MP4, 112 MB) (Dr David Roth)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 9 (10 Nov 2020) (MP4, 137 MB) (Dr David Roth)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 10 (16 Nov 2020) Part 1 (MP4, 97 MB) & Part 2 (MP4, 116 MB) (Prof. Dr. Marco Dell'Erba) 

Zoom Recording - Lecture 11 (23 Nov 2020) (MP4, 114 MB) (Dr David Roth)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 12 (30 Nov 2020) Part 1 (MP4, 178 MB) & Part 2 (MP4, 126 MB) (Prof. Dr. Marco Dell'Erba) 

Zoom Recording - Lecture 13 (07 Dec 2020) Part 1 (MP4, 58 MB) & Part 2 (MP4, 162 MB) (Prof. Dr. Marco Dell'Erba)

Zoom Recording - Lecture 14 (14 Dec 2020) Part 1 (MP4, 107 MB) & Part 2  (MP4, 139 MB)


Written examination (open book) - 24 hour essays exam

New (28.10.2020)

Starting time: Monday, 21 December 2020, 9:00am, CET (PDF of exam will be sent to students' UZH emails)

Ending time: Tuesday, 22 December 2020, 9:00am, CET (answers due to no later than 9:00am)


Note: for those with significant overlaps with other examinations, please get in touch with us at as soon as possible so we can mark you for the substitute examination held between Friday, 8 January 2021, from 17:00 CET onwards until Saturday, 9 January 2021, 17:00 CET. Please return your exams no later than 17:00 CET on 9 January 2021.

! Attention: Please note that the information on our website regarding date and time (below) is not binding. Please check the official exams website to find out about the date, time and the room in which the Gesellschaftsrechts-exam will take place as well as your personal examination sequence number:

Please be aware that the internal exam grading process will continue until mid February. Once this is reached, the University of Zurich will transfer all the marks into the online system, and the grades will be published in the module booking tool / student portal latest on 24 February. Your official transcripts will be available online latest on 26 February. At this point you will also be able to download the exam, the model answer, and the grade scale.

Gesellschaftsrecht Exam



Mock Exams and Former Exam Questions

HS2011_Exam example_Gesellschaftsrecht (Question 1) (PDF, 233 KB)

HS2013_Exam_Gesellschaftsrecht (PDF, 98 KB)

Exam Archive from previous years


Reading Materials

Lecture 6: Investor Protection, Shareholder Control Issues, and Minority Shareholders Rights, Ethics and Corruption


Financial Times - Rossbach - A cautionary tale of power (PDF, 292 KB)

The Economist - Swiss Takeover Law - Avalanche in the Alps (PDF, 56 KB)

Audiolux SA v Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA (PDF, 149 KB)

La Porta / Lopez / Shleifer / Vishny - Investor Protection and Corporate Governance (PDF, 135 KB)

Lucian Bebchuk - The Myth of Hedge Funds (PDF, 272 KB)

Martin Lipton - Bite the Apple (PDF, 64 KB)

Tomoeh Murakami Tse - Activist Investors Rally Reclaim Power - WP (PDF, 185 KB)

Stephen Foley - Activist Investors learn to mind their manners -FT (PDF, 677 KB)

Davies / Hopt / Ringe, Chapter 8: Control Transactions, in: Kraakman et al. (eds.), The Anatomy of Corporate Law, 3rd. ed., 2017, pp. 205-242 (PDF, 269 KB)

FT - Saint-Gobain gives up fight for control of SIKA (PDF, 123 KB)


Hertig / Kraakman / Rock - Issuers and Investor Protection (PDF, 3 MB)

New York Times - Sorkin - The Secrets Big Investors Get to Keep (PDF, 222 KB)

New York Times - Davidoff - Corporate Disclosure – Not Just a Game (PDF, 293 KB)

Berle and Means - pp. 244-252 (PDF, 7 MB)

Berle and Means - pp. 207-218 (PDF, 4 MB)

Berle and Means - The resultant position of the stockholders 119-140 (PDF, 6 MB)

Berle and Means - Chapter 5 Evolution of Control 66-111 (PDF, 2 MB)

Enriques / Hansmann / Kraakman / Pargendler, Chapter 4: The Basic Governance Structure, in: Kraakman et al. (eds.), The Anatomy of Corporate Law, 3rd. ed., 2017, pp. 79-108 (PDF, 220 KB)


Lecture 10: Corporate Governance, Stakeholders and Corporate Social Responsibility


John Parkinson, Models of the company and the Employment Relationship (PDF, 128 KB)

Janet Dine, 'Corporate Regulation, Climate Change and Corporate Law: Challenges and Balance in an International and Global World' (PDF, 301 KB)

Edward B. Rock, For Whom is the Corporation Managed in 2020?: The Debate over Corporate Purpose (PDF, 1 MB) (new)


Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer, Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility (PDF, 766 KB)

PD Dr. Christoph B. Bühler, Regulating Corporate Governance Following the „Swiss Muesli“ Recipe (PDF, 22 MB)

Forstmoser, Corporate Responsibility und Reputation, in: VOGT ET AL. (Hrsg.), Unternehmen – Transaktion – Recht, Liber Amicorum für Rolf Watter zum 50. Geburtstag (PDF, 596 KB)

GMB Northern v Cable Realisations Ltd [2009] (PDF, 128 KB)

Dine/Koutsias, Chapter 2 ‘Corporate Governance’ (PDF, 22 MB)

DR. Jinchen Zhao, 'The Curious Case of Stakeholder Theory: Calling for a More Realistic Theory' (PDF, 2 MB)

Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice - Business Responsibility Initiative (PDF, 231 KB)

Katrin Bennhold, Nazis Killed Her Father. Then She Fell in Love With One (PDF, 45 KB)

David Gelles, He Ran an Empire of Soap and Mayonnaise. Now He Wants to Reinvent Capitalism (PDF, 220 KB)

Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Companies under pressure to declare ‘social purpose’ (PDF, 556 KB)

Lucian A. Bebchuck and Roberto Tallarita, The Illusory Promise of Stakeholder Governance (PDF, 653 KB)

Jill E. Fisch and Steven Davidoff Solomon, Should Corporations have a Purpose? (PDF, 424 KB)


Lecture 14: Selected Topics and Exam Review

No new readings

Please also take a moment to fill out this online survey about the course. We are grateful for your feedback!