The Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE) is the hub of Berkeley Law’s research and teaching on the impact of law on business and the U.S. and global economies.


2015 Business Law Certificate Ceremony BCLBE was honored to award this year’s 4 J.D. and 45 LL.M. graduates the Business Law Certificate in recognition of their completion of an incredibly rigorous course of study. Offered through Berkeley Law, the Business Law coursework serves to prepare students for professional practice as legal advisors to businesses, business-related NGOs, and government entities. For photos of the event, click the photo.



Annual Executive and Legal Education
Fundamentals of Banking Law
October 7-9, 2015
Bancroft Hotel, Berkeley

Berkeley Law certifies that this activity was approved for 19 hours MCLE credit by the State Bar of California.

In collaboration with the Boston University School of Law, BCLBE is pleased to announce the sponsorship of  Fundamentals of Banking Law (formerly Banking Law Basics), an intensive 2½ day program designed to familiarize participants with the basics of banking law, including the critical policies, concepts and regulations that have shaped 150 years of banking law from the passage of the 1863 National Bank Act to the present. Website»

Berkeley Sustainable Business and Investment Forum
November 10-11, 2015
University Club, Berkeley

Join BCLBE for this innovative two-day forum addressing the evolving concepts of risk management, capital allocation and sustainable business practices with an emphasis on long-term value creation. Featuring keynote speeches from PepsiCo Chairman and Executive Officer Indra K. Nooyi and Intel’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich, this event will bring together academic and professional minds alike in an enriching discussion on the ever-changing nature of sustainable business. To view the flyer of the event, click here; attendance to this event is by invitation only.

This event is co-sponsored by the Haas School of Business and PepsiCo.

For a summary of past events, visit our events page. For videos of our events, go to our video library.

Recent Post on The Network: Business at Berkeley Law

Late-Stage Protection for Investors Can Inflate Start-Up Valuations
By Erika K. Solanki, J.D Candidate 2017

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The following media is now available:

Private Equity Speaker Series
William Sorabella
, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
      David Feirstein, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

M&A Speaker Series
Journalist Panel: NYT, Fusion, WSJ

Shareholder Activism Speaker Series; 
Tariq Mundiya, Wilkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Venture Capital Speaker Series
Ted Wang, Fenwick & West LLP

A full list of recordings can be found here»

In a trio of articles recently published in the New York Times, Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon examines placement agents, the DuPont-Trian case, and the effects of France’s new two-vote share system. In the first, Davidoff Solomon addressed the merits of placing agents as they continue to thrive amid controversy. In the next he explores how the details of the DuPont-Trian case will come to influence how shareholder activism matures as an industry. Most recently, Davidoff Solomon analyzes the ramifications of the French Parliament’s passage of a law creating a dual-class system for holding shares and how such a system would effect industry in the United States.

Corporate mergers bring about a 90 percent chance of shareholder lawsuits. Most cases settle for minor disclosuresand large attorneys’ fees. A new article co-authored by Steven Davidoff Solomon offers a novel way to assess the value of these disclosures, while lowering litigation costs to benefit shareholders.

With the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling that state licensing boards may be subject to antitrust laws, many professionals across the nation have started to wonder what effect this decision will have on competition. For Professor Aaron Edlin, this ruling marks the beginning of an era of increased competition and accountability among professionals and their licensing boards. In his article Letting Dentists Feel the Bite of Competition, recently published in the Wall Street Journal, Prof. Edlin argues that with professional licensing boards now under greater scrutiny from the Supreme Court, states and the Boards themselves will have to create fairer policies and practices so that they are exempt from antitrust lawsuit. His Penn Law review article was cited in the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in FTC v. NC Board of Dental Examiners.

While affirmative action may stigmatize students from disadvantaged groups, Prasad Krishnamurthy and Aaron Edlin say group-blind admissions is not the remedy. Erasing social inequality-based stereotypes, their paper argues, would perversely require a higher admission standard for marginalized students.

The Supreme Court cited a recent article by Professor Aaron Edlin in its Feb. 25 ruling that state licensing boards are not immune from federal antitrust laws. State boards regulate about 30 percent of U.S. workers. Edlin and co-author Rebecca Haw argue that boards often act like cartels. In North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, the court agreed that such boards should be subject to antitrust when there is no independent state body supervising them.

