Professor Lorraine Talbot

Professor Lorraine Talbot

Birmingham Law School
Professor of Company Law in Context

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Talbot writes and teaches on company law and corporate governance from a law in context approach, with particular emphasis on the political economy of the company. She has written several books on company law and corporate governance as well as many scholarly articles. Her current project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, ‘Making the Company Fit for Social Purpose’, deals with the barriers to social progress presented by the global corporation and proposes reforms to promote companies with social purpose.  She is a coordinating lead author for the International Panel on Social Progress and co-leads the section on Companies, Finance and Markets. 


  • BA (hons)
  • LLM, PhD (Kent Law School)


Professor Talbot Joined Birmingham Law School in January 2018, having previously held a Chair at the University of York.  She was an Associate Professor at Warwick Law School for many years and before that she taught at London Guildhall University and Kent University. Professor Talbot co-convenes the company law stream of the Society of Legal Scholars, she is a coordinating lead author for the International Panel on Social Progress and a Research Fellow of the Future of the Corporation programme. Professor Talbot is a Steering Committee Member of the Daughters of Themis: International Network of Female Business Scholars.


Company Law

Postgraduate supervision

Find out more - our PhD Law  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


Professor Talbot researches in contextual and critical approaches to company law, corporate governance and business organisations; approaches which include issues around political economy, theory, power, gender and history. Her work is particularly concerned with the tension between labour and capital in the company and how the company might become a force for social progress. Her 2013 book Progressive Corporate Governance for the 21st Century (Routledge 2013 and 2014) shows how political choices shape the company and determine whether companies will operate in the interests of investment or in the interests of labour and the wider community. The book draws on historical, comparative, theoretical and legal sources. Her 2014 book, Great Debates in Company Law, in Palgrave’s Great Debates series draws out the vigorous political debates that reside within this subject. She is currently writing a third edition of Critical Company Law (Routledge 2007, 2015) and completing a monograph entitled Extracting Global Values and Corporate Capitalism: How we could make the Company Fit for Social Purpose. Professor Talbot’s work is concerned to make critical academic work both useful and assessable to students. With that goal in mind she will be publishing an edited collection entitled Critical Commercial and Corporate Law in 2019.


Recent publications


Talbot, L 2019, Great Debates in Commercial and Corporate Law (Edited by Andrew Johnston and Lorraine Talbot, 2019, 1st edition). Palgrave Macmillan.

Talbot, LE 2015, Critical Company Law. 2nd edn, Routledge.


Talbot, L 2020, 'Why corporations inhibit social progress: a brief review of corporations from chapter 6 ‘markets, finance and corporations. Does capitalism have a future?', Review of Social Economy, vol. 78, no. 2, pp. 128-138.

Johnston, A & Talbot, L 2018, 'Why is modern capitalism irresponsible and what would make it more responsible? A company law perspective', King's Law Journal, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 111-141.

Talbot, LE 2016, 'Trying to Change the World with Company Law? Some Problems', Legal Studies, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 513-534.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Deakin, S, Muniesa, F, Stern, S, Talbot, LE, Kaplinsky, R, O'Neill, MP, Ortiz, H, Sahlin, K & Schwittay, A 2018, Markets, finance and corporations: does capitalism have a future? in Rethinking Society for the 21st Century: Report of the International Panel on Social Progress. vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, pp. 225-254.


Talbot, L 2019, Corporate governance and the political economy of the company. in B Sjåfjell & CM Bruner (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Sustainability and Corporate Governance. Cambridge University Press, pp. 86-99.

Talbot, L 2019, ‘Shareholders and Directors: Entitlements, Duties and the Expansion of Shareholder Wealth’ in Great Debates in Commercial and Corporate Law (Edited by Andrew Johnston and Lorraine Talbot, Palgrave 2019, 1st edition). in Great Debates in Commercial and Corporate Law (Edited by Andrew Johnston and Lorraine Talbot, Palgrave 2019, 1st edition) . Palgrave Macmillan.

Talbot, LE 2018, Capitalism, companies, why they are unfit for social purpose and how they might be reformed. in C Villers & N Beoger (eds), Shaping the Corporate Landscape: Towards Corporate Reform and Enterprise Diversity. Hart Publishing.

Talbot, LE 2018, Reclaiming value and betterment for Bangladeshi women workers in global garment chains. in B Sjafell & I Lynch-Fannon (eds), Creating corporate sustainability: gender as an agent for change. Cambridge University Press, pp. 17-44.

Talbot, LE 2017, A Marxian Understanding of the nature and Form of Dominant Capitalist Legal Institutions. in T-H Jo, L Chester & C D'ipploiti (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Heterodox Economics: Theorizing, Analyzing, and Transforming Capitalism. Routledge International Handbooks, Routledge, pp. Chapter 16.

Other contribution

Talbot, L 2018, ‘Labour and John McDonnell are right to give workers a stake, says company law professor’. The Conversation .

Talbot, L 2016, 'Will the new national living wage hurt business?'. The Conversation .

Talbot, L 2016, ‘Five Business Reforms to make Brexit Britain a Fairer Society’. The Conversation .

Talbot, L 2016, ‘How Running Companies for Shareholders Drives Scandals like BHS’. The Conversation .

View all publications in research portal


  • Corporate governance and reform
  • Company Law and reform
  • Shareholder rights and shareholder centred governance
  • The impact of corporate activities: sustainability and labour 
  • Corporations and social progress, including gender issues
  • The political economy of companies

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