4 October 2022

Visiting researcher at CME to explore corporate governance in Germany and the Nordics

Claas-Lennart Götz

Interview with Claas-Lennart Götz, a PhD researcher from Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg in Germany, who visited Centre for Market and Economic Law (CME) in August-September 2022.

Can you describe your research project in a few words?     

“Sure, I conduct research on comparative corporate governance. I am particularly interested in active shareholders, who get more and more attention from media and academia. Activist hedge funds, for example, may raise awareness of climate issues, in order to influence shareholders. That is the underlying topic of my research. Looking at the law in Germany, shareholders do not have a lot of power. In the Nordic states, on the contrary, the opposite is true and the Nordic Corporate Governance System puts the shareholders at the top. In my dissertation, I want to explore cases that exemplify this interesting difference. Besides that, I also look into the historical roots of the Corporate Governance Systems in Germany and the Nordics. That is interesting too, because it adds a social-economic and political context to the topic.” 

Why did you choose to visit CME?

 “I managed to get in contact with Professor Jesper Lau Hansen, who has published extensively on the Nordic Corporate Governance System and is a member of CME. He kindly volunteered as my contact person during my stay. Also, CME gave me access to Royal Library, which is the largest Scandinavian Library and hosts a vast collection of historic law manuscripts.”

How has it been to join CME?

“I received a very warm welcome and had the chance to meet so many of the members of CME. I really enjoyed the non-formal Scandinavian attitude. It made it much easier to talk to professors and other scholars. I am sure that I will stay in contact with many of the people I have been in touch with during my time at CME.”   

What did you achieve? Academically? And personally?

“I managed to get in contact with several Company Law scholars, who helped me to understand the Nordic Corporate Governance system in much more depth. Most importantly, I was able to get an impression of the way the Nordic law works in practice. Also, I was able to find very interesting manuscripts from the 19th and 20th century that will form the basis of the historical part of my PhD-project. On a personal note, I really loved my short stay in Copenhagen. The city is so beautiful and just the bike ride to work every morning was a joy. Besides, the relaxed Scandinavian approach to work was a great experience. Maybe I can bring the Friday morgenmad to Germany and introduce a little bit of Danish work life to the Max Planck Institute.”