Luca Enriques is the Allen & Overy Professor of Corporate Law, in association with Jesus College. He studied law at the University of Bologna before completing his LLM at Harvard Law School and working at the Bank of Italy while at the same time earning a Doctorate degree in Business Law at Bocconi University. He then became a member of the University of Bologna Faculty of Law (1999-2012). During that period, he was a consultant to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and an adviser to the Italian Ministry of the Economy and Finance on matters relating to corporate, banking and securities law with a special focus on European Union policy initiatives. He was a Commissioner at Consob, the Italian Securities and Exchange Commission between 2007 and 2012 and Professor of Business Law at LUISS University, Department of Law, in Rome in 2013-14.

He has held visiting posts at various academic institutions including Harvard Law School, where he was Nomura Visiting Professor of International Financial Systems (2012-13), Cornell Law School (1999 and 2000), the Instituto de Impresa in Madrid (2005), the Radzyner School of Law at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (2013-14) and the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law (2014-15).  

He has published widely in the fields of company law, corporate governance and financial regulation. He is the Editor of the ECGI Working Paper Series in Law, an ECGI Research Fellow, a member of ECGI's board, and one of the founding academic editors of the Oxford Business Law Blog.

Professor Enriques will be on sabbatical leave in the Fall (Michaelmas) and Winter (Hilary) terms respectively of 2018 and 2019.


