Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Karen Wruck

Professor of Finance,
Dean’s Distinguished Professor,
Fisher College of Business,
The Ohio State University

Karen Wruck is an expert in financial and organizational economics, with special emphasis on corporate finance, valuation, restructuring, financial distress, corporate governance, and management compensation.

Professor Wruck has been retained as an expert witness in numerous matters and has testified at deposition. Her experience spans matters related to valuation, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), financial distress/bankruptcy, fraudulent conveyance, and damages, including damages related to alleged wrongful termination, breach of contract, and discrimination. She has addressed issues pertaining to executive compensation, insider trading, corporate governance, and corporate control.

Professor Wruck has published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, and the Journal of Corporate Finance. Her work has also been cited in the press and has appeared in practitioner-oriented journals such as the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. Two of her publications, one on private equity and the other on management turnover, were named by the Journal of Financial Economics as being among its most highly cited “all-star” papers. She has also served as associate editor for top finance and accounting journals.

At the Fisher College of Business, Professor Wruck teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in corporate finance, international finance, M&A, and corporate restructuring. Students in the M.B.A. and executive M.B.A. programs have repeatedly named her as an outstanding professor. Professor Wruck received Fisher College’s Bostic-Georges Faculty Service Award and the Mary Ann Williams Leadership Award, which recognize extraordinary service and leadership at Ohio State.

Professor Wruck consults to corporations and has served as an academic director of the Turnaround Management Association, an organization focused on corporate restructuring and enterprise value. Previously, she was a member of the Harvard Business School faculty.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

John C. Coates

John F. Cogan Jr. Professor of Law and Economics,
Research Director, Center on the Legal Profession,
Harvard Law School;
Former General Counsel and Acting Director,
Division of Corporation Finance,
Securities and Exchange Commission;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research

John Coates is a nationally recognized expert in corporate transactions, corporate control and governance, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), financial institutions, and securities. He has served as General Counsel and Acting Director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and also as a member of the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee.

Professor Coates has testified at trial and deposition in numerous matters, including before the Delaware Chancery Court; state courts in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York; and in U.S. district courts. He has also testified before committees of both chambers of the U.S. Congress.

Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Professor Coates was a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he specialized in financial institutions and in M&A. He has provided consulting services to the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, multiple financial regulatory agencies, and the New York Stock Exchange. Professor Coates has also consulted for participants in financial markets, including individuals, public companies, mutual funds, hedge funds, investment banks, commercial banks, and private equity funds. In addition, Professor Coates served as independent consultant for the SEC in the first and the largest of the “Fair Fund” distributions to investors.

His research has been published in the Harvard Business Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the Journal of International BankingFinance and Law, and the Journal of Economic Perspectives, among others. The NYU School of Law Alumni Association has honored Professor Coates with an award for excellence in teaching.

In addition to his appointments at Harvard Law School, Professor Coates is a Visiting Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Steven Davidoff Solomon

Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law,
Faculty Codirector, Berkeley Center for Law and Business,
UC Berkeley School of Law, University of California

Steven Davidoff Solomon is one of the nation’s best-known authorities on corporate law and governance. Professor Solomon specializes in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), disclosure processes and procedures, corporate governance (including issues of corporate separateness), and capital markets regulation. His interdisciplinary research focuses on topics involving law, finance, and accounting. Professor Solomon studies and has been frequently retained by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in litigation related to disclosure processes and procedures, and by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to advise on principles of corporate separateness.

Professor Solomon has often been called to testify before the U.S. Senate, in state and federal courts, and in domestic and international arbitration tribunals. He provides testimony at trial and in deposition in complex litigation involving antitrust and competition, M&A, and disclosure. His corporate governance includes matters related to nonprofits, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), as well as such issues as piercing the corporate veil, evaluating contracts, and analyzing damages. The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) has honored him multiple times as one of the 100 most influential governance professionals in the United States.

