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Travers Smith Senior Consultant Simon Witney publishes new book, Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment in Private Equity


At a time where the corporate governance of private equity-backed companies faces ever mounting scrutiny and investigation, Travers Smith LLP's Senior Consultant, Simon Witney, has today published a new book, which positions private equity portfolio companies within existing academic theory and examines the laws that apply to them in the UK. 

Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment in Private Equity, which has been published by Cambridge University Press, analyses the actual governance frameworks that are put in place and identifies problems created by the legal rules – as well as the market’s solutions to them. Simon explains how the governance mechanisms are likely to increase the focus by private equity-backed companies on responsible investment practices arguing this to be crucial for a successful private equity industry.

The book focuses on four key themes, which include:

  • How should private equity governance systems look.
  • What these systems look like in practice now.
  • Corporate governance regulation, specifically within the UK, and the response of the private equity industry to this.
  • How governance can affect corporate performance.

Simon Witney has a unique mix of experience in regulatory, transactional and fund formation disciplines and in 2017 completed his doctoral thesis focused on corporate governance in private equity-backed companies. He is a Visiting Professor in Practice in the Law Department at The London School of Economics and Political Science, where he also teaches a course on private equity law on the LLM programme.

The London School of Economics will be holding an online event to mark publication of the book on 13 January, which will include a short panel discussion, chaired by LSE Law Associate Professor Sarah Paterson.

Simon Witney will join the panel alongside David Kershaw, Professor of Law at the LSE and Director of the Executive LLM Programme, Caroline Löfgren, Hg Capital's Head of Responsible Investment and Chloë Sanders, Director of ESG & Legal at CVC. 

The panellists will explore whether and how private companies can be expected to rise to societal demands for greater social responsibility and how thinking and practices developed in the context of widely held companies can be applied to closely held companies. The launch webinar is free and open to all, please click here to register and receive the Zoom link. The first 500 participants will join the Zoom webinar.  If more than 500 people register, further participants will be automatically re-directed to a live stream of the event on YouTube.

The royalties from the first 100 sales will be donated to The Felix Project, a London-based food redistribution waste charity, and Travers Smith's major charity partner.  For 20% off when purchasing from the publisher's website, use code WITNEY20. 

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