Corporate Culture and Legal Liability

Prof. Jennifer Hill's lunchtime seminar will explore the hot topic of corporate culture and the role of the board of directors in relation to defective corporate culture.


Corporate culture is a hot topic at the moment in the UK, US and Australia. It has been discussed in the context of numerous recent scandals, including:- the VW emissions scandal; the Wells Fargo banking scandal; sexual harassment claims at the Weinstein Company and Fox News; the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s money-laundering scandal; and the ongoing Australian Banking Royal Commission.

This seminar will discuss the role of the board of directors in relation to defective corporate culture. The Chair of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, recently stated “we simply expect much more of boards of directors than ever before. There is no reason to expect that to change”. The seminar will examine whether these high expectations are matched by legal accountability. It will consider the extent to which directors of public companies in the UK, US and Australia face the risk of personal liability for breach of their duty of oversight when defective organisational culture results in harm to the corporation or its stakeholders.

About the Speaker

Jennifer Hill is Professor of Corporate Law at The University of Sydney Law School. Jennifer writes in the area of comparative corporate governance. Her recent research has focused on a range of corporate governance topics, including shareholder stewardship and activism, the balance of power between shareholders and the board of directors and breach of directors’ duties.

Jennifer has held visiting teaching and research positions at several international law schools, e.g. at Cornell University; Duke University; NYU Law School; University of Virginia, University of Texas, and Vanderbilt University. She is a Research Member of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI), where she sits on the Research Committee and chairs the Research Member Engagement Committee. Jennifer is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law (AAL) and a member of the External Advisory Panel of Australia’s business conduct regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). She is also a Research Fellow of the British Academy’s recent Future of the Corporation Programme.

Jennifer is currently a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge (July-December 2018), where she is working on a research project concerning liability for flawed corporate cultures.

Register to attend Jennifer's seminar.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception. 

Location details

Moot Court,
School of Law
Liberty Building
University of Leeds

For sat navs, please use the postcode for Moorland Road, LS6 1AN. 

The Liberty Building can also be found on the campus map

All welcome. This is a free event, though registration is required.

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