Invite to Jacqui Yeats inaugural, with UCT logo and a gavel

The University of Cape Town
invites you to an Inaugural Lecture
by Professor Jacqueline Yeats

In-person attendance is fully subscribed, but please do join us online on MS Teams at the link below.

Topic: Value(s), Vices and Voice – how the evolution of modern company law reflects shifting societal values in a changing world.

The commercial, social and environmental landscape within which companies operate has changed dramatically since the turn of the century. The South African company law and corporate governance framework underwent significant changes during this period which ensured that the law remained current and was aligned with international developments. However, in recent years companies across the globe have been confronted with a host of new and complex issues. These include ESG investing, sustainability concerns, corporate social responsibility, focused stakeholder and shareholder activism, increased calls for corporate accountability and transparency and campaigns aimed at the formal recognition of multiple stakeholder interests by directors. The catalyst for these developments has been a shift in societal values and priorities regarding the relationships between people, the planet and profit. This shift has altered and increased the expectations that society has of business and of companies. Company law reform has made some progress in addressing the new developments and challenges, but the process is ongoing and far from complete. This creates legal uncertainty, and it makes the position of company directors - who have a duty to act in the best interests of the company - particularly complex and challenging. In the lecture Prof Yeats will discuss these developments and the challenges this presents for companies. Prof Yeats will also consider the current legal context and propose ways to create more certainty in the present and more clarity in the future for directors, shareholders and stakeholders.

Date: Wednesday, 27 September 2023
Time: 17:30 SAST
Venue: Oliver Tambo Moot Court, Level 5 Kramer Law Building, UCT Middle Campus

This event is hybrid - but the in-person event is booked out. However, this inaugural can also be attended on MS TEAMS. Please note that registration is not required for online attendance - you can simply join at the link above. 

We look forward to having you with us at Professor Yeats' inaugural. For queries, please contact the Faculty of Law Marketing Office

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About our speaker

Jacqueline Yeats practised as a commercial attorney before joining UCT in 2015. Her research and teaching are primarily focused on company law and corporate governance, the interaction between the regulatory frameworks and their combined effect on companies, directors, shareholders and other stakeholders. Her PhD thesis focused on the appraisal right, a novel shareholder remedy introduced into South African company law by the Companies Act of 2008. Her research on this topic has been cited and relied upon in various High Court judgements. Yeats also has a long-standing interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning, particularly in the context of legal education at universities. She is currently involved in two collaborative UN research projects aimed at effective anti-corruption education and the design of a university curriculum to achieve this objective. She teaches advanced company law and corporate governance courses at postgraduate level on the UCT LLM programme and has supervised numerous Masters’ and PhD theses in this field. Yeats is a co-author and the managing editor of Commentary on the Companies Act of 2008, as well as a co-author of Contemporary Company Law, both leading reference works on South African company law. She was instrumental in founding the Corporate Law and Governance Unit (CLGU) within the Department of Commercial Law at UCT and is currently the Director of the CLGU. Yeats is a former recipient of a UCT Distinguished Teacher award. She is also a Fellow of the Teaching Advancement at Universities (TAU) national programme.