UCL Faculty of Laws


The Law and Governance of Decentralised Business Models

Edited by Professor Iris Chiu (Professor of Company Law and Financial Regulation at UCL Laws) and Roger M Barker (Honorary Associate, UCL Centre for Ethics and Law)

Skyscraper buildings in Manhattan, New York

16 February 2021

Photo by sebastiaan stam on Unsplash 

Publication details 

Barker, Roger M and Chiu, Iris H-Y (2020) The Law and Governance of Decentralised Business Models, Between Hierarchies and Markets. Oxfordshire: Routledge.


This book draws together themes in business model developments in relation to decentralised business models (DBMs), sometimes referred to as the ‘sharing’ economy, to systematically analyse the challenges to corporate and organisational law and governance.

DBMs include business networks, the global supply chain, public–private partnerships, the platform economy and blockchain-based enterprises. The law of organisational forms and governance has been slow in responding to changes, and reliance has been placed on innovations in contract law to support the business model developments. The authors argue that the law of organisations and governance can respond to changes in the phenomenon of decentralised business models driven by transformative technology and new socio-economic dynamics. They argue that principles underlying the law of organisations and governance, such as corporate governance, are crucial to constituting, facilitating and enabling reciprocality, mutuality, governance and redress in relation to these business models, the wealth-creation of which subscribes to neither a firm nor market system, is neither hierarchical nor totally decentralised, and incorporates socio-economic elements that are often enmeshed with incentives and relations.

Find out more about The Law and Governance of Decentralised Business Models.