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  • L Enriques and Alessandro Romano, 'Institutional Investor Voting Behavior: A Network Theory Perspective' (2019) University of Illinois Law Review 223
    This Article shows how network theory can improve our understanding of institutional investors’ voting behavior and, more generally, their role in corporate governance. The standard idea is that institutional investors compete against each other on relative performance and hence might not cast informed votes due to rational apathy and rational reticence. In other words, institutional investors have incentives to free ride instead of “cooperating” and casting informed votes. We show that connections of various nature among institutional investors, whether from formal networks, geographical proximity, or common ownership, and among institutional investors and other agents, such as proxy advisors, contribute to shaping institutional investors’ incentives to vote “actively.” They also create intricate competition dynamics: competition takes place not only among institutional investors (and their asset managers), but also at the level of their employees and among “cliques” of institutional investors. Employees, who strive for better jobs, are motivated to obtain more information on portfolio companies than may be strictly justified from their employer institution’s perspective, and to circulate it within their network. Cliques of institutional investors compete against each other. Because there are good reasons to believe that cliques of cooperators outperform cliques of noncooperators, the network-level competition might increase the incentives of institutional investors to collect information. These dynamics can enhance institutional investors’ engagement in portfolio companies and also shed light on some current policy issues such as the antitrust effects of common ownership and mandatory disclosures of institutional investors’ voting.
  • L Enriques and M Gatti, 'Creeping Acquisitions in Europe' in J Grant (ed), European Takeovers: The art of Acquisition (Global Law and Business 2018)
    ISBN: 9781787421769
  • L Enriques, J Armour and M Bengtzen, 'Globalization ' in M Fox, LR Goltsen, EF Greene, MS Patel (ed), Securities Markets Issues for the 21st Century (e-book 2018)
  • J Armour and L Enriques, 'Individual Investors’ Access to Crowdinvesting: Two Regulatory Models ' in Douglas Cumming and Lars Hornuf (eds), The Economics of Crowdfunding (Palgrave 2018)
    Crowdinvesting--raising many small contributions of capital from individual funders via specialized online platforms--is a burgeoning phenomenon. This Chapter first highlights the perils to which individual investors are exposed when they access these platforms. Next, it describes the legal regime in two sample jurisdictions, the US with its tradition of high-fixed-cost, disclosure-intensive securities laws that had to be tweaked to make equity crowdfunding viable, and the UK, which has early on provided for a nimble set of rules for the same. Finally, the Chapter offers some thoughts on the merits of introducing a lighter regime for equity crowdfunding.
    ISBN: 978-3-319-66119-3
  • L Enriques and G Hertig, 'Post-crisis Regulation of Asset Management' (2018) Annales des Mines – Réalités Industrielles 88
    While asset managers’ behavior has not been among the root causes of the financial crisis, their industry’s size and structure have generated financial stability concerns among policymakers. Global regulatory bodies nowadays agree that asset management activities are “systemically important”. On the other hand, the growth in retail activities has prompted regulatory and self-regulatory bodies to enact new rules relating to conduct of business, advice and best execution. Our essay briefly reviews global reforms affecting the asset management industry, focusing first on systemic interventions and then discussing investor protection reforms. To conclude, it addresses some emerging issues that we expect to be on policymakers’ agenda in the future.
  • John Armour, L Enriques, Ariel Ezrachi and John Vella, 'Putting technology to good use for society: the role of corporate, competition and tax law ' (2018) Journal of the British Academy 285
    Innovation and its main output, technology, are changing the way we work, socialise, vote, and live. New technologies have improved our lives and made firms more productive, overall raising living standards across the world. Thanks to progress in information technology, the rate of change is accelerating. Disruption and disequilibrium are the new normal. In this essay, prepared as a chapter for the first phase of the British Academy ‘The Future of the Corporation’ initiative, we reflect upon the role that corporate, competition and tax law can play both to facilitate innovation and simultaneously assuage emergent societal risks arising from new technologies. We consider means of enhancing investment in research and development (‘R&D’) and optimising corporate organisation. But we also reflect on the risks associated with innovation, such as the use of technology to exploit consumers, manipulate markets or distort, unwittingly or not, the political process. Finally, we consider the way in which the environment for business law reform is subject to new political risks following the challenge to the liberal order from populism and the rising power of dominant technology companies.
  • L Enriques, 'Related Party Transactions' in JN Gordon and G Ringe (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Law and Governance (Oxford University Press 2018)
    DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198743682.013.27
  • J Armour and L Enriques, 'The Promise and Perils of Crowdfunding: Between Corporate Finance and Consumer Contracts' (2018) The Modern Law Review 51
    DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.12316
    ‘Crowdfunding’ is a burgeoning phenomenon. Its still-evolving status is reflected in diversity of contracting practices: for example, ‘equity’ crowdfunders invest in shares, whereas ‘reward’ crowdfunders get advance units of product. These practices occupy a hinterland between existing regimes of securities law and consumer contract law. Consumer protection law in the UK (but not the US) imposes mandatory terms that impede risk-sharing in reward crowdfunding, whereas US (but not UK) securities law mandates expensive disclosures that hinder equity crowdfunding. This article suggests that while crowdfunding poses real risks for funders, the classical regulatory techniques of securities and consumer law provide an ineffective response. Yet, a review of rapidly-developing market mechanisms suggests they may provide meaningful protection for funders. An initially permissive regulatory approach, open to learning from market developments yet with a credible threat of intervention should markets fail to protect consumers, is justified.
    ISBN: 1468-2230
  • L Enriques, 'A Harmonised European Company Law: Are We There Already?' (2017) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 763
    To what extent is EU company law harmonized? This article first makes the point that little progress has been made in the direction of company law uniformity within the EU. It then argues that, even leaving aside the question of whether it would be desirable to have a uniform EU company law, that outcome is simply impossible to achieve, due to interest group resistance and the variety in national meta-rules. Yet it concludes that, in a narrow meaning, European company laws have indeed been harmonized: European Member States company laws fit together, which may well be what harmonization, not only etymologically, is all about.
    ISBN: 0020-5893
  • L Enriques, 'Empty Threats – Why the UK Has Currently No Chance to Become a Tax or Regulatory Haven' in J Armour and H Eidenmueller (eds), Negotiating Brexit (Beck 2017)
  • L Enriques, 'Società per azioni' (2017) X Giuffrè Editore Enciclopedia del diritto. Annali. 958
  • R Kraakman, J Armour, P Davies and L Enriques and others, The Anatomy of Corporate Law (3rd edn Oxford University Press 2017)
    ISBN: 9780198724315
  • L Enriques and M Gargantini, 'The Expanding Boundaries of MiFID’s Duty to Act in the Client’s Best Interest: The Italian Case' (2017) The Italian Law Journal 485
