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Styrelsens lojalitetsplikt - En studie i gränslandet mellan aktiebolagsrätt och kapitalmarknadsrätt

Kuusk Jonsson, Henrik LU (2012) JURM02 20121
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Det övergripande temat för denna uppsats är inriktat mot att reda ut den komplicerade, och i doktrin väl diskuterade, lojalitetsplikten för styrelsen i ett aktiebolag. Lojalitetsplikten är inte uttryckligen lagstadgad i Aktiebolagslagen (2005:551) (ABL), dess existens erkänns dock av en majoritet i doktrin. Diskussionen i doktrin hänvisar både till regler och allmänna rättsprinciper för att bekräfta lojalitetspliktens existens, således uppstår tillämpningsproblematik i samband med konkretiseringen av lojalitetsplikten för en styrelse. Problem såsom mot vem lojalitetsplikten riktas, till vilket eller vilka intressen den knyts samt vilken typ av konsekvenser överträdelser av lojalitetsplikten medför för styrelsen. För att klargöra detta är... (More)
Det övergripande temat för denna uppsats är inriktat mot att reda ut den komplicerade, och i doktrin väl diskuterade, lojalitetsplikten för styrelsen i ett aktiebolag. Lojalitetsplikten är inte uttryckligen lagstadgad i Aktiebolagslagen (2005:551) (ABL), dess existens erkänns dock av en majoritet i doktrin. Diskussionen i doktrin hänvisar både till regler och allmänna rättsprinciper för att bekräfta lojalitetspliktens existens, således uppstår tillämpningsproblematik i samband med konkretiseringen av lojalitetsplikten för en styrelse. Problem såsom mot vem lojalitetsplikten riktas, till vilket eller vilka intressen den knyts samt vilken typ av konsekvenser överträdelser av lojalitetsplikten medför för styrelsen. För att klargöra detta är det av vikt att utreda styrelsens relation till bolaget och indirekt till dess aktieägare, liksom de olika rättsområden som på-verkar styrelsens arbete vid ett offentligt uppköpserbjudande.

Tyngdpunkten för uppsatsen är lagd vid att jämföra och hitta gemensamma anknytningspunkter för lojalitetsplikten i den svenska aktiebolagslagen och i kapitalmarknadsrätten. När det gäller styrelsens arbete i en budsituation är uppsatsen avgränsad till att diskutera styrelsen i målbolaget för transaktionen. Begränsningen syftar till att visa hur styrelsens arbete kan påverkas av dess lojalitetsplikt. Den visar också vilka takeover-regler som är av intresse för styrelsen att beakta i sitt arbete för att inte hållas ansvarig för sina handlingar.

När det gäller möjligheten att styrelsen kan hållas ansvarig i fall när lojalitetsplikten inte uppfylls mot det representerade bolaget, utgör 29 kap 1§ ABL grund för ansvarsdiskussionen. Ansvaret som belyses i uppsatsen är avgränsat till att beröra styrelsens ansvar i förhållande till det representerade bolaget, av den an-ledningen att lojalitetsplikten är knuten till bolaget och inte till aktieägarna.

Uppsatsen bekräftar det faktum att lojalitetsplikten i aktiebolagslagen är en tvetydig plikt. Dels i perspektivet av att vara en uppförandekod för styrelsen och dels som ett instrument för aktiebolag att hålla styrelsen ansvarig för potentiellt illojala beslutsfattanden. Uppsatsen tydliggör även att det finns en diskrepans mellan den aktiebolagsrättsliga och kapitalmarknadsrättsliga lagstiftningen, gällande en styrelses arbete i en budsituation. Uttryckliga regler rörande lojalitetsplikten och dess bedömningsgrunder är önskvärda, liksom att skapa överensstämmelse mellan de två berörda rättsområdena vilka är parallellt tillämpliga i en budsituation. (Less)
Abstract
The general theme of this thesis is directed towards unravelling the complicated, and in doctrine well discussed, duty of loyalty for the board of directors in a corporate company. The duty of loyalty is not explicitly legislated in the Swedish Company Act, however the majority in Swedish doctrine recognizes its exist-ence. The discussion in doctrine refers to rules as well as general principles of law in order to confirm the existence of the duty of loyalty. Due to this, the concretization of this duty raises questions and concerns regarding certain corporate legal problems such as to whom the duty is directed, whose interest the board of directors should act on and what kind of consequences violations against the duty of loyalty brings.... (More)
The general theme of this thesis is directed towards unravelling the complicated, and in doctrine well discussed, duty of loyalty for the board of directors in a corporate company. The duty of loyalty is not explicitly legislated in the Swedish Company Act, however the majority in Swedish doctrine recognizes its exist-ence. The discussion in doctrine refers to rules as well as general principles of law in order to confirm the existence of the duty of loyalty. Due to this, the concretization of this duty raises questions and concerns regarding certain corporate legal problems such as to whom the duty is directed, whose interest the board of directors should act on and what kind of consequences violations against the duty of loyalty brings. To clarify these questions, the board of directors relation to the company, and indirect to its shareholders, is of interest as well as the different legislations affecting the work of the board of directors in a takeover situation.

