Business Organization Civil Procedure Mergers & Acquisitions

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Delaware Supreme Court Preserves Benefit of Exculpatory Provisions for Independent Directors at Motion to Dismiss Stage

A recent decision by the Delaware Supreme Court provides independent directors, such as special committee members, with the ability to escape protracted fiduciary duty litigation during its initial stages. The court’s...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That a Stockholder Plaintiff Must Plead a Non-Exculpated Claim to Avoid Section 102(b)(7)-Based...

In the consolidated appeal In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., Stockholder Litigation and In re Zhongpin Stockholders Litigation, Nos. 564, 2014 and 706, 2014, 2015 Del. LEXIS 231 (Del. May 14, 2015), the Delaware Supreme...more

Important Delaware Supreme Court ruling on use of charter provision to seek preliminary dismissal – 3 key takeaways

In a decision jointly resolving two appeals - In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. Stockholder Litigation and Leal v. Meeks - the Delaware Supreme Court clarified seemingly conflicting Delaware case law. The decision sought to...more

CLIENT ALERT: Delaware Supreme Court Establishes Rule Permitting Dismissal of Independent Directors From Entire Fairness Suits

In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. S’holder Litig., No. 564, 2014 (Del. May 14, 2015) & Leal v. Meeks, No. 706, 2014 (Del. May 14, 2015) In these interlocutory appeals, the Delaware Supreme Court resolved a...more

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, v. AbbVie, Inc., CA No. 10374-VCG and Rizzolo v. AbbVie Inc., CA No. 10408-VCG...

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery denied two stockholders’ request for the inspection of books and records of a company pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 220, finding that the stockholders failed to show a credible...more

In re El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. Deriv. Litig., C.A. No. 7141-VCL (Del. Ch. Apr. 20, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this post-trial opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery determined that a general partner breached a limited partnership agreement in connection with a “drop-down” transaction. The Court held that the partnership’s...more

Mergers and Acquisitions Alert: Lazard v. Qinetiq: Important Lessons for Structuring Earn-Outs

Overview - A recent Delaware Supreme Court case authored by Chief Justice Strine upholds the literal meaning of an earn-out provision that limited the buyer from taking action “intended to reduce or limit an earn-out...more

Court Of Chancery Again Accepts Merger Price In An Appraisal

This decision is another in a line of recent appraisal cases where the Court of Chancery has relied on the merger price to set the “fair value” of the stock involved. ...more

Obligations Under Earn-Outs Are Limited to What the Words Say

The stockholders of Cyveillance, Inc., sold their company for $40 million up-front and a $40 million earn-out if the company’s revenues reached a certain level. Section 5.4 of the merger agreement prohibited the buyer from...more

Fundamental Changes to Take-over Bid Regime One Step Closer With Release of Draft Amendments

On March 31, 2015, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) released draft amendments to Canada’s take over bid regulatory regime. As previously announced by the CSA in September 2014, the amendments will increase the...more

Ellis v. OTLP GP, LLC, C.A. No. 10495-VCN (Del. Ch. Jan. 30, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery denied plaintiffs’ motion to expedite certain contractual claims arising from the sale of a limited partnership after finding that the claims were not colorable. Plaintiffs were...more

Lewis v. Aimco Properties, L.P, et al., C.A. No. 9934-VCP (Del. Ch. Feb. 10, 2015) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery (i) granted in part certain defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, specifically ordering a stay pending arbitration; and (ii) granted certain...more

Proposed 2015 Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law

The Delaware Corporation Law Council—composed of members of the Delaware bar charged with proposing annual amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL)—has proposed several potentially significant amendments to...more

"Proposed DGCL Amendments to Address Fee Shifting, Forum Selection and Appraisal Proceedings"

On March 6, 2015, the Corporation Law Council of the Delaware State Bar Association announced proposed amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL) intended to address fee shifting, forum selection and appraisal...more

Court Of Chancery Limits Drag-Along Rights

Whether drag-along rights can preclude an appraisal action for common stock has not been decided in Delaware. Here, because the merger was completed before the drag-along rights were asserted, the Court did not have to...more

It's Not Just A Delaware Thing: Other Courts Are Also Questioning Disclosure-Only Settlements In M&A Litigation

In an age when overburdened courts with reduced budgets often approve class action settlements without significant oversight, Delaware courts have frequently bucked that trend in the merger litigation context: rejecting...more

A Mixed Cause of Action with Protected and Non-Protected Activity Not Subject to Anti-SLAPP Motion

In Baral v. Schnitt (filed 2/5/2015, No. B253620), the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, held that California’s anti-SLAPP statute does not authorize the striking of allegations of protected activity in a...more

In re Kinder Morgan, Inc. Corporate Reorg. Litig., C.A. No. 10093-VCL (Del. Ch. Nov. 5, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery denied plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction and held that a provision in a partnership agreement imposing a higher voting threshold with respect to certain mergers...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Upholds Forum Selection Bylaw That Chose a Non-Delaware Forum Against Facial and As-Applied Challenges

On September 8, 2014, Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard issued a notable decision in City of Providence v. First Citizens BancShares, Inc., upholding—as a matter of facial validity and on an "as-applied" basis at the motion to...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Upholds North Carolina "Exclusive Forum" Bylaw

In a closely-watched case with implications for corporations across the nation, Chancellor Andre Bouchard of the Delaware Court of Chancery has issued an opinion enforcing a forum-selection bylaw that requires intra-corporate...more

Recent Decision Confirms That Forum Selection Bylaws Are Best Considered on a Clear Day

“Exclusive forum” bylaws and charter provisions are a powerful tool for managing the risk of parallel corporate governance litigation against a company and its directors in multiple forums, allowing stockholders to bring such...more

Courts Differ on Enforceability of Unilaterally Adopted Forum Selection Bylaws

While forum selection bylaws have become increasingly popular with US public companies, courts in Delaware and Oregon recently came to opposite conclusions on whether such bylaws, when unilaterally adopted by a board of...more

In re El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. Derivative Litig., C.A. No. 7141-VCL (Del. Ch. Jun. 12, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion resolving cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court of Chancery dismissed in part claims challenging a drop-down sale governed by a limited partnership agreement that supplanted fiduciary duties...more

The Importance of Planning Joint Venture Exit Strategies

With the Miami real estate market making a resurgence, there is a new rush for companies to come together in a joint venture to acquire real estate and develop projects. With the excitement of a new deal, the joint venture...more

"Fee-Shifting Bylaws: The Current State of Play"

As previously reported, on May 8, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court issued an opinion in ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund (German Tennis Federation), No. 534,2013 (Del. May 8, 2014), holding that fee-shifting provisions...more

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