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Delaware Supreme Court Rules That Privileged Documents Must Be Produced To Shareholders Investigating Corporate Misconduct

The Delaware Supreme Court recently held that, in certain circumstances, shareholders may be able to obtain access to privileged, internal documents in order to investigate potential breaches of fiduciary duty. In Wal-Mart...more

Three New Weapons to Combat Shareholder Litigation

Over the past several years there has been an overwhelming abundance of class action shareholder litigation. A study by Cornerstone Research found that in 2013 alone, 94% of mergers and acquisitions worth over $100 million...more

Editorial: Fla. Sets Strict Standard For Direct Shareholder Claims

Florida recently clarified the limited circumstances in which a corporate shareholder or limited liability company member has standing to bring a direct claim for damages relating to the company. On July 9, in Dinuro...more

Editorial: 3rd DCA Clarifies Derivative Lawsuits

The Third District Court of Appeal has issued a landmark opinion setting forth Florida's law to determine the limited circumstances in which a corporate shareholder or limited liability company member has standing to bring a...more

The Fate of Delaware "Fee-Shifting" Bylaws

A topic of considerable controversy within the corporate community over the past two months has been the possibility of adopting a "fee-shifting" provision in the bylaws of Delaware corporations. Depending on how it is...more

Cambridge Ret. Sys. v. Bosnjak, C.A. No. 9178-CB (Del. Ch. June 26, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to make a pre-suit demand on the board and for failure to state a claim, holding that demand...more

Some Questions Boards Might Want To Ask When Considering Fee-Shifting Bylaws

1. Is a fee-shifting bylaw facially valid under applicable law? The Delaware Supreme Court has held that a fee-shifting bylaw adopted by a Delaware non-stock corporation is facially valid. ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher...more

In re Westech Capital Corp., Consol. C.A. No. 8845-VCN (Del. Ch. May 29, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this post-trial Section 225 decision, the Court of Chancery resolved a dispute about the meaning of two subsections of a voting agreement that determine how its signatories would designate the directors of Westech Capital...more

Public Company Adopts Fee Shifting Bylaw

The Delaware Supreme Court caused quite a stir when it concluded that a fee shifting bylaw adopted by a non-stock corporation did not run afoul of the Delaware General Corporation Law. ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis...more

In an abrupt reversal, Delaware says "Ummm... Wait!" to fee shifting bylaws

It has been a dizzying couple of weeks for the Delaware Bar. Previously, the disaffected German tennis federation of the professional ATP tennis tour had sour grapes over the downgrading of the Hamburg tennis tournament and...more

Delaware Court Enforces “Loser Pays” Bylaw, Opens the Door for D&O Insurers to Better Assess and Control Shareholder Litigation...

The Delaware Supreme Court held that a corporation’s fee-shifting bylaw is enforceable as long as the bylaw is not adopted for an inequitable purpose. A first of its kind, this ruling seems poised to change dramatically the...more

Fee-Shifting Bylaws–Novel Protection from Stockholder Litigation

Here’s one to keep an eye on. Just last week, the Delaware Supreme Court (ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund) held that fee-shifting provisions in a corporation’s bylaws are facially valid and enforceable against...more

Shareholder Proposals: Different Challenges, Different Results

This proxy season, several companies filed suit against shareholder activist, John Chevedden, challenging his shareholder proposals. Three companies, Omnicom Group, Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. and Express Scripts...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 17

In this issue: - Proposed Amendments to Delaware General Corporation Law and Courts and Judicial Procedure Law - SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues New C&DIs Relating to Social Media Use - FINRA...more

Poison Pills with Lower Ownership Thresholds for Activist Investors Come Under Attack

On March 25, 2014, Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC filed suit against Sotheby’s and its directors in Delaware’s Court of Chancery to invalidate Sotheby’s poison pill. The board of Sotheby’s adopted the poison pill this past...more

Updated Corporate Statutes Make New Jersey More Attractive to Businesses - An Analysis of the Recently Enacted Derivative Action...

Signed into law in 1968, New Jersey’s statute governing shareholder derivative actions remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years. As corporate structures and governance mechanisms evolved, New Jersey’s laws did not...more

Hong King: Companies Ordinance 2014 and Directors' Duties

A new Companies Ordinance (CO) came into effect in Hong Kong on 3 March 2014, which introduced a number of changes to the law on directors’ duties. ...more

Delaware Supreme Court Tells Controlling Shareholders “If You Look Out For Your Minority, We’ll Look Out For You”

On March 14, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously affirmed an important Delaware Court of Chancery decision issued in 2013 that offered a roadmap to companies and their directors on how to obtain the protections of...more

Proxies Unbundled: Recent SEC Guidance after Greenlight Capital v. Apple Case

Last year, Judge Sullivan in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a preliminary injunction in Greenlight Capital, L.P. v. Apple, Inc. enjoining the “bundling” of multiple proposals by Apple in...more

Update: Landmark Decision By Delaware's High Court Affirms Deferential Business Judgment Review For Controlling Stockholder...

Last summer, in our post titled Protecting Your Business Judgment: Recent Developments in Delaware Law on M&A Deals Involving Controlling Stockholders, we alerted you that two trial courts in the nation’s leading forum for...more

In re Rural Metro Corp. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 6350-VCL (Del. Ch. Mar. 7, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this post-trial decision, the Court of Chancery held a financial advisor liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by a target board in the sale of the company. The Court concluded that the financial...more

Kahn v. MF Worldwide Corp. The Delaware Supreme Court Affirms In re MFW Holding That a Going-Private Transaction May Gain the...

On March 14, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court decided Kahn v. MF Worldwide Corp. and unanimously affirmed the Chancery Court’s ruling in In re MFW. As we discussed previously, in In re MFW, then-Chancellor (now Chief Justice)...more

M&F Worldwide: Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Business Judgment Review In Controlling Stockholder Transaction

When a controlling stockholder’s buyout of a company has been challenged by minority stockholders, Delaware courts have generally subjected the transaction to entire fairness review, the most rigorous standard of review in...more

The Impact of Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp.: Delaware Supreme Court Affirms That Business Judgment Review Applies to Properly...

In Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp., the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Court of Chancery’s decision that the more deferential business judgment rule standard of review, rather than an entire fairness standard of...more

"Reliance by Directors: What’s a Conscientious Director to Do?"

An Issue Needing Attention - In its recent decision in In Re Rural Metro Corporation Stockholders Litigation, the Delaware Court of Chancery, in a footnote, touches on what it means for directors to be “fully...more

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