Civil Procedure Mergers & Acquisitions

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El Paso Pipeline GP Company, L.P. et al., v. Brinckerhoff, No. 103, 2016 (Del. Dec. 20, 2016)

In this unanimous en banc decision, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed a $171 million judgment of the Court of Chancery, holding that the plaintiff limited partner lost standing to pursue the underlying derivative claim...more

Chancery Court Holds That Squeezed Out Stockholders Lack Standing to Compel Inspection under DGCL § 220

On February 27, 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery addressed an important matter of first impression under Delaware law: "Must a plaintiff seeking corporate records under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law...more

Important Decision by Massachusetts Supreme Court May Significantly Reduce Risk of Merger Litigation

The recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Loc. No. 129 Benefit Fund v. Tucci has the potential to significantly reduce merger litigation for publicly traded companies...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal Of Shareholder Class Action And Clarifies That Directors Generally Owe Fiduciary...

On March 6, 2017, in a decision authored by Justice Margot Botsford, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the dismissal of an action for breach of fiduciary duty brought by former shareholders of EMC Corporation...more

Death Knell to Merger Litigation for Massachusetts Corporations?

In IBEW Local No. 129 Benefit Fund v. Tucci, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed the dismissal of direct claims for breach of fiduciary duty by EMC shareholders challenging the merger of EMC and Dell, Inc....more

Economists Must Respect Due Process Too! EU General Court annuls Commission decision blocking UPS/TNT merger

The judgment reinforces due process and transparency in EU merger control proceedings. The Court made clear that due process standards will be strictly enforced in merger cases, despite the relatively tight deadlines. The...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Holds that Cancellation of Shares Through Merger Deprives Stockholder of Standing in Section 220 Action

In Weingarten v. Monster Worldwide, Inc., C.A. No. 12931-VCG, 2017 WL 752179 (Del. Ch. Feb. 27, 2017), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Glasscock, V.C.) clarified when a plaintiff has standing to vitiate inspection rights...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules Merger Challenges Must Be Brought Derivatively

In a decision that will have significant implications for M&A litigation involving Massachusetts corporations, on March 6, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a shareholder challenge to a proposed merger...more

Court of Chancery Holds That A Books And Records Plaintiff Must Be A Stockholder At The Time Of Suit

This decision resolved a matter of first impression: a plaintiff seeking corporate records under Section 220 of the DGCL must be a stockholder at the time he files his complaint to have standing. Thus, when a stockholder...more

A Former Shareholder Cannot Demand Books and Records Under DGCL§ 220

Can a former shareholder whose stock was cancelled in a merger bring suit for corporate books and records under Delaware law? In a recent decision, the Court of Chancery gave a clear answer to this question of first...more

New York Appellate Division Revives Non-Monetary Class Action Settlement in M&A Class Action with Revised Standard of Review

In Gordon v. Verizon Communications, Inc., No. 653084/13, 2017 WL 442871 (N.Y. App. Div. Feb. 2, 2017), the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department (the “First Department”),...more

New York Court Reverses Rejection of M&A Disclosure-Only Settlement Signaling Split from Delaware

Seyfarth Synopsis: On February 2, 2017, the Appellate Division for the First Department in New York entered an order approving a “disclosure-only” settlement. While acknowledging the “increasingly negative view” of...more

Evidence Law Litigation Update - February 2017

New York Court of Appeals Holds That the Common Interest Doctrine Applies Only to Litigation Matters. This year, in Ambac Assurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., No. 80, 2016 N.Y. Lexis 1649 (N.Y. June 9, 2016), New...more

Bass, Berry & Sims Releases Securities & Shareholder Litigation 2017: A Look Ahead

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC announces the release of its annual "Securities & Shareholder Litigation 2017: A Look Ahead," a high-level report that covers recent developments and offers best practices for the year ahead. The newly...more

"New York Appellate Court Sets New Standard for Approving Nonmonetary and 'Disclosure-Only' Settlements"

It has become a common phenomenon for the announcement of a significant merger transaction to be quickly followed by shareholder class action or derivative litigation challenging the terms of the transaction and the accuracy...more

Delaware Court Affirms Utility of Buyer Acknowledgment Clause in Dismissing Fraud Claim

In IAC Search, LLC v. Conversant LLC (f/k/a ValueClick, Inc.), 2016 WL 6995363 (Del. Ch. Nov. 30, 2016), the Delaware Court of Chancery provided a reminder on how potentially-overlooked contractual provisions could have a...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Class Distribution Procedures

Distributing the proceeds from a class action settlement is not as easy as you might think. Tracing ownership is complicated by the use of various intermediaries such as Cede & Co. This decision explains why that is so and...more

Delaware Law Updates – Pleading Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing in the Publicly Traded Master...

In Dieckman v. Regency GP LP, --- A.3d ---, 2017 WL 243361 (Del. Jan. 20, 2017), the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Court of Chancery[1] and held that the common unitholder plaintiff’s complaint properly stated a claim...more

Stockholder Merger Vote Sets High Bar for Post-Closing Claims

The Delaware Supreme Court's decision in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings , 125 A.3d 304 (Del. 2015), reaffirmed the power of fully-informed, uncoerced, disinterested stockholder approval to immunize M&A transactions against...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

Japan’s SoftBank hasn’t been shy about bold moves, but its most recent one—the decision to buy American PE giant Fortress Investment Group—is an especially big one. The deal is seen as bolstering SoftBank’s recently announced...more

Federal Whistleblower Laws Collide With The Attorney-Client Privilege: The Bio-Rad Case Study

Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal whistleblower laws collide with the in-house attorney-client privilege. The trial round goes to the whistleblower. The expected appellate round has still not been fought. In a February 7,...more

First Department Opens the Door a Bit Wider to “Disclosure-Only” Settlement Agreements in Class Action Cases

On February 2, 2017, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, approved a “disclosure-only” settlement agreement in Gordon v. Verizon Communications, Inc., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 740 (1st Dep’t Feb....more

First Department Adds Two New Factors to New York’s Standard of Review for Non-Monetary Settlements of Shareholder Class Actions

On February 2, 2017, the Appellate Division, First Department issued a unanimous decision in Gordon v. Verizon Communications, Inc., No. 653084/13, 2017 BL 31251 (1st Dep’t Feb. 2, 2017) that may have significant consequences...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

Ex-VW-Chairman Ferdinand Piech has thrown a wrench in the automaker’s official narrative of the emissions cheating scandal by suggesting, in sworn testimony, that the company knew of the cheating months before it was...more

Pleading Failures Doom Disclosure Claims in Short-Form Merger Case

Vice Chancellor Tamika R. Montgomery-Reeves of the Delaware Court of Chancery (the “Court”) issued a Memorandum Opinion on January 4, 2017, dismissing a lawsuit arising from a short-form merger involving United Capital...more

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