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Disregarding the Salomon Principle: An Empirical Analysis, 1855-2014

Oh, Peter B. and Dignam, Alan J. (2019) Disregarding the Salomon Principle: An Empirical Analysis, 1855-2014. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 39 (1). pp. 16-49. ISSN 0143-6503

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For over a century UK courts have struggled to negotiate a coherent approach to the circumstances in which the Salomon principle – that a corporation is a separate entity – will be disregarded. Empirical analysis can facilitate our understanding of this mercurial area of the law. Examining UK cases from 1885 to 2014, we created a final dataset of 213 cases coded for 15 different categories. Key findings confirm historical patterns of uncertainty and a low but overall fluctuating disregard rate, declining recently. Criminal/fraud/deception claims link strongly to disregard outcomes. Private law rates are low but tort claims have a higher disregard rate than contract. Individual shareholders are more susceptible to disregard than corporate shareholders. The English Court of Appeal plays a key role in successful disregard claims particularly in tort. In general, while disregard rates were very context specific, concerns about the diminished sanctity of the Salomon principle may be overblown.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Oh, Peter B.poh@pitt.edupoh
Dignam, Alan
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Bioethics and Health Law
Date: 2019
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
Volume: 39
Number: 1
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Page Range: pp. 16-49
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1093/ojls/gqy027
Schools and Programs: School of Law > Law > Faculty Publications
School of Law > Law
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: company law, corporate law, courts, empirical legal studies, veil piercing, veil lifting
ISSN: 0143-6503
Related URLs:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 12:56
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2021 20:49


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