This volume brings together nine chapters by specialist legal historians that address the topic of the scale and size of companies, in both legal and economic history. The bundled texts cover different periods, from the Middle Ages, the Early Modern Period, to the nineteenth century. They analyse the historical development of basic features of present-day corporations and of other company types, among them the general and limited partnership. These features include limited liability and legal personality. A detailed overview is offered of how legal concepts and mercantile practice interacted, leading up to the corporate characteristics that are so important today.
Contributors are: Anja Amend-Traut, Luisa Brunori, Dave De ruysscher, Stefania Gialdroni, Ulla Kypta, Bart Lambert, Annamaria Monti, Carlos Petit, and Bram Van Hofstraeten.
Dave De ruysscher, Ph.D. (2009), is Associate Professor at Tilburg University and at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Being legal historian and lawyer, he specializes in the history of commercial and private law of the early modern period and the nineteenth century.
Albrecht Cordes is Professor of Medieval and Early Modern Legal History and Civil Law at the Goethe University Frankfurt/Main. His research is especially focused on the history of commercial law, Hanseatic legal history and the history of conflict resolution.
Serge Dauchy is Research Director at the CNRS (Lille-France) and Professor of Legal History at the University Saint-Louis of Brussels. His main research topics are the history of civil procedure, comparative history of central courts and the history of Québec.
Heikki Pihlajamäki is Professor of Comparative Legal History at the University of Helsinki. He has published extensively on the legal history of Scandinavia, Europe and America, including
Conquest and the Law in Swedish Livonia (ca. 1630 – 1710): A Case of Legal Pluralism in Early Modern Europe (Brill, 2017).
Acknowledgments List of Figures and Tables
Introduction Dave De ruysscher, Albrecht Cordes, Serge Dauchy and Heikki Pihlajamäki
What is a Small Firm? Some Indications from the Business Organization of Late Medieval German Merchants Ulla Kypta
Making Size Matter Less: Italian Firms and Merchant Guilds in Late Medieval Bruges Bart Lambert
Late Scholasticism and Commercial Partnership: Persons and Capitals in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries Luisa Brunori
Legal Structure of Early Enterprises—from Commenda-like Arrangements to Chartered Joint-Stock Companies (Early Modern Period) Anja Amend-Traut
Delving for Diversity in Early Modern Company Law: Mining Companies in Seventeenth-Century Liège Bram Van Hofstraeten
Incorporation and Limited Liability in Seventeenth-Century England: The Case of the East India Company Stefania Gialdroni
From Commercial Guilds to Commercial Law: Spanish Company Regulations (1737–1848) Carlos Petit
Partnerships as Flexible and Open-Purpose Entities: Legal and Commercial Practice in Nineteenth-Century Antwerp (c. 1830–c. 1850) Dave De ruysscher
Form, Size, “Governance”: Remarks on Italian Late Nineteenth-Century Companies Annamaria Monti
All interested in the institutional, legal and economic history of business organizations (firms, corporations).