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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

Delaware Court of Chancery Rules That a Major Debt Holder and 48 Percent Stockholder Is a Controlling Stockholder and Owes...

In Hamilton Partners, L.P. v. Highland Capital Management, L.P., the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by former stockholders of American Home Patient, Inc. (AHP)...more

Delaware Case Continues High Scrutiny of Investment Bankers in Mergers and Acquisitions

In a decision on March 7, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery found RBC Capital Markets, LLC liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by the Board of Directors of Rural/Metro Corporation in connection with...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

Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Chancery Court Ruling that Applied Business Judgment Rule to Going Private Transaction with...

In Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp., the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Chancery Court’s decision in In re MFW Shareholders Litigation. In that decision, the Chancery Court had granted summary judgment in favor of...more

Delaware Supreme Court Deals Blow to Merger Litigation Plaintiffs

On Friday, the Delaware Supreme Court adopted the business judgment rule standard of review for some controlling stockholder freeze-out mergers and potentially other interested party transactions. In Kahn, et al. v. M&F...more

In re MFW Decision Upheld by Delaware Supreme Court

Last week in Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. (Del. March 14, 2014), the Delaware Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Court of Chancery in the In re MFW Shareholders Litigation (Del. Ch. May 29, 2013) case and also upheld the...more

In the Rural/Metro Decision, Delaware Court Emphasizes Conflicts of Interest in Finding Breaches of Fiduciary Duties

Citing various conflicts of interests involving management, board members and financial advisors, Vice Chancellor Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery found that the Board of Directors of Rural/Metro Corporation (“Rural”)...more

In re Orchard Enterprises, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 7840 (Del. Ch. Feb. 28, 2014)

Delaware Court of Chancery applies entire fairness review to a take-private merger with a controlling stockholder, despite approval by a special committee and a majority-of-the-minority, and holds that disclosure claims may...more

Amicus Decries “Tortification” Of Contract Law

In For Executives, This May Have Been The Most Frightening Holding Of 2013, I wrote about the Court of Appeal’s decision in Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. v. Actelion Ltd., 222 Cal. App. 4th 945 (2013). Readers may recall that...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Applies Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing to Prohibit An Acquiring Entity From Diverting...

In American Capital Acquisition Partners, LLC v. LPL Holdings, Inc., CA NO. 9490-VCG, 2014 WL 354496 (Del. Ch. Feb. 3, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery applied the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing to a...more

How Recent Fiduciary Duty Cases Affect Advice To Directors And Officers Of Delaware And Texas Corporations

I. Introduction. The conduct of corporate directors and officers is subject to particular scrutiny in the context of business combinations (whether friendly or hostile), executive compensation and other affiliated...more

Practice Tips for M&A Practitioners for 2014

Based on a number of cases decided by the Delaware courts in 2013, below we summarize practice tips regarding careful drafting of contractual provisions and complying with technical and statutory requirements....more

40% Is Less Than A Majority But Can It Be “Control”?

Yesterday’s post concerned the Court of Appeal’s opinion in Busse v. United Panam Financial Corp., 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 11 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. Jan. 8, 2014) holding that shareholders may not pursue monetary damages under...more

In re Trados: Directors Dodge a Bullet

Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster’s August 16 post-trial opinion in In re Trados Inc. Shareholder Litigation1 (hereinafter, “In re Trados”) has attracted a significant amount of attention. Much as both the Chancery and the...more

Shareholder Issues Arise When Full Enterprise Value Fails to Be Assessed

In dissenters' rights actions, shareholder oppression and member disputes as well as in breach of fiduciary duty cases, the fair value of a company becomes center stage for debate. As shareholders and companies keep an eye...more

North Carolina Business Court Holds that Shareholders Cannot Directly Sue Officers and Directors in Merger Challenge

A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court potentially makes it more difficult for shareholders to challenge mergers and acquisitions in North Carolina. The Court held that an action against a company’s officers...more

Delaware Reigns in Shareholder Attacks on Weak Fairness Opinions

Financial advisors should remain keenly aware that, in recent years, plaintiffs and courts have been more carefully scrutinizing fairness opinions rendered in the context of public M&A transactions. Post-Great Recession, the...more

Flawed, but Fair: Updated Guidance for Boards and Investors

A recent Delaware decision, in re Trados Incorporated Shareholder Litigation, underscores a director’s responsibilities in “underwater” venture deals. In a 114-page opinion by Vice Chancellor Laster, the court reviewed the...more

Misbehaving Directors, Including Directors’ Duties To Maintain The Confidentiality Of Information

I. Introduction. The conduct of corporate directors and officers is subject to particular scrutiny in the context of business combinations (whether friendly or hostile), executive compensation and other affiliated...more

Indemnification Rights in Delaware LLC Agreement Enforced

In September 2013, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled in Costantini, et al. v. Swiss Farm Stores Acquisition LLC that a provision in an LLC agreement that reflects the indemnification language of the Delaware General...more

Class Action Trends – Interview with Stephen Gulotta, Managing Member, Mintz Levin's New York Office [Video]

Attorney Stephen Gulotta, Managing Member of Mintz Levin's New York office, discusses the recent trend in which stockholders are filing class action suits after public deals are announced. ...more

Voluntary Withdrawal of Appeal in Delaware Exclusive Forum Bylaw Case

In response to the wave of strike suits filed outside Delaware in connection with mergers and acquisitions and executive compensation matters, boards of some Delaware corporations adopted exclusive forum bylaws. Those bylaws...more

Creeping Takeovers and Fiduciary Duties – A Recap

In In re Sirius XM Shareholder Litigation, Delaware Chancellor Strine dismissed a complaint that the Sirius board had breached its fiduciary duties by adhering to the provisions of an investment agreement with Liberty Media...more

DiRienzo v. Lichtenstein, et al., C.A. No. 7094-VCP (Del. Ch. Sept. 30, 2013) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this lengthy memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed claims relating to a series of complex transactions in which a hedge fund, previously organized as a private limited partnership, was converted by its...more

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