The January 2015 Update includes: a recent article by Prof. Steven Davidoff Solomon evaluated 2014’s most notable deals; a new seminar taught by Profs. Steven Davidoff Solomon and Stavros Gadinis began introducing students to the regulatory underpinnings of the international financial system; and BCLBE, together with law firm Cleary Gotlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP hosted the M&A and Antitrust Annual Conference where panelists discussed current issues and developments in these fields.

Reuters recently published an analysis of Prof. Robert Bartlett’s paper “Do Institutional Investors Value the 10b-5 Private Right of Action? Evidence from Investor Trading Behavior Following Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd.”, in which he asserts that there is an apparent gap between institutional investors’ adamant advocacy for shareholder class actions and their actual trading decisions.

First annual conference Antitrust, Governance, M&A in 2015: Challenges and Conundrums for the West Coast tackled legal challenges unique to lawyers handling West Coast mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and competition policy, governance and activism. Read more>

In Shareholder Wealth Maximization as Means to an End, Prof. Robert Bartlett examines the fiduciary duties of corporate directors when considering corporate action that pits the interests of common stockholders against those of its preferred stockholders – a situation that is common among venture-backed start-up companies. Using incomplete contracting theory, Prof. Bartlett shows why the conventional rule that directors must focus on maximizing common stockholder value must be viewed as simply a means to the ultimate goal of maximizing the value of the corporation itself. Further, he argues that close examination of corporate law reveals that neither economic theory nor corporate doctrine should prevent individual directors from favoring the interests of preferred stockholders when they have been elected to represent them. As such, he concludes recent decisions such as In re Trados and In re Nine Systems Corporation represent doctrinal innovations in need of judicial reconsideration. 

In the column The Deal Professor, Prof. Steven Davidoff Solomon explains McDonald’s significantly lower stock valuation compared to its peer Shake Shack, noting that the fast food chain’s business is fundamentally different from its quick casual chain competitors. In another article, he examines how the current structure of whistle-blower compensation creates perverse incentives for corporate wrongdoers to profit from wrongdoing. Finally, Steven evaluates 2014’s most notable deals

In the column China Real Time, China expert Stanley Lubman talks about how China’s anti-corruption campaign can succeed and its potential economic repercussions. He looks at the challenges party leaders face in light of the Hong Kong model, which saw the establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) – an agency with little to no interference from government authority. Stanley has specialized on China as a scholar and as a practicing lawyer for more than 40 years.

Prof. Richard Buxbaum reflected upon his involvement in the Free Speech Movement (FSM) at a recent panel event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the UC Berkeley Academic Senate’s vote supporting free speech on campus. Buxbaum served as 1 of 5 defense counsels in the criminal proceedings against 773 FSM participants arrested for staging a sit-in at Sproul Hall on Dec. 3, 1964. 

On November 14-15, Berkeley Law faculty, including Prof. Ken Ayotte, hosted the Fourth Annual Law and Economics Theory Conference. Economic theory can help shed light on
important legal and policy questions that involve strategic actions by parties with interrelated and sometimes competing objectives. For example, firms often require employees to sign covenants not to compete (CNCs), which limit a worker’s ability to move to a rival firm or start his/her own. These covenants are common in high tech industries, but they are increasingly found in more surprising places, like the employee contracts of the sandwich chain Jimmy John’s. Should the law place restrictions on the enforceability of these covenants?
Read more»

While affirmative action may stigmatize students from disadvantaged groups, Prasad Krishnamurthy and Aaron Edlin say group-blind admissions is not the remedy. Erasing social inequality-based stereotypes, their paper argues, would perversely require a higher admission standard for marginalized students.

Berkeley Law’s growing collaborations with other campus departments have yielded a new benefit for students: the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Real Estate. The certificate honors real estate training that encompasses law, investment, and development. “It’s critical to develop and refine interdisciplinary skills, and to work with peers in different fields,” Ken Taymor says. Read more>

In his study, Corporate Inversions and the Unbundling of Regulatory
, Prof. Eric Talley examines the controversy surrounding US public companies executing “tax inversions” – acquisitions that move a corporation’s residency abroad
while maintaining its listing in domestic securities markets. Properly structured, the inversion creates substantial corporate tax savings. Regulators and politicians have reacted with alarm to this perceived “inversionitis” pandemic. Prof. Talley argues, however, that inversions are simply not a viable strategy for many firms, and thus the ongoing wave may abate naturally.

More BCLBE in the news»