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Institute for Global Law, Economics and Finance

SPACs at the crossroads: confronting Law and Economics

When: Monday, September 14, 2020, 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Where: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DR, UK,

The conference is organised by Dr Daniele D'Alvia, an IGLEF Associate. Dr D'Alvia is a pioneer in SPAC studies, and he is currently leading a research project on SPACs as an Associate Research Fellow at the IALS. The conference is sponsored by the US law firm Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP.


The listing of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies’ (SPACs) — “special purpose” cash-shell companies that are listed on stock exchanges for a limited period until their time-limited specific purpose has been fulfilled —has surged to a new high in the last year. Nowadays, SPACs are listed in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. SPACs are preparing the foundations for the implementation of a new legal order and a new governance of financial markets, where soft law and self-regulation supersede the old paradigm of the Westphalian State in financial regulation.

Nonetheless, SPACs are still characterised by economic issues such as information asymmetry, agency costs and moral hazard. Furthermore, there are issues of concern regarding the need for new corporate governance mechanisms as well as “sweeteners” to solve the issue of minority shareholders at the time of the business combination in SPACs. Considering the importance of SPACs and the growing role that they are playing in the functioning of the financial markets, the existing literature on SPACs is relatively underdeveloped, and this conference aims to advance the research agenda in this underexplored area of law, to plug the extant gap in the literature, and to assist practitioners in this field.

Submission of Abstracts / Chapters

If you are interested in presenting at the conference and contributing a chapter, please submit an abstract of not more than to 700 words to Dr Daniele D’Alvia ( on or before 17 April 2020. The selected papers will be published in an edited collection currently under discussion with Edward Elgar. The submission deadline for the final draft of the papers is 30 December 2020.

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