    MiFID requires investment firms to act in accordance with the best interests of their clients. This overarching principle shapes firms’ professional conduct in at least two ways. First, it sets a general standard firms have to comply with when dealing with their clients, and its breach may lead to civil remedies for clients or administrative sanctions for investment firms. Second, the duty is the backbone of the detailed conduct of business rules within the body of MiFID II and its implementing measures, playing a role in their interpretation. In this paper, we analyse the duty to act in the clients’ best interest within the MiFID II framework, and illustrate its practical relevance by looking at its role in Italian financial markets law. More specifically, after recalling how the duty came to be an essential part of the ISD/MiFID framework, we map how the duty is spelt out, at various junctures, in the Directive and highlight its functions. Next, we look into how the duty operates with reference to different investment services and activities covered by MiFID II, claiming that the duty is quite difficult to reconcile with services characterized by at-arms’-length relationships between the investment firm and the client. Then, we focus on the use of the duty in the law in action of one member state, Italy, where retail investors have suffered from egregious cases of mis-selling of bonds issued by the banks acting as their investment services providers. We conclude that the MiFID II regime falls short of clarifying with sufficient precision the implications of the best interest duty and, at least in the civil law jurisdiction we focus on (Italy), significantly expands the scope for judicial review of purely arms-length firms-clients relationships.
    ISBN: 2421-2156
  • L Enriques and M Gargantini, 'Form and Function in Doing Business Ratings: Is Investor Protection in Italy Still So Bad?' (2016) University of Bologna Law Review 1
    DOI: 10.6092/issn.2531-6133/5583
    The World Bank’s Doing Business Report (DBR) ranks every year numerous jurisdictions across the globe according to their ability to facilitate business activities. Among the indexes contributing to the definition of the global competitiveness of the legislations, the “Protecting investors index” (PII) measures the protection of minority shareholders in listed companies. In this paper, we analyse the DBR’s assessment of the Italian regulatory framework on investor protection. We find that the PII falls short of properly evaluating the applicable rules. First, it underrates Italy because the DBR evaluation falls short of properly evaluating the role performed by independent directors under Italian rules on related party transactions. In particular, the DBR fails to properly account for independent directors’ power to veto unfair transactions before they are submitted to the board, a safeguard that ensures minority investors’ protection at least as well as mandatory abstention by conflicted directors. Second, past DBR overrated the PII, so that subsequent reforms that substantially improved investor protection have not been grasped by more recent assessments, giving the misleading impression that no relevant changes have occurred. Far from representing one of the multiple coding errors reported in the literature, these flaws aptly show that the DBR methodology, while correctly attempting to preserve consistency in the evaluation of different jurisdictions, adopts an excessively formalistic approach and disregards the function of the rules it scrutinizes. In light of the influence that the DBR exerts on national policymakers, this approach is detrimental because it might induce window-dressing reforms. Moreover, it may rule out experimentation, which is key to ensuring that the applicable rules keep pace with the variety of techniques adopted to expropriate minority shareholders.
    ISBN: 2531-6133
  • M Belcredi and L Enriques, 'Institutional Investor Activism in a Context of Concentrated Ownership and High Private Benefits of Control: The Case of Italy' in JG Hill and RS Thomas (eds), Research Handbook on Shareholder Power (Edgar Elgar 2015)
    This chapter describes the experience with activist institutional investors in an apparently unfavorable corporate environment (Italy), commonly depicted as one of concentrated ownership, notoriously inadequate legal protection for minority shareholders and an apparent disregard for their interests by controlling shareholders. We document a non-negligible volume of “core” active institutional investment, together with some idiosyncratic forms of activism (the appointment of “minority” directors on the boards of Italian listed companies). We attempt to evaluate whether what we see is genuine shareholder-value oriented activism or a strategy to engage in a privileged relationship with controlling shareholders, in order to share in private benefits of control extraction. We find no sufficient evidence to support a “dark side” view of shareholder activism, at least as a general explanation. Instead, we provide recent anecdotal evidence of initiatives effectively aimed to curb the extraction of private benefits by dominant shareholders.
    ISBN: 978 1 78254 684 9
  • L Enriques and D Zetzsche, 'Quack Corporate Governance, Round III? Bank Board Regulation Under the New European Capital Requirement Directive ' (2015) Theoretical Inquiries in Law 211
    After a crisis, broad and sweeping reforms are enacted to restore trust. Following the 2007-2008 Great Financial Crisis, the European Union has engaged in an ambitious overhaul of banking regulation. One of its centrepieces, the 2013 Fourth Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV), tackles, amongst other things, the perceived pre-crisis failings in the governance of banks. We focus on the provisions that are aimed at reshaping bank boards’ composition, functioning, and their members’ liabilities, and argue that they are unlikely to improve bank boards’ effectiveness or prevent excessive risk-taking. We criticize some of them for mandating solutions, like board diversity and the separation of chairman and CEO, that may be good for some banks but are bad for others, in the absence of any convincing argument that their overall effect is positive. We also criticize enhanced board liability by showing that it may increase the risk of herd behaviour and lead to more serious harm in the event of managerial mistakes. We also highlight that the push towards unfriendly boards may negatively affect board dynamics and make boards as dysfunctional as when the CEO dominates them. We further argue that limits on directorships and diversity requirements will worsen the shortage of bank directors, while requirements for induction and training and board evaluation exercises will more likely lead to tick-the-box exercises than under the current situation in which they are just best practices. We conclude that European policymakers and supervisors should avoid using a heavy hand, respectively, when issuing rules implementing CRD IV provisions with regard to bank boards and when enforcing them.
    ISBN: 1565-3404
  • L Enriques, 'Related Party Transactions: Policy Options and Real-World Challenges (with a Critique of the European Commission Proposal) ' (2015) 16 European Business Organization Law Review 1
    This paper provides a legal and policy analysis of transactions between a corporation and one of its ‘related parties’. It first highlights the reasons why related party transactions (RPTs) are so common around the world. Next, it better identifies the phenomenon as a specific form of potentially abusive behaviour by dominant shareholders and managers, i.e., as an instrument for tunneling, asking why many jurisdictions provide for specific regulations on RPTs in addition to general rules or standards on tunneling. Then, it describes the main legal tools available to prevent corporate agents from diverting value from the corporation via RPTs. Further, it provides a (partially) critical assessment of the measures put forth by the European Commission to harmonise rules on RPTs within the EU, based on the previous analysis of individual legal tools. Finally, it shows that no regulation of RPTs (or tunneling) can succeed in preventing minority shareholder expropriation in the absence of sophisticated enforcement actors (specialised courts and/or active and committed securities regulators) and non-legal supporting institutions, like independent financial media and anti-tunneling social norms.
    ISBN: 1566-7529

