Joseph Hinsey

H. Douglas Weaver Professor of Business Law, Emeritus

JOSEPH HINSEY IV is the H. Douglas Weaver Professor of Business Law, Emeritus, at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration. He is a graduate of Cornell University, Cornell Law School and the Harvard Business School. Prior to joining the HBS senior faculty in 1987, he was for more than twenty years a Partner in the New York law firm of White & Case, where he specialized in corporate and securities law with a particular emphasis on corporate governance.

His professional offices in the American Bar Association over the years include service as Chairman of the Business Law Section, Chairman of its Committee on Corporate Laws and Editor of The Business Lawyer. He served as Reporter for the ABA Business Law Section's Legal Opinion Project, completed in 1991, which involved the development of a standard frame of reference for third-party legal opinions that can be used by corporate lawyers throughout the country. He is an elected member of the American Law Insitute and served for many years as Consultant to its Corporate Governance Project,a fifteen-year undertaking that culminated in the 1993 publication of a two-volume work titled Principles of Corporate Governance. In addition, he was a founding member of the Legal Advisory Committee to the Board of Governors of the New York Stock Exchange.

He has written and frequently spoken in professional seminars on corporate governance matters. Recently, he contributed a chapter on the corporate indemnification of directors and officers, covering the statutory provisions and related case law, which appears in the three-volume treatise titled Transactional Lawyer's Deskbook: Advising Business Entities, published in 2001. He also recently spearheaded, under the auspices of the ABA Committee on Corporate Laws, a major revision of the director provisions of the Model Business Corporation Act, a statutory format that provides guidance to approximately thirty-five states.

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Global Approaches to Anti-Corruption

    In the 1970s, a series of unpleasant revelations about corporate conduct, culminating in the public disclosure about unsavory business practices abroad by more than 400 U.S. corporations, jarred popular perceptions concerning business ethics. Congress responded by enacting the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in late 1977. However, as time passed, U.S. businesses complained that they were at a competitive disadvantage to foreign companies because many countries lacked an equivalent to the U.S.'s FCPA. In December 1997, OECD member countries and five nonmember countries signed a Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. All signatories agreed to introduce legislation making foreign bribery a crime. This case discusses anticorruption measures and provides a fictional case study to illustrate the issues involved in a more concrete way.

    Keywords: Crime and Corruption; Globalization; Developing Countries and Economies; Laws and Statutes; Ethics; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Information Industry; United States;


    Hinsey, Joseph, Guhan Subramanian, and Michelle Kalka. "Global Approaches to Anti-Corruption." Harvard Business School Background Note 902-062, November 2001.