“Varieties of Independent Directors in Asia: Diversity Revealed” with Professor Daniel Puchniak of National University of Singapore Faculty of Law

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 12:15am - 1:15pm
Room V
Contact info (email or phone): 

Aican Nguyen aican@uchicago.edu

At first blush, the rise of the independent director in Asia appears to be a straightforward example of a significant legal transplant from the United States to Asia. A few decades ago, independent directors, which are an American legal invention, were virtually non-existent in Asia.  Today, they are ubiquitous throughout Asia. 

The meteoric rise of the ‘independent director’ in Asia is considerably more complex than it appears. Although the label ‘independent director’ has been transplanted precipitously from the US (in some cases via the UK) throughout Asia, who is labelled an ‘independent director’ (i.e., the ‘form’ that independent directors take) and what independent directors do (i.e., the function they perform) in Asia differ significantly from the American concept of the independent director.  To add to the complexity, the form and function of ‘independent directors’ varies within Asia from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  As such, in reality, there are varieties of independent directors in Asia—none of which conform to the American concept of the independent director. This challenges the widely-held assumption that ‘independent directors’ are universally similar and follow the American concept of the independent director. 

The practical and theoretical implications of this finding will be explored in this seminar. This seminar is based on a co-authored chapter by Dan W. Puchniak (National University of Singapore) and Kon Sik Kim (Seoul National University), which will be part of a forthcoming edited volume on “Independent Directors in Asia” published by Cambridge University Press later this year. 

Dr. Dan W. Puchniak is the Director of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS), the Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law (AsJCL) and an Associate Professor at NUS Law. Dan has received numerous domestic and international awards for his academic research and teaching.

In 2016, Dan was a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo where he taught an intensive course on comparative corporate law with leading corporate law professors from around the world. In 2015, Dan was a Visiting Fellow in the Commercial Law Centre at Harris Manchester College (Oxford University), Visiting Professor and Global Challenge Visiting Scholar at Seoul National University School of Law, Visiting Associate Professor at Vanderbilt Law School and Visiting Scholar of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating may be limited. Lunch will  be provided.