Corporate Power and Responsibility

It was only upon receipt of the latest issue of the University of Bristol law alumni newsletter, that I realised the Guardian had given my late personal tutor, Professor John Parkinson, a respectful obituary on 9 April 2004.
It was written, in part, by another law professor, Keith Stanton, who taught us Torts (Civil law) in our first year. Reading the first half of the obituary, I could almost hear Prof Stanton’s voice, and recalled the way he would thoughtfully stare into space, with a perturbed look – slightly like Mr Bean. His account of John’s modesty and sense of humour is not surprising.
Lady Justice Arden, whom I do not know, also gave an account which I can completely believe to be true to his form. Quiet, and yes – again, an ‘attractive’ sense of humour.
Corporate Power and Responsibility John’s award-winning book, ‘Corporate Power and Responsibility’ was a necessary read for Company Law students in our university. However it wasn’t an all-in-one tome, chock full of popular cases to swot for in the final exams. Instead it looked at stakeholders of a company not just being shareholders, but employees as well as the wider public.
There is another obituary in the Journal of Corporate Law Studies, written by Professor Paul Davies of the London School of Economics, which can be found in the second half of this page, kindly posted by another well-liked tutor of ours, Stephen Jones.
John Parkinson was well-chosen as a member of the Company Law steering group in the UK. His ideas were in place before Enron, WorldCom and Martha Stewart happened. We can only hope that his efforts will soon be put to practice by the British Government.


  1. ci'en

    Your description of Stanton is spot on, he took me for Advanced Contract and Tort last year.
    The passing of John Parkinson is really sad. I only knew him when he lectured us for Contract Law and he was inarguably the best. Now tt I’m doing Company Law, I’ve been reading his text and it only acts as a sad reminder that he’s gone.

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