Current developments in corporate, foundation and trust governance

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Type and Duration

FFF-Förderprojekt, June 2023 until December 2023


Company, Foundation & Trust Law

Main Research

Business Law


Corporate Governance is described as the legal and factual regulatory framework for the management and monitoring of companies. Although a common definition has been established, the general understanding of the term is subject to constant change. Social currents shape the corporate governance discussion and lead to changes in the classic shareholder and stakeholder approach. Currently, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been gaining importance within the concept of good corporate governance, which is why social needs as well as environmental and sustainability aspects are moving into the spotlight apart from pure profit maximization. Furthermore, the evolving digitalization does not cease at corporate governance but rather raises new questions regarding liabilities, competencies and responsibilities. It should also be noted that the concept of corporate governance - as the regulatory framework of companies - was the predecessor of foundation- and trust governance. Thus, it seems reasonable to further carry out such investigations in these legal entities.
Therefore, the research project will investigate how effective governance influences the integration of sustainability matters in companies, foundations and trusts and the factors that play a significant role in the implementation. Furthermore, it is crucial to examine the extent to which a social or environmental foundation or trust purpose restricts the foundation board or trustee in its management functions. On top of this, the concept of "responsible ownership" in corporate law is closely related to the issue of sustainability, which is why the prospective implementation is analyzed with the help of national corporate forms available in Liechtenstein, such as the foundation and the trust. Finally, the resulting areas of dispute are investigated in the context of governance.

Practical Application

The research project has a broad practical scope by developing solutions for the integration of new governance aspects in companies, foundations and trusts. The research questions addressed on current developments in governance, such as in the context of environmental and sustainability aspects or new forms of corporate governance, are of great relevance to practice.
With the insights gained, governance in companies, foundations and trusts is strengthened to maintain transparency, accountability and effectiveness in organizations and among governing bodies. The trust in companies, foundations and trusts in Liechtenstein is thereby maintained and the legal requirements can be effectively implemented even in the context of new developments.

Reference to Liechtenstein

The local relevance of the legal issues addressed in the research project is to be assessed as great for both science and practice. The Principality of Liechtenstein is an internationally important location for foundations, trusts and companies. The corporate landscape is broadly diversified, with small family-owned businesses to large corporations having their headquarters in Liechtenstein. The international importance of Liechtenstein as a business location is based on functioning corporate governance, which ensures transparent and efficient management and control of companies, foundations and trusts. Furthermore, effective cooperation between the persons, authorities and companies involved in the governance process is essential. Against this background, it is essential to pick up on current and new trends and to examine them scientifically in order to maintain the trust of the general public in companies, foundations and trusts in Liechtenstein.


trust, Sustainability, Corporate, Foundation, Governance


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