School of Law

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Joan Loughrey's Publications


  • Directors' Duties and Shareholder Litigation in the Wake of the Financial Crisis, ed. by Loughrey J, Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series (Edward Elgar, 2012)

    The financial crisis revealed failings at board level at many financial institutions. But despite calls for bank boards to be held to account, there has been a remarkable paucity of litigation against bank directors for breach of their duties to their institutions. This book assesses whether the law relating to directors’ duties and shareholder litigation has contributed to this, taking into account the changes to both that were introduced by the Companies Act 2006.

  • Loughrey J, Corporate Lawyers and Corporate Governance (Cambridge Univ Pr, 2011)

Journal articles

  • Keay AR, Loughrey J, ‘The Concept of Business Judgment’, Legal Studies 2018 (Accepted)
    Repository URL:

  • Aulakh S, Loughrey J, ‘Regulating Law Firms from the Inside: The Role of Compliance Officers for Legal Practice in England and Wales’, Journal of Law and Society 2017
    DOI: 10.1111/jols.12072, Repository URL:

    Following the Legal Services Act 2007, which permitted the delivery of legal services through Alternative Business Structures (ABS), the Solicitors Regulation Authority required all regulated legal service firms to appoint Compliance Officers for Legal Practice (COLPs). COLPs are charged with taking reasonable steps to ensure that firms comply with their obligations, which entails interpreting what outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) requires of the firm. Yet despite their importance, little is known about how compliance roles operate within legal service firms. We addressed this gap through a series of qualitative interviews that explored COLPs’ views of their roles, their attitudes to regulation, in particular to OFR, and to achieving compliance. We found that COLPs are a key regulatory mechanism in the context of firm-based regulation and OFR and have a critical role to play in protecting and promoting professional values in both ABS and non-ABS entities.

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Smoke and mirrors? Disqualification, accountability and market trust’, Law and Financial Markets Review, 9.1 (2015), 50-62
    DOI: 10.1080/17521440.2015.1032075, Repository URL:

    The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act introduces reforms to the regime for disqualifying company directors in England and Wales, aimed at restoring market trust in the financial services market and in business generally, by increasing the accountability of company directors. This article examines whether disqualification is an appropriate tool to achieve these goals. It considers the different forms of trust and trustworthiness that regulation can promote, and how. It argues that disqualification is a poor means of promoting intrinsic commitments to trustworthiness which would provide the greatest protection to market participants, and may have limited impact in encouraging trustworthiness for extrinsic reasons. Importantly it is a poor tool for addressing the loss of trust in the financial services market and the present focus on disqualification deflects attention from more pressing questions, namely how best to promote accountability of directors both in financial institutions and in dispersed share-ownership companies generally.

  • Keay AR, Loughrey J, ‘The framework for board accountability in corporate governance’, Legal Studies, 35.2 (2015), 252-279
    DOI: 10.1111/lest.12058, Repository URL:

    In the wake of the financial crisis, there has been much discussion about whether boards (particularly of banks) are sufficiently accountable. However, while a significant literature has grown up in relation to the study of accountability in various disciplines, particularly public administration and politics, in the field of corporate governance there has been little consideration of what accountability means or entails. This is problematic: without a clearer idea of the elusive concept of accountability, debates about board accountability may be at cross-purposes. It will be difficult to assess whether particular corporate governance mechanisms promote board accountability, and if not, why not. The lack of clarity can also mask accountability deficits. This paper addresses this gap, setting out why accountability is important and offering an account of what accountability means in the corporate governance context, focusing on board accountability, in order to provide a framework for future research.

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Accountability and the Regulation of the Large Law Firm Lawyer’, Modern Law Review, 77.5 (2014), 732-762

    The regulation of solicitors in England and Wales has undergone great change in the wake of the Legal Services Act 2007. This article considers these regulatory developments through the lens of accountability, focussing on the regulation of transactional lawyers and the large commercial firms. It examines to what extent the Solicitors Regulation Authority's regulatory framework promotes accountability, examining entity regulation, outcomes-focussed and principles-based regulation, reporting and disclosure obligations, the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice and the sanctions system. It argues that although transactional lawyers cannot claim the benefit of the ethical principle of non-accountability, as far as they and their firms are concerned, the regulatory framework is both unnecessary and insufficient. It duplicates the function of accountability to the client and fails to hold transactional lawyers to account for significant regulatory risks that they present, such as the practice of creative compliance.

  • Loughrey JM, ‘An unsatisfactory stalemate: R (on the application of Prudential plc) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax’, International Journal of Evidence and Proof, 18.1 (2014), 65-77

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Breaching the Accountability Firewall: Market Norms and the Reasonable Director’, Seattle University Law Review, 37.3 (2014), 134-154

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Large Law Firms, Sophisticated Clients, and the Regulation of Conflicts of Interest in England and Wales’, Legal Ethics, ed. by Parker C, 14.2 (2011), 215-238

  • Loughrey JM, Keay A, ‘Derivative Proceedings in a Brave New World for Company Management and Shareholders’, Journal of Business Law, 2010 (2010), 151-178

  • Keay AR, Loughrey JM, ‘ “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed : An Analysis of the New Derivative Action Under the Companies Act 2006’, The Law Quarterly Review 2008, 469-500

  • Loughrey JM, Keay AR, Cerioni L, ‘ “Legal Practitioners, Enlightened Shareholder Value and the Shaping of Corporate Governance’, Journal of Corporate Law Studies, 8 (2008), 79-111

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Can You Keep a Secret? Children, Human Rights, and the Law of Medical Confidentiality’, Child and Family Law Quarterly, 2008 (2008), 312-334

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Privileged Litigants: Shareholder Rights, Information Disclosure and Corporate Legal Professional Privilege’, Journal of Business Law, 2007.7 (2007), 778-806

  • Loughrey JM, ‘The Confidentiality of Medical Records: Informational Autonomy, Patient Privacy and the Law’, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 56.3 (2005), 293-319

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Legal advice privilege and the corporate client’, International Journal of Evidence and Proof, 9.3 (2005), 183-203
    DOI: 10.1350/ijep.2005.9.3.183

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Public Bodies and Private Medical Records: the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003’, Medical Law International, 6.4 (2004), 317-338

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Medical information, confidentiality and a child's right to privacy’, Legal Studies, 23.3 (2003), 510-535
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-121X.2003.tb00224.x

  • Loughrey JM, Edge P, ‘Religious charities and the juridification of the Charity Commission’, Legal Studies, 21.1 (2001), 36-64
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-121X.2001.tb00166.x


  • Loughrey JM, Campbell D, ‘The Regulation of Self-interest in Financial Markets’, in Integrity, Risk and Accountability in Capital Markets, ed. by O'Brien J and Gilligan G (Hart Publishing, 2013), 65-90

  • Loughrey JM, ‘The director's duty of care and skill and the financial crisis’, in Directors' Duties and Shareholder Litigation in the Wake of the Financial Crisis, ed. by Loughrey J (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012), 12-49

  • Loughrey JM, Keay A, ‘An assessment of the present state of statutory derivative proceedings’, in Directors' Duties and Shareholder Litigation in the Wake of the Financial Crisis, ed. by Loughrey J (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012), 187-228

  • Loughrey JM, ‘Conclusion’, in Directors' Duties and Shareholder Litigation in the Wake of the Financial Crisis, ed. by Loughrey J (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012), 247-256

  • de Fortman BG, Martens K, Salih MAM, ‘Preface’ ([], 2010), xiii
    DOI: 10.1057/9780230105959

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