The main focus of this thesis is set to compare and find mutual points of connection for the duty of loyalty, both in the Swedish Company Act and other legisla-tions applicable in a takeover situation. Regarding the board of directors’ work in a takeover situation, the thesis is limited to discuss the board of directors of the target company in a takeover situation. This limitation aims to show how the board of directors’ work can be affected by their the duty of loyalty. It also demonstrates which takeover-rules that are of interest for the board of directors to consider in their work in order to not be held liable for their actions.

Chapter 29 Section 1 in the Swedish Company Act establishes the basis of argumentation regarding the possibility that the board of directors may be held liable in a situation where it has not fulfilled its duty of loyalty. The liability discussed in this thesis is limited to the board of directors’ responsibility in relation to the represented company, this due to the fact that the duty of loyalty is connected to the company, not to its shareholders.

This thesis verifies the fact that the duty of loyalty in the Swedish Company Law is an ambiguous duty. Partly in the perspective of being a code of conduct for the board of directors, and partly as an instrument for a company to hold the board of directors liable for its disloyal actions. This thesis also reveals that there is a discrepancy between the Swedish Company Act and legislations applicable in a takeover situation. Explicit rules regarding the duty of loyalty and of the rules that influences the duty is desirable, as well as creating conformity regarding the two concerned legal areas relevant in a takeover situation. (Less)
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author
Kuusk Jonsson, Henrik LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The board of directors' duty of loyalty - A study in the borderline of corporate law and capital markets law
course
JURM02 20121
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Associationsrätt, kapitalmarknadsrätt, lojalitetsplikt, styrelse, bolagets intresse, aktieägarnas intresse, verksamhetssyfte, Takeover, takeover-reglerna, svensk kod för bolagsstyrning, offentliga uppköpserbjudanden
language
Swedish
id
2966239
date added to LUP
2012-11-01 11:02:11
date last changed
2012-11-01 11:02:11
@misc{2966239,
  abstract     = {The general theme of this thesis is directed towards unravelling the complicated, and in doctrine well discussed, duty of loyalty for the board of directors in a corporate company. The duty of loyalty is not explicitly legislated in the Swedish Company Act, however the majority in Swedish doctrine recognizes its exist-ence. The discussion in doctrine refers to rules as well as general principles of law in order to confirm the existence of the duty of loyalty. Due to this, the concretization of this duty raises questions and concerns regarding certain corporate legal problems such as to whom the duty is directed, whose interest the board of directors should act on and what kind of consequences violations against the duty of loyalty brings. To clarify these questions, the board of directors relation to the company, and indirect to its shareholders, is of interest as well as the different legislations affecting the work of the board of directors in a takeover situation.

The main focus of this thesis is set to compare and find mutual points of connection for the duty of loyalty, both in the Swedish Company Act and other legisla-tions applicable in a takeover situation. Regarding the board of directors’ work in a takeover situation, the thesis is limited to discuss the board of directors of the target company in a takeover situation. This limitation aims to show how the board of directors’ work can be affected by their the duty of loyalty. It also demonstrates which takeover-rules that are of interest for the board of directors to consider in their work in order to not be held liable for their actions. 

Chapter 29 Section 1 in the Swedish Company Act establishes the basis of argumentation regarding the possibility that the board of directors may be held liable in a situation where it has not fulfilled its duty of loyalty. The liability discussed in this thesis is limited to the board of directors’ responsibility in relation to the represented company, this due to the fact that the duty of loyalty is connected to the company, not to its shareholders.

This thesis verifies the fact that the duty of loyalty in the Swedish Company Law is an ambiguous duty. Partly in the perspective of being a code of conduct for the board of directors, and partly as an instrument for a company to hold the board of directors liable for its disloyal actions. This thesis also reveals that there is a discrepancy between the Swedish Company Act and legislations applicable in a takeover situation. Explicit rules regarding the duty of loyalty and of the rules that influences the duty is desirable, as well as creating conformity regarding the two concerned legal areas relevant in a takeover situation.},
  author       = {Kuusk Jonsson, Henrik},
  keyword      = {Associationsrätt,kapitalmarknadsrätt,lojalitetsplikt,styrelse,bolagets intresse,aktieägarnas intresse,verksamhetssyfte,Takeover,takeover-reglerna,svensk kod för bolagsstyrning,offentliga uppköpserbjudanden},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Styrelsens lojalitetsplikt - En studie i gränslandet mellan aktiebolagsrätt och kapitalmarknadsrätt},
  year         = {2012},
}