Shareholder Rights Project
The Shareholder Rights Project (SRP) was established by the Harvard Law School Program on Institutional Investors to contribute to education, discourse, and research related to efforts by institutional investors to improve corporate governance arrangements at publicly traded firms. During the previous three academic years (2011-2012 through 2013-2014), the SRP operated a clinic that assisted institutional investors (several public pension funds and a foundation) in moving S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies towards annual elections. This work contributed to board declassification at about 100 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies. With work on the declassification project completed last summer, the clinic has not been operating during the current academic year. This website provides information about the work done by the SRP clinic during its three years of operation; a detailed final report on this work will be issued in 2015. Any communications with respect to the SRP clinic should be attributed solely to the SRP and not to Harvard Law School or Harvard University.

During the previous three academic years (2011-2012 through 2013-2014), the SRP operated a clinic that assisted institutional investors (several public pension funds and a foundation) in moving S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies towards annual elections. The investors that worked with the SRP clinic during all or part of this period serve more than 3 million people, and the aggregate value of assets that they manage exceeds $400 billion. Additional information about each of these investors is provided here.

The work on the board declassification project was completed in the summer of 2014, having contributed to board declassification at about 100 S&P 500 and Fortune 500 companies. A detailed report on the completed board declassification project will be issued in 2015. In the meantime, significant information on the results of the project can be found on this website.

Major results of the SRP clinic's work during its three years of operation (covering the 2012, 2013 and 2014 proxy seasons) include the following:

Annual elections are widely viewed as corporate governance best practice. Board declassification and the resulting annual elections could make directors more accountable and thereby contribute to improving performance and increasing firm value. The substantial shareholder support for board declassification, and the value of the work done on the subject by the SRP clinic and investors that worked with the SRP clinic, will be discussed in detail in the final report of the declassification project.

Inquiries about the work of the SRP clinic during the years 2011-2012 through 2013-2014 should be directed to Emily Lewis, administrative director of the Program on Institutional Investors.