To all those reading this I am David Gibbs; I am a Lecturer in Company and Commercial Law at the University of Hertfordshire.

I created this blog as a general out-let of ideas for my research, as well as keeping those interested up-to-date on my research and general interests.

I completed my PhD thesis at the University of East Anglia in 2014. The thesis was recommended for the award of PhD with no corrections. My external examiner was Prof. Simon Deakin (Cambridge) and internal examiner was Prof. Morten Hviid.
My PhD research centred on directors' duties and company law. The thesis was titled 'Non-Executive Self-Interest: Fiduciary Duties and Corporate Governance'. It was a doctrinal and empirical study on whether self-interest was suitably controlled amongst non-executive directors.

My supervisors were Prof. Mathias Siems, Prof. Duncan Sheehan, Dr. Sara Connolly and Dr. Rob Heywood

All opinions of any existing or future blogpost are my own. They do not necessarily represent the views of any of my associated institutions.
ORCID 0000-0002-6596-8536

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Law Commission on Fiduciary Duties of Investment Intermediaries

The Law Commission has published information about a new project on fiduciary duties of investment intermediaries. Consultation will take place in 2013 Oct. It can be seen here.

The statements they wish to address in relation to concern faced by stakeholders in the interpretation of fiduciary duties in this context are the following, which I will give a brief answer to (in brackets), but I must note I am not an expert on what an investment intermediary does.

  • it was not clear who in the investment chain was subject to fiduciary duties and what those duties were; (anyone with access to another's property or affairs for their benefit in a relationship based on trust and confidence. The duty owed by fiduciaries is the duty of loyalty meaning do not act with a conflict of interest in respect of the matters you agreed (whether expressly or through assumption) to be loyal)            

  • their fiduciary duties required them to maximise returns over a short-time scale, precluding consideration of long-term factors which might impact on company performance; (concern must be placed here whether it is right to classify this as a fiduciary duty to maximise returns, this is probably more accurately described as a function of an investment intermediary but not a fiduciary duty)        
  • their obligations were entirely defined and limited to their contractual obligations or required no more than a duty of care. (If they have access to another's property or affairs for their benefit then fiduciary duty of loyalty arises. That duty's standard is strict but its scope is circumscribed to the extent of what you agreed to be loyal to. Equity needs something to cling to. It cannot change the terms of a contract. The fiduciary must be loyaly and their interests must be subserviant to that of the principal/beneficiary on those matters agreed to be loyal to).

  • I have not blogged in a while. Hopefully now teaching is drawing to a close there will be some more regular updates. Hopefully I will return to this at a later date.