The Institute for European Integration is pleased to publish Lydia Chao’s study paper on the topic of

“Veil-Piercing under American, German, and Taiwanese Company Law”.

Lydia is currently a student at the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University in Canada and a Master’s degree in European Studies from Tamkang University in Taiwan.


The veil-piercing doctrine allows courts to pierce the metaphoric corporate veil that shields shareholders from being held personally liable for a company’s debts and liabilities. Since it is an exception to the statutory guarantees of limited liability and separate legal personality, it should be applied cautiously and infrequently. The decision of whether to pierce highly depends on juridical interpretations and decisions. As a result of this, the development and application of veil-piercing vary across jurisdictions and countries. This paper aims to provide an overview and critical analysis of the different approaches taken by the U.S., Germany, and Taiwan and further uses the observations from the theoretical analysis to evaluate whether the Union should harmonize veil-piercing in the EU in order to facilitate the freedom of establishment.

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