For almost a decade, Professor Solomon wrote a weekly column on corporate issues for the New York Times as the Deal Professor. He coauthored Mergers and Acquisitions: Law, Theory, and Practice, a leading casebook in the field, as well as several other volumes focused on M&A and corporate law. Professor Solomon publishes his research in top-tier academic journals in law, finance, and accounting.

At UC Berkeley School of Law, Professor Solomon teaches courses on law, economics and accounting, M&A, and business associations.

Prior to entering academia, Professor Solomon practiced as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York and London, and with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London. He represented U.S. and European clients in securities law matters, acquisitions and sales of public and private companies, joint ventures, and private equity and venture capital investments.

Professor Solomon sits on the board of directors of a SPAC, where he chairs the audit, nominating, and compensation committees.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Colleen Honigsberg

Professor of Law,
Stanford Law School

Colleen Honigsberg is an expert in corporate and securities law, with a focus on the empirical study of corporate governance, securities regulation, and accounting. Professor Honigsberg researches the regulatory environment for financial advisors, as well as carbon accounting, human capital accounting, the incentive structure for auditors, and corporate disclosure rules. She also addresses auditing systems for artificial intelligence (AI) governance, as well as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics.

Professor Honigsberg has testified on human capital disclosures before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets. She serves on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Investor Advisory Committee, which focuses on supporting the Commission’s regulatory priorities in U.S. securities markets. She previously served as a senior economic research fellow with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), researching audits of public companies and SEC-registered brokers and dealers.

Professor Honigsberg has published articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, including the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Accounting Research, the Review of Accounting Studies, and Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Society. Her work has appeared in the Stanford Law Review and Vanderbilt Law Review, among others. In addition, such mainstream publications as the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times have cited her research.

At Stanford Law School, Professor Honigsberg teaches courses in accounting, corporate governance, and business law.

A former certified public accountant (CPA), Professor Honigsberg worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services earlier in her career.

Corporate Governance Capabilities

In many cases, we have evaluated the activities of directors, officers, and their advisors to determine whether they acted prudently and in a manner consistent with their roles and fiduciary duties. Our analyses have addressed mergers and acquisitions, corporate decisions, marketing statements, oversight of internal audits and processes, elections, and independence of directors.

In the area of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation, we have analyzed the suitability of investment decisions, the adequacy of a board’s investigation of plan fees, and potential conflicts of interest. We also have addressed fiduciary duties in mutual fund fee negotiations and investment advising.

We have analyzed allegations of options backdating, excessive golden parachutes, claims related to deferred compensation, and other elements of executive compensation packages that are difficult to value. We have also addressed the incentive structure of executive pay, and whether a company’s board or its compensation committee has acted appropriately in establishing compensation packages for corporate officers.

Cornerstone Research has addressed the appropriateness and materiality of corporate disclosures in the context of financial restatements, mergers and acquisitions, and annual proxy statements.

Our consultants have worked with experts and counsel to determine whether a corporate parent and subsidiary have established themselves as genuinely separate entities. This work has covered the formalities of corporate structure and governance processes; the economic foundations of corporate veil law; and the operational, financial, and marketing relationships that exist between the parent and the subsidiary.

Featured Cases

Featured Publications

14 March 2022

Professor Laura Starks Awarded Prize for Outstanding Research in Sustainable Finance

Professor Starks received the 2021 Moskowitz Prize, which recognizes academic papers with exceptional relevance to ESG investment practitioners.

11 March 2022

René Stulz Honored in Special Edition of Journal of Applied Corporate Finance

Professor Stulz’s articles are republished in a special edition of the journal, which highlights his more than four decades of research on globaliz...

17 April 2020

A Broader Perspective on Corporate Governance in Litigation

Corporate governance issues often figure prominently in litigation but the issues raised typically have a narrow focus.

9 May 2018

Forbes Magazine Names Cornerstone Research to 2018 List of Best Management Consulting Firms

Firm receives high marks across numerous areas of expertise.

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