Stanford Law School has announced the appointment of nationally known corporate law scholar Robert M. Daines as the school's inaugural Pritzker Professor of Law and Business. Professor Daines, whose work focuses on the empirical study of corporate practices and their implication for legal regulation, will also hold a courtesy appointment at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Daines is currently a professor of law at New York University; he will join the Stanford faculty in July 2004.
"In an era when corporate governance is being closely scrutinized by the public, it is more important than ever to have sound empirical knowledge of how corporations really operate and how corporate law can help them operate better," said Stanford Law Dean Kathleen M. Sullivan. "Daines has done path-breaking research that contributes enormously to this effort, and is an ideal choice to train the next generation of our students."
"It is great to have a scholar of Rob Daines's caliber associated with the Business School," said Stanford Business Dean Robert Joss. "He brings a unique law and business background of research and experience that will be of enormous benefit to our faculty and students."
Professor Daines's work analyzes data on corporate management and boards of directors. For example, he has used econometric methods to measure the impact on the value of a firm's shares of incorporating in Delaware, the leading state in the market for corporate charters. He concluded that firms that incorporated in Delaware do have higher market valuations than companies incorporated elsewhere, and that Delaware's takeover law, which empowers shareholders and constrains management, was a significant cause of that higher valuation.
Working with Stanford law professor Michael Klausner, who is the Nancy and Charles Munger Professor of Business, Daines has also demonstrated that a significant percentage of firms making initial public offerings include in their charters substantial anti-takeover defenses. This work disproved the previous view among corporate law scholars that investors buying stock in initial public offerings will choose the corporate charter that maximizes firm value.
Daines's recent work focuses on various approaches to corporate governance, such as the use of classified boards of directors, which stagger the elections of classes of directors so that they cannot all be removed at one time in a hostile bid. His rigorous statistical analysis of empirical data has made his work a focal point for discussions among leading corporate law scholars and practitioners about the relationship between economic theory and the way that corporate institutions work in practice.
"I'm thrilled to join Stanford," said Robert Daines. "It's is a wonderful place -- preeminent law and business schools, a distinguished university, and great place to raise a family. I'm honored to be the first Pritzker Professor and looking forward to 30 years of law and business at Stanford."
"The selection of Robert Daines as the inaugural Pritzker Professor is an excellent one," said Penny S. Pritzker, a 1984 graduate of Stanford's JD/MBA program, and the driving force behind the Pritzker Foundation's establishment of the chair. "As a young scholar and teacher, he is tackling pivotal issues of corporate governance, and examining--and sometimes debunking--long-held assumptions about the way corporations conduct business. I am thrilled that, through the Pritzker Professorship, law and business students will have the opportunity to study with Rob, enhancing and broadening the education they will receive at Stanford."
Pritzker, who is partner in The Pritzker Organization and founder and chair of Classic Residences by Hyatt, said she has found her own joint law and business training at Stanford invaluable to her success as a corporate executive and director. She encouraged the Pritzker Foundation to establish the chair in an effort to bring the study of law and business together. "Stanford students launching their professional careers today will find the worlds of law and business are increasingly intertwined," said Pritzker. "Exposing these students to the work of professors of the caliber of Rob Daines will be critical to the training of this next generation of leaders."
Following graduation from Brigham Young University, where he earned bachelor's degrees in economics and American studies in 1989, and Yale University, where he was awarded his law degree in 1992, Daines was a law clerk to Hon. Ralph K. Winter on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He then worked for four years as a finance associate at the investment banking firm of Goldman Sachs & Co. before joining the NYU law faculty in 1997.