Courthouse Steps

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In this section, you can find my academic articles, essays, book chapters and links to all open source materials.

Corporations on Blockchain

August 30, 2019

Blockchain technology has the potential to change the way corporations are managed and how they function. A system that offers greater decentralization and ability for shareholders to more actively and accurately engage in decision-making processes will be fundamental for modern corporate governance. his article provides an analysis on opportunities and potential challenges of using blockchain for the purposes of corporate governance in publicly traded corporation. Beside the inquiry into the technology behind blockchain, the article reflects the value, if any, the blockchain technology would have for the shareholders and suggests how the technology could be used in publicly traded companies.

Abolishing Entrepreneurial Company (IVS) in Denmark: How Substantiated Are the Reasons and What Are the Negative Effects on Entrepreneurship?

May 9, 2019

Danish Parliament adopted a law (L190) that abolishes the formation of entrepreneurial companies (iværksætterselskab) IVS in Denmark. This decision has raised surprise and concern from business and academic communities, questioning the decision-making processes of the Danish government. In this short essay, I briefly introduce the IVS company form and reflect on the Analysis prepared by the Danish Business Authority. I provide some thoughts on the substance of this Analysis and its key weaknesses when justifying their main outcomes, for which the IVS form is to be repealed – that these companies have, to a greater extent than expected, led to an increased risk of fraud and tax evasions. I conclude the article with few reflections on the minimum capital requirement, importance of legislative review and building entrepreneurship in Denmark. These conclusions are however universal and applicable across diverse jurisdictions.

Fintech as a Facilitator for the Capital Market Union?

August 15, 2018

FinTech is the word that has been receiving a lot of attention recently. This term originates from the merger of “finance” and “technology”. It represents an innovative and emerging field that affects the future of financial markets. Innovation in diverse formats and contents has been the driving force of any financial market. Yet, now the innovation seems to be more than a driving force. It might have become the key for a survival. Modern financial regulation has been predominantly economically driven, progressing from addressing market failures to creating more efficient, competitive and reliable markets. The European Union has for number of decades been struggling with creating a true integrated single market for financial services. Investors, professional or retail, often have lacked trust in non-domestic or cross-border products, whereas financial institutions, unless sufficiently robust, remain active only in their known (domestic or regional) territories and the capital market remains cleft. This paper argues that with adequate regulation of FinTech in the European Union, the Union could finally bridge the divide and finally establish an effective capital market.

Catch Me If You Can: Post-Daimler Transnational Litigation

May 22, 2015

his article analyzes the recent jurisprudential developments on human rights violations involving corporations, in particular in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court decision in the case Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014). Often, Western corporations move their subsidiaries or productions to Global South countries where the rule of law is arguably weak. Even more frequently, however, Western countries have failed to provide adequate judicial and other remedies for human rights violations involving their own companies and subsidiaries in their operations abroad. On this note, in recent years, the US Supreme Court has halted cases of human rights violations on jurisdictional grounds, through limitations to subject matter jurisdiction and general jurisdiction. This article analyzes the Court's reasoning and envisions how transnational litigation in the field of business and human rights might look like in the future. In addition, the alternative experiences in England and Australia are also discussed. In light of the US, English and Australian reluctant approaches to corporate liability, we invite the states to reflect on their own obligation to protect human rights from violations involving companies, and to provide judicial and other remedies regarding extraterritorial operations of companies.

Occupational Pension Funds (IORPs) & Sustainability: What Does the Prudent Person Principle Say?

October 2, 2017

The European Union encourages individuals to save in private and occupational pension funds to complement their state saving-plans. Throughout their lives, employers directly sponsor occupational retirement saving plans, so individual employees may top up their future pensions. While the European Union clearly supports the formation and cross-border participation in these financial vehicles by adopting regulatory framework, the EU has also decided to determine a common investment decision standard to be used in all Member States, called the Prudent Person Principle. According to this principle, the fund - the future retirement for many - shall be managed with care, the skill of an expert, prudence and due diligence. Under this principle, the pension fund's governing body is given a broad authority to invest the pension assets in a prudent fashion in light of the particular investment plan of a fund. At the same time, the EU is also moving towards more Responsible Investment and inclusion of the ESG - principles (Environment, Social and Governance). The question we aim to answer in this paper is how these principles co-exist and whether, due to the new Directive in 2016, all funds are obliged to make only responsible, environmentally and socially beneficial investments.

Renaissance of Investors' Control in 21st Century: Crowdfunding

February 28, 2017

Globalization, capital dispersion and technological progress have generated greater competition by allowing formation of new entities in almost every other second. These mavericks happen to operate in technological industry, supported usually by venture capital firms. Besides venture capital, there has been a boom of new medium for financing: crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a mass financial collaboration through large number of people using social media and internet. There are number of internet platforms, which allow crowdfunding. Some focus only on low-budget projects, but some enable investments of thousands of dollars. One may say that crowdfunding supports the dispersion of ownership and therefore diffusion of investors’ control, depending on how many investors have decided to contribute. Yet, looking at the crowdfunding from another perspective, crowdfunding is only successful if sufficient threshold is reached. The crowdfunders have to bring an idea that among thousands catches the necessary attention of many. The project initiators have to present an appealing case, why it is “them” who the investor should fund and support. Exploring the crowdfunding platforms and the launched projects, one realizes that the projects that plead for support sustainability and claim to be often socially and environmentally responsible. They are usually novel and inspiring. Thus, investing in crowdfunding projects is based on more than just an interest in profit making. There is additional layer of significance of the idea.