Elisabeth D. de Fontenay

Associate Professor of Law


Elisabeth de Fontenay’s primary research interests are in the fields of corporate law and corporate finance.  She joined the Duke Law faculty in 2013 after serving as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School.  At Duke Law, she teaches Business Associations, Corporate Finance, and Private Equity & Hedge Funds, and received the law school’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014.

Her broad research agenda focuses on how market actors behave in the less-regulated spaces of the financial markets.  Her work has examined questions such as the ongoing decline in U.S. public companies and the rise of private capital (here), private equity firms’ role in the debt markets (here), public versus private financial markets (here and here), and value creation by transactional lawyers and elite law firms (here, here, and here).

De Fontenay received her B.A., summa cum laude, in economics from Princeton University, where she was a two-time All-American rugby player.  She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.  After graduating from law school, de Fontenay practiced as a corporate associate at Ropes & Gray in Boston, where she specialized in mergers and acquisitions, debt financing, and private investment funds.  Her scholarly articles are available for download here.