Rising defaults in the financial market in 2007, the current widespread economic recession and debt crisis have added impetus to existing doubts about companies' governance, and cast new light on future trends in shareholder-oriented corporate practice. Taking account of these developments in the field and realising the current need for changes in governance, this book offers a thorough exploration of the origins, recent changes and future development of the corporate objective-shareholder primacy. Legal and theoretical aspects are examined so as to provide a comprehensive and critical account of the practices reflecting shareholder primacy in the UK. In the wake of the financial crisis, this book investigates the direction of future policy, with particular attention to changes in governing rules and regulations and their implications for preserving the objective of shareholder primacy. It examines current UK and EU reform proposals calling for long-term and socially-responsible corporate performance, and the potential friction between proposed legal changes and commercial practices. This book will be useful to researchers and students of company law, and business and management studies.