Kwa Geok Choo Distinguished Visitors Lecture: The Economics of Business Contracts

Professor Michael Klausner

NUS Law hosted the 13th Kwa Geok Choo Distinguished Visitors Lecture with Professor Michael Klausner who presented a lecture titled, "The Economics of Business Contracts" on 31 August 2017. The question and answer session that followed was chaired by Professor Hans Tjio, Co-Director, Centre for Banking & Finance Law.

In this lecture, Professor Klausner discussed how contract theory in economics can inform the design and interpretation of complex business contracts. Taking examples of actual business deals from areas such as joint ventures, real estate acquisitions, trademark licenses and others, Professor Klausner demonstrated the way an economic perspective can reveal how contractual mechanisms respond to underlying business challenges or, when used without sufficient skill, introduce problems into contractual relationships.

NUS Law established the Kwa Geok Choo Distinguished Visitors Programme as one of several initiatives to pay tribute to the late Madam Kwa Geok Choo, wife of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew (LL.D.’13 Honoris Causa). Under this programme, leading law academics are invited to teach a course at NUS and deliver public lectures on topical legal issues.

About the Speaker
Professor Michael Klausner is the Nancy and Charles Munger Professor of Business and Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. Professor Klausner is currently writing a book entitled Deals: The Economic Foundations of Business Transactions. He teaches a course by the same title, along with courses on corporate law, corporate governance, and regulation of financial institutions. Recent publications include Empirical Studies of Corporate Governance: Some Steps Forward and Some Not, in the Oxford Handbook of Corporate Law and Governance (2017), The ‘Corporate Contract’ Today, also in the Oxford Handbook of Corporate Law and Governance (2017), Fact and Fiction in Corporate Law and Governance, 65 Stan. L. Rev.1325 (2013), Liquidation Rights and Incentive Misalignment in Start-up Financing, 98 Cornell L. Rev. 1399 (2013) (with Stephen Venuto). Before beginning his academic career, Professor Klausner was in private law practice with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. He was also a law clerk for Judge David Bazelon on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice William Brennan on the United States Supreme Court. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A) and Yale University (J.D. and M.A. in Economics). He is a Kwa Geok Choo Distinguished Visitor at NUS Law in August 2017 where he teaches “Deals: The Economic Structure of Business Transaction”.

From left: Associate Professor David Tan, Vice Dean (Academic Affairs), Professor Michael Klausner and Professor Hans Tjio

Professor Klausner responds to questions from the audience

Associate Professor Stephen Phua

Associate Professor Dan Puchniak