External doctoral candidate at the Junior Professorship for International Administrative Law and Public International Law
(Faculty of Economics, Law and Social Sciences)
PhD Project: Shareholder Primacy and Stakeholder Conflicts in Corporations
My proposed research highlights a significant obstacle in the realisation of sustainable development goals at its most important site of application: the corporation. In my research, I focus on corporations as a site where the narratives of sustainable development are both asserted and resisted. I examine the difficulty in achieving the tenets of corporate social responsibility in the corporation, by asking if corporations thwart their social responsibility by design. An important feature of this design is shareholder primacy. My work engages with debates on the nature and purpose of corporate entity in the domain of Law and Political Economy, to examine how shareholder primacy in the corporation remains a dominant feature of corporate design. I attempt to answer this question with two premises. First, by examining the legal doctrine, which allows shareholder rights to be prioritised over other stakeholders. Second, by examining the states’ political attitudes towards economic development that reinforce shareholder primacy. These two premises are connected. Corporate design espoused by legal doctrine influences and is itself influenced by trajectories of economic development of the country.
This research is vital for us to re-assess the law and policy on corporations as legal fictions. If, in its interaction with political economy, legal doctrine resists sustainable development goals, then the law ought to address this explicitly, depending on the ways in which such resistance is realised.
This research is comparative between Germany and India.
Areas of Interest & Expertise
Comparative Commercial Law
Law and Political Economy
Neeraj studied law at Christ College, Bangalore and holds an LL.M. (Master of Laws) with specialisation in Corporate and Financial Laws from the National University of Singapore. Between 2013 – 15, Neeraj practiced law before the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court where he argued appeals and writ petitions relating to award of government contracts, conduct of public utility enterprises, and shareholder disputes. He has also acted as a transactional lawyer and advised on issues of foreign investment, corporate governance, and commercial contracts.
Neeraj is interested in how the social context affects rules of private law that govern contracts and corporations. In his work on contracts, he explores the variance in principles that legally validate an agreement across borders. His ongoing projects also include an enquiry into the changing nature and role of ‘modern’ companies, where he explores their embeddedness in the society. In his research, he attempts to capture the factors both internal and external to the firm that reconcile the conflicts between multiple corporate stakeholders.
These inclinations also draw him into Law and Development, which includes comparatively studying interaction between markets, development, and legal institutions.
Before joining Azim Premji University in 2017, Neeraj taught courses on company law and commercial arbitration at Christ University, Bangalore, and Tamil Nadu National Law University, Trichy.
Grover, N. (2014). Dilemma of the proper law of the arbitration agreement. Singapore Law Review, 31, 227 – 256.
Grover, N., & Motwani K.T. (2014). The failed merger of stock exchanges. “International Journal of Law and Policy Review”, 3(1), 34 – 47.
Grover, N., & Thiruvengadam A. (2022). Teaching Law and Development in India: Reflections, Insights, and Challenges. Verfassung und Recht in Übersee| World Comparative Law, 2, 164-186.
Newspaper and Blogs
Grover, N. (2020, September 15). A brief response to Robi Rado’s A Tale of India, Diaspora, abd Development. Law and other Things. https://bit.ly/3kjuewM