David Webber

David H. Webber

Professor of Law

Paul M. Siskind Scholar

Biography

Professor Webber is currently on sabbatical as a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center for Labor and a Just Economy.

David H. Webber is the author of the critically-acclaimed book, The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor’s Last Best Weapon, published by Harvard University Press. The book argues that labor has a massive untapped source of shareholder power in its trillions of dollars in pension assets. Webber toured extensively for the book and published op-eds about it in the New York Timesthe Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhereIt was reviewed or otherwise covered in the New York Review of Books, the Financial TimesPublisher’s WeeklyBloomberg RadioCSPAN’s BookTVForbesthe Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, the Harvard OnLabor blogCornell University’s ILR ReviewRorotokode VolkskrantCalcalistSplinter NewsThe National Review and Dissent. It was published in Korean in 2020. 

In 2022, Webber published scholarly articles in the Harvard Business Law Review, the University of Chicago Business Law Review, and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Business. He has a coauthored paper forthcoming in the Stanford Journal of Law, Businessand Finance and has previously published in the New York University Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, and the Vanderbilt Law Review.  He has presented his research at the Harvard Stanford Yale Junior Faculty Forum, the Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, and the American Law and Economics Association conference. His coauthored article, “Shareholder Value(s): Index Fund ESG Activism and the New Millennial Corporate Governance,” was selected as one of the top ten corporate and securities law articles of 2020 in a national survey of law scholars by Corporate Practice Commentator.

The BU Law Class of 2023 voted him the Mark Pettit Teaching Award winner. He also won the 2023 Dean’s award for excellence in teaching. In 2017 he was awarded the Michael Melton Award for Teaching Excellence. He has also received the Dean’s award for service to the law school in 2020 and 2021. He co-teaches the Pensions and Capital Stewardship course for the Harvard Trade Union program at Harvard Law School. He is a graduate of Columbia and NYU Law School, where he was an editor for the law review.

Watch: Professor David Webber discusses The Rise of the Working Class Shareholder: Labor’s Last Best Weapon

Publications

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  • David H. Webber & Connor S. Flaherty, Chapter 8: What is the purpose of securities regulation?, in Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, (2023)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, The Humanities Strike Back: (E)ESG and Justice Strine Challenge Gamer Shareholder Primacy 24 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law (2022)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Labor’s capital in the twenty-first century 63 Labor History (2022)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Should Labor Abandon Its Capital? A Reply to Critics 12 Harvard Business Law Review (2022)
    Scholarly Commons
  • Michal Barzuza, Quinn Curtis & David H. Webber, ESG and Private Ordering 1 The University of Chicago Business Law Review (2022)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Are We Ready for the Next Recession? A Review of Yair Listokin’s Law and Macroeconomics: Legal Remedies to Recessions 22 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies (2021) (book review)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Carmen Lu & Lisa Fairfox, Second Panel Discussion - Symposium: Who Makes ESG? Understanding Stakeholders in the ESG Debate, 26 Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law (2021)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Rethinking "Political" Considerations in Investment 46 Delaware Journal of Corporate Law (2021)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Michal Barzuza & Quinn Curtis, Shareholder Value(s): Index Fund ESG Activism and the New Millennial Corporate Governance 93 Southern California Law Review (2020)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, The Other Janus and the Future of Labor’s Capital 72 Vanderbilt Law Review (2019)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Reforming Pensions While Retaining Shareholder Voice 99 Boston University Law Review (2019)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor’s Last Best Weapon (2018)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Research Handbook on Representative Shareholder Litigation (2018)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Lead Plaintiffs and Lead Counsel in Deal Litigation, in Working Paper (2016)
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  • David H. Webber, Shareholder Litigation Without Class Actions 57 Arizona Law Review (2015)
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  • David H. Webber & Adam B. Badawi, Does the Quality of the Plaintiffs' Law Firm Matter in Deal Litigation? 41 Journal of Corporation Law (2015)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, The Use and Abuse of Labor's Capital 89 New York University Law Review (2014)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, Private Policing of Mergers & Acquisitions: An Empirical Assessment of Institutional Lead Plaintiffs in Transactional Class and Derivative Actions 38 Delaware Journal of Corporate Law (2014)
    Scholarly Commons
  • David H. Webber, The Plight of the Individual Investor in Securities Class Actions 106 Northwestern University Law Review (2012)
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  • David H. Webber, Is 'Pay-to-Play' Driving Public Pension Fund Activism in Securities Class Actions? An Empirical Study 90 Boston University Law Review (2010)
    Scholarly Commons

In the Media

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  • Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog March 20, 2024

    The Millennial Corporation: Strong Stakeholders, Weak Managers

    David Webber co-authors a piece.
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  • LexBlog

    The Millennial Corporation: Strong Stakeholders, Weak Managers

    David Webber co-authors a piece.
    read more

  • The American Prospect October 14, 2023

    Workers Funding Other Workers’ Misery

    David Webber is quoted.
    read more

  • American Prospect October 4, 2023

    Workers Funding Other Workers’ Misery

    David Webber is quoted.
    read more

  • Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance August 21, 2023

    Shareholder Rights: Assessing the Threat Environment

    David H. Webber is quoted.
    read more

  • NPR July 10, 2023

    Businesses, Governments Clash over How to Tackle Climate Change

    David Webber is quoted.
    read more

  • Barron's July 1, 2023

    Culture Wars Put American Companies on the Defensive

    David Webber is quoted.
    read more

  • E&E News Climatewire June 22, 2023

    States Shrug Off Warnings, Plow Ahead with Anti-ESG Laws

    David Webber is quoted.
    read more

  • POLITICO

    States Push Costly GOP War on Climate Investing

    David Webber is quoted.
    read more

  • Fortune May 15, 2023

    How Boards Are Responding to Investor and Political Pushback on ESG Goals

    David H. Webber is quoted.
    read more

  • GlobeNewswire April 25, 2023

    Yellow Corporation Names New Board Member

    David H. Webber joins Yellow Corporation's Board of Directors.
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  • Bloomberg Law April 13, 2023

    ESG’s Political Side Bubbles up in Tense Proxy Season Debates

    David Webber provides commentary.
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  • Capital Monitor March 8, 2023

    Anti-ESG Movement Dials up the Drama in the US

    David Webber's research is referenced.
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  • Institutional Investor March 7, 2023

    The Backlash against ESG Faces Its Own Backlash

    David Webber's research is quoted.
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  • Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance February 27, 2023

    The Liability Trap: Why the Alec Anti-ESG Bills Create a Legal Quagmire for Fiduciaries Connected with Public Pensions

    David H. Webber provides commentary.
    read more

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Stories from The Record

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