Profiles

Jessica Östberg

Jessica Östberg

Universitetslektor

Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Law
Telephone 08-16 13 76
Email jessica.ostberg@juridicum.su.se
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 C
Room SCCL 663b
Postal address Juridiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Office hours on appointment.

I am an associate professor in and a course director for the course Law of Business Associations. I also teach in company law at law firms and other private institutions.

My research has mainly been focused on the duties and responsibilities of directors and shareholders. My doctoral thesis concerns the director's duty of loyalty. I was a Post Doc Fellow at the University of Oxford, with an affiliation with Christ Church, during the period September 2017-August 2018. The Post Doc-project concerns corporate sustainability in relation to the profit maximisation purpose in the Swedish companies act. One article related to the project has been published during 2020 and another more comprehensive article in English will be ready for publication in 2021.  

I am a board member of Stockholm Centre for Commercial Law (SCCL) and also Head of the Department for Company Law and Securities Law at SCCL. In this capacity I regularly arrange and take part in conferences and seminars within the field of company law and securities law. Since 2017 I am also a member of the Disciplinary Board for Public Accountants. In addition to this, I am Inspector for Juridiska Föreningen and chairman of the board of Juristernas Hus. 

Before I started my academic career I worked first at the District Court of Stockholm for almost two years and thereafter as a lawyer with a focus on company law and M&A for about ten years. 

 

Publications

A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2020. Jessica Östberg. Vänbok till Anders Lagerstedt, 209-230
  • 2019. Jessica Östberg. Bostadsrätten i initial- och övergångsskeden
  • 2019. Jessica Östberg. Svensk Juristtidning, 1125-1165
  • 2019. Jessica Östberg. Juridisk Tidskrift 20 (2), 473-480

    Den 2 november 2018 meddelade Svea hovrätt dom i ett intressant mål som ytterst rörde frågan om giltigheten av ett av styrelsen fattat emissionsbeslut.1 Om själva utgången i målet finns inte mycket att säga. Däremot innehåller domen ett ställningstagande i en principiellt mycket viktig fråga om kompetensöverskridande och tillämpningen av 8 kap. 42 § aktiebolagslagen (2005:551) i samband med styrelsens beslut om emission av aktier med stöd av ett bemyndigande, ett ställningstagande som enligt min mening kan ifrågasättas på flera olika grunder. Mot bakgrund av att domen rör ett område av stor praktisk och ekonomisk betydelse för näringslivet – beslut om emissioner fattas i betydande utsträckning av styrelsen med stöd ett av bolagsstämman beslutat bemyndigande och de kan röra avsevärda belopp – är det ägnat att förvåna att HD inte meddelade prövningstillstånd avseende denna rättsfråga.2 I det följande avser jag att kort analysera och kommentera främst hovrättens bedömning samt den aktuella rättsfrågan närmare.

  • 2018. Jessica Östberg. Svensk Juristtidning (3), 265-303

    Artikeln behandlar frågan om aktieägare har en lojalitetsplikt enligt svensk rätt, vad den närmare innebär och lojalitetspliktens rättsgrund. Utblickar görs mot amerikansk, engelsk, tysk, norsk och dansk rätt. Det konstateras att aktieägare i fåmansbolag kan ha en lojalitetsplikt till följd av att de samarbetar och samverkar inom ramen för aktiebolaget, i vissa fall med stöd av ett aktieägaravtal, vilket kan föranleda att ett enkelt bolag föreligger mellan parterna. Vidare konstateras att bolagsstämman, och därmed i praktiken majoritetsaktieägare, är underkastad flera viktiga bestämmelser, vilka kan sägas ge uttryck för en viss lojalitetsplikt, såsom t.ex. vinstsyftet, likhetsprincipen, generalklausulen och jävsbestämmelsen. Dessutom kan aktieägare under vissa förutsättningar ha ett ansvar till följd av att de verkar som en shadow director eller de facto director. Artikeln avslutas med en analys och kommentarer de lege ferenda.

  • 2016. Jessica Östberg. Festskrift till Lars Pehrson, 455-476
  • 2016. Jessica Östberg, Lars Pehrson, Carl Svernlöv.

    Under Swedish law directors of limited liability companies have, without doubt, a duty of loyalty. It is also clear that the duty of loyalty is quite extensive. Due to mainly the lack of legal provisions and case law governing the duty of loyalty, the extent of the duty and the outer limits of it are unclear to both legal experts and practitioners. This legal uncertainty is detrimental to both individuals and companies and may also be detrimental to society at large.

    The overall purpose of the dissertation is to analyse and systematize the duty of loyalty for directors of a limited liability company. Within this overall purpose the aim is also to investigate certain basic principles and issues further, such as:  

    (i) the directors' legal position;

    (ii) to whom the duty of loyalty is owed;

    (iii) the functions of the duty of loyalty;

    (iv) the further meaning and extent of the duty of loyalty, including certain identified specific duties, especially

    (v) the prohibition to exploit corporate opportunities; and

    (vi) the boundaries to other legal rules.

    The dissertation is based on a method of legal dogmatics. Due to the limited material that exist on the topic under Swedish law, comparative outlooks are made to Norwegian law, Danish law, American law, English law and German law. A number of important conclusions are drawn, of which some are presented below.

    The duty of loyalty is mainly derived from the directors' legal position, which is similar to that of an agent (Swe: syssloman). It is owed mainly to the company, which means that only the company may enforce breaches of the duty, save for beaches of the so-called general clause.

    The duty of loyalty is systematized as follows. From the general duty of loyalty, which thus includes a general duty to consider the company's interests and not to promote individual or others' interests to the detriment of the company, a number of particular duties of loyalty are derived, namely: 

    (i) an obligation to avoid and disclose conflicts of interest;

    (ii) a prohibition on competition that may be detrimental to the company;

    (iii) a prohibition on improperly (Swe: otillbörligen) receiving or exploiting benefits or other advantages as a result of the assignment;

    (iv) a duty of obedience;

    (v) a duty of disclosure;

    (vi) a duty of confidentiality; and

    (vii) a prohibition on exploiting corporate opportunities belonging to the company.

    The meaning and extent of each of these duties are analysed further in the dissertation. Furthermore, the sanctions and legal consequences of a breach, such as damages, invalidity, unjust enrichment and the criminal sanctions are analysed briefly.

    Due to mainly the duty of loyalty's importance for investor confidence, its important functions and the breaches of the duty of loyalty that have occurred during the recent decades, it is proposed that the duty of loyalty and some of the specific duties are specified in the Swedish Companies Act. 

Show all publications by Jessica Östberg at Stockholm University

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Last updated: August 7, 2021

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