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2016 Arbitration Roundup in Australia

In 2016, the Australian courts were at the forefront of maintaining Australia's stronghold as a pro-arbitration jurisdiction. This was notably demonstrated in three Federal Court decisions, which also served as a salutary...more

Solak v. Sarowitz et al., C.A. No. 12299-CB (Del. Ch. Dec. 27, 2016) (Bouchard, C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery held that Section 109(b) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) prohibits a bylaw shifting to a stockholder plaintiff the attorneys’ fees and other expenses incurred by the...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Addresses Limited Partnership Drop-Down Transactions and Conflicts Committees"

The Delaware Supreme Court recently ruled on two appeals from Court of Chancery decisions involving "conflicts committees" of Delaware limited partnerships. Both decisions arise out of challenges to "drop-down" transactions...more

Delaware Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Director Independence

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Delaware Supreme Court recently reversed the dismissal of a derivative complaint for failure to plead demand excusal because it found that certain directors of Zynga Inc. were not independent due to...more

Alternative Duties for Alternative Entities: High Court Allows LLC and LLP Managers to Limit or Waive Fiduciary Duties

The nation’s leading forum for business and shareholder disputes recently confirmed that alternative entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs) and master limited partnerships (MLPs) can...more

Home Depot Evades Shareholder’s Derivative Suit for 2014 Data Breach

Public companies that are proactively working to mitigate “cyber” risks and prepare to respond to potential incidents frequently ask whether a “breach” will lead to litigation, loss of customers, stock price decline, and...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Rules on Director Independence"

The Delaware Supreme Court recently issued an important decision on the subject of director independence. In Sandys v. Pincus, No. 157, 2016 (Del. Dec. 5, 2016), the Delaware Supreme Court held that certain directors of...more

Sole Owners of Close Corporation and LLC Discover They're Not So Sole

What makes a shareholder a shareholder? What makes an LLC member a member? The simplicity of the questions belies the difficulties and endlessly unique fact patterns encountered in case after case involving close...more

Home Depot Data Breach Derivative Suit Sent Home

Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. of the U.S. District Court of Georgia permanently shelved a derivative suit brought by shareholders of Home Depot. Home Depot is a multinational home improvement retailer. In September, 2014,...more

CLIENT ALERT: Delaware Supreme Court Relaxes Inquiry into Director Independence in Demand Futility Context

Sandys v. Pincus, No. 157, 2016 (Del. Dec. 5, 2016). In this en banc majority opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court signaled that, at least in the context of a demand futility analysis involving a corporation with a...more

Court Of Chancery Clarifies Personal Jurisdiction Over LLC Managers

The Delaware LLC Act provides for personal jurisdiction in Delaware over those who manage a Delaware LLC—i.e., those who are named as managers in the LLC agreement, and those who participate materially in the LLC’s...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Standing To Bring Fiduciary Duty Claims After Being Forced to Sell Stock

This is an important decision because it clarifies when a stockholder loses standing to bring a fiduciary duty case because he sold his stock. Briefly, breach of fiduciary duty claims may be direct (belonging to the...more

Marquee Energy Appeal Reaffirms Plans of Arrangement Law in Canada

In a decision released on November 15, 2016, the Alberta Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of Marquee Energy Ltd. (Marquee) from a prior decision of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta which had required, as a condition to...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Suits Alleging Directors Wrongfully Refused Litigation Demands

Seyfarth Synopsis: On November 30, 2016, The Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed two derivative suits filed on behalf of the Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”). The companion memorandum and letter opinions reaffirm the heavy...more

Officers and Directors Spared Home Depot Data Breach Derivative Lawsuit

Officers and directors may breathe a temporary sigh of relief following the recent dismissal of the Home Depot data breach derivative case. Others will look to the facts for guidance. The complaint alleging the board had...more

Roadmap for Merger Decision-Making Process in Delaware

In a string of recent cases, the Delaware courts have given public companies a roadmap for structuring the decision-making process in merger transactions. Before delving into the recent decisions, it may help to understand...more

Claims That Controlling Stockholder Received Unique Benefits Dismissed

In GAMCO Asset Management v. iHeartMedia, Delaware's Court of Chancery considered claims that a controlling stockholder's liquidity needs created conflicts in otherwise arm's-length transactions with third parties. As...more

“Directors’ Decisions Must Be Reasonable, not Perfect” Home Depot’s Shareholder Derivative Litigation Arising from Data Breach...

On November 30, 2016, a federal district court dismissed a shareholder derivative complaint against various current and former directors of Home Depot arising from the well-publicized data breach the company suffered between...more

Court Of Chancery Examines Whether Derivative Demand Was Wrongfully Refused

Even after a board rejects a plaintiff-stockholder’s demand to bring a derivative litigation, the plaintiff may proceed to bring that derivative action if the plaintiff can show the demand was “wrongful.” Having conceded...more

Court Of Chancery Summarizes Law On Reliance Disclaimers

Large commercial contracts frequently try to limit a buyer’s remedies for any extra-contractual misrepresentations by the seller. Many Delaware decisions deal with disclaimers of extra-contractual representations and this...more

Court Dismisses Derivative Claim for Alleged Breach of Oversight Duty

The Delaware courts encourage plaintiffs who bring derivative claims in Delaware without making demand on the board of directors to seek books and records under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law so as to be...more

NC Business Court Sends Some Important Messages About Fees To Lawyers For Class Action Plaintiffs

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am very sour on substantial attorneys' fees being awarded to the lawyers for class action plaintiffs who obtain nothing more for the class than...more

Delaware Supreme Court Rejects Fraud Defense To Advancement

Delaware strongly protects a party’s right to advancement of attorney’s fees. This decision holds that a claim of fraudulent inducement cannot be asserted as a defense in a contractual advancement case even when the fraud is...more

The Federal Government Holds Individuals Responsible for Involvement in Corporate Healthcare Fraud and Abuse

In September 2016, three corporate officers in two healthcare fraud and abuse cases settled allegations that they were personally liable for violations of federal fraud and abuse laws. These settlements come one year after...more

"Plaintiffs Facing Headwinds in Pending Mutual Fund Fee Litigation"

With the first-filed cases at or near completion, the results are not looking good for the plaintiffs in the latest wave of mutual fund fee litigation. Defendants prevailed after trial in one of those cases and achieved...more

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