Blog posts by Luca Enriques

22 May 2019

Introducing the Centros@20 Series

By Horst Eidenmüller, St Hugh's College | Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
06 Feb 2019

Putting Technology to Good Use for Society: The role of corporate, competition and tax law

By John Armour, Faculty of Law | Ariel Ezrachi, Pembroke College | Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law | John Vella, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
22 Oct 2018

Enforcing Rules on Related Party Transactions in Italy: One Securities Regulator’s Challenge

By Marcello Bianchi | Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law | Mateja Milič

Oxford Business Law Blog
07 May 2018

Institutional Investor Voting Behavior: A Network Theory Perspective

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law | Alessandro Romano

Oxford Business Law Blog
26 Jan 2018

What should qualify as a 'SME Growth Market'?

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
10 Nov 2017

Investor Choice in Global Securities Markets

By John Armour, Faculty of Law | Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law | Martin Bengtzen, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
16 Oct 2017

The Promise and Perils of Crowdfunding: Between Corporate Finance and Consumer Contracts

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law | John Armour, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
09 Oct 2017

Financial Supervisors and RegTech: Four Roles and Four Challenges

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
11 Sep 2017

A Harmonized European Company Law: Are We There Already?

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
03 Jul 2017

The HR Challenge of FinTech for Financial Regulators

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
26 Jun 2017

Brexit Negotiations Series: ‘Empty Threats – Why the UK Has Currently No Chance to Become a Tax or Regulatory Haven’

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
05 May 2017

2016-2017 Oxford Business Law Blog Round-Up: Most Read Opinion Pieces

By John Armour, Faculty of Law | Horst Eidenmüller, St Hugh's College | Pavlos Eleftheriadis, Mansfield College | Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law | Ariel Ezrachi, Pembroke College | Cheng Lim | Bruno Meyerhof Salama | Calum Sargeant | TJ Saw | Maurice Stucke, Institute of European and Comparative Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
17 Feb 2017

The Anatomy of Corporate Law: The New Edition

By John Armour, Faculty of Law | Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law | Mariana Pargendler | Wolf-Georg Ringe, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
14 Feb 2017

Financing Innovation

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Research Collection: Law and Technology
06 Dec 2016

The Role of Italian Companies’ Boards in the Age of Disruptive Innovation

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
25 Jul 2016

Legal Aspects of Withdrawal from the EU: A Briefing Note

By Pavlos Eleftheriadis, Mansfield College | Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
07 Jul 2016

Why the UK Has Currently Little Chance to Become a Successful Tax or Regulatory Haven

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
07 Jul 2016

Why the UK Has Currently Little Chance to Become a Successful Tax or Regulatory Haven

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Research Collection: BREXIT
08 Jun 2016

The 'Argumentum a Crise': So Powerful, So Prone to Misuse

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law | Martin Bengtzen, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog
10 May 2016

EU Prospectus Regulation: Some Out-of-the-Box Thinking

By Luca Enriques, Faculty of Law

Oxford Business Law Blog

Research projects