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lunes, 11 de julio de 2011

Deberes de lealtad

Nada nuevo, pero es un buen resumen: Sitkoff, Robert H., The Economic Structure of Fiduciary Law (March 10, 2011). Boston University Law Review, Vol. 91, p. 1041, 2011; Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 689. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1782999
La función central de los deberes fiduciarios es la disuasión:
… The agent is induced to act in the best interests of the principal by the threat of after-the-fact liability for failure to have done so. The agent is given broad discretionary powers, but the agent must exercise that discretion in the best interests of the principal on pain of damages and disgorgement remedies… the availability of a disgorgement remedy, which allows the principal to take the fiduciary’s gain even in excess of making the principal whole, reflects the additional deterrent and disclosure purposes of fiduciary law. Because the fiduciary is not entitled to keep the gains from breach, the fiduciary is deterred from unilateral breach, and is instead given an incentive to disclose the potential gains from breach and seek the principal’s consent.
Los deberes de lealtad deben concretarse atendiendo a la voluntad hipotética de las partes
Because agency problems arise from incomplete contracting, the core duties of loyalty and care are phrased in open-ended, expansive terms. The duties of loyalty and care are thus standards that allow the court to decide whether, in view of all the facts and circumstances, the fiduciary acted in accord with what the parties would have agreed if they had been able to anticipate those facts and circumstances
Los deberes de lealtad completan el contrato y reducen los costes de transacción en la negociación
In effect, the loyalty and care standards empower the court to complete the parties’ contract as regards the facts and circumstances as they in fact unfolded. The duties of loyalty and care therefore minimize transaction costs. Instead of trying in advance to reduce to writing provisions for every future contingency, the parties need only address expressly those contingencies that are important and likely enough to warrant the transaction costs of express provision. For all other contingencies, the fiduciary obligation fills the gap.
Si las posibilidades de terminación del contrato son mayores, los deberes de lealtad son menos intensos
Because the fiduciary obligation operates as an after-the-fact compliance review of the fiduciary’s conduct, and because the agency problem varies across fiduciary contexts, the precise contours of the fiduciary obligation vary across the fiduciary fields. For example, the fiduciary obligation in trust law is generally stricter than the fiduciary obligation in corporate law. But those differences reflect the different contexts. The agency problem in a family trust in which the beneficiaries have no exit option and that is managed by a corporate fiduciary that cannot easily be replaced differs significantly from the agency problem in a large, publicly-traded corporation from which a shareholder can separate easily by selling his shares in a thick securities market (the “Wall Street rule”).
¿Por qué las normas que obligan a actuar lealmente son imperativas?
The existence of such mandatory rules vexed the prior generation of economic analysis of fiduciary law. Committed contractarians have had
difficulty explaining why the parties to a fiduciary relationship do not have complete freedom of contract to alter the terms of that relationship. The answer is that the mandatory rules of fiduciary law serve an internal protective and cautionary function that protects the principal, and an external categorization function that protects third parties who deal with the fiduciary.
No estamos de acuerdo. Las normas que, como el art. 226 LSC, imponen a los administradores un deber de lealtad son imperativas porque permitir al agente actuar “de mala fe”, como permitir a alguien incumplir dolosamente un contrato es tanto como decir que el agente o esa parte no está vinculada por el contrato. Si alguien pone en un contrato que podrá incumplirlo a su voluntad (p.ej, el administrador de una SL dice que podrá apoderarse de los bienes y oportunidades de la sociedad sin incurrir en responsabilidad) está diciendo, en realidad, que no está vinculado por ningún contrato. Este es el significado del art. 1256 CC que se malentiende a menudo.

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