Mergers & Acquisitions Business Torts Civil Procedure

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District Court Clarifies Statute of Repose Timeline in Material Misstatement Case

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently dismissed a class action claim, determining the reasserted claim violated the applicable statute of repose that requires all claims be brought within three...more

Delaware Court Dismisses Shareholder Class Action Suit Attacking Corporate Merger

Almost every proposed corporate merger is met with a shareholder suit against the acquiring company, merger target and the target’s board of directors in which the shareholders assert that the board breached its fiduciary...more

Have Your Directors Met Their Revlon Duties? Delaware Court Dismisses Strike-Suit Allegations as Merely Cosmetic

In a virtual course on how to bring—or not bring—an M&A strike suit, on June 30, a Delaware Chancery Court dismissed all shareholder claims against a merger target and its acquirer, ending nearly two years of litigation. ...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

In re TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 9415-VCN (Del. Ch. Jun. 13, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion denying plaintiffs’ motion to expedite, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiffs, shareholders of TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (“TriQuint” or the “Company”), failed to assert a colorable claim that...more

First Circuit Rejects Equitable Tolling In Class Action Arising Out Of Plant Closing

A luggage plant in France closes in 2007, so a class action suit for French post-termination benefits is brought against a former investor in Massachusetts in late 2011? Former Justice Souter joins the majority in the First...more

Delaware Court Clarifies Director and Officer Liability in M&A Transactions

In Chen v. Howard-Anderson, 87 A.3d 648 (Del. Ch. 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Laster, V.C.) held that directors and officers can be held liable for their participation in a change-of-control transaction if their...more

Inside The Courts - May 2014 | Volume 6 | Issue 2

In This Issue: - AUDITOR LIABILITY: ..Athale v. Sinotech Energy Ltd., No. 11 Civ. 05831(AJN) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 21, 2014) - BYLAWS: ..ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund (German Tennis...more

Seventh Circuit Interprets ERISA’s Statute of Limitations for Fiduciary Breach: Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company, No. 12-3330 (7th Cir. May 14, 2014), has issued a decision that clarifies the rules for suits for fiduciary breach under ERISA. The decision primarily...more

Shareholder Activism in Germany Following Takeover Announcements

Over the past few years there has been a noticeable increase in the frequency of activist investors building up considerable stakes in German listed companies in the context of public takeovers. One reason for this...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Underscores Heightened Pleading Standard Necessary to Support a Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty In...

In Houseman v. Sagerman, C.A. No. 8898-VCG, 2014 WL 1478511 (Del. Ch. Apr. 16, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Glasscock, V.C.) granted, in part, a motion to dismiss filed by certain directors and the financial advisor...more

Chen v. Howard-Anderson: A Study in the Standards of Review and of D&O Conduct in the Merger Context

Litigation over challenges to corporate mergers has swelled in recent years, exposing directors, officers and their D&O insurers to large amounts of defense costs and potentially great liability. The Delaware Chancery Court...more

Third Point LLC V. Ruprecht; Two-Tiered Poison Pill Withstands Judicial Review

In Third Point LLC v. Ruprecht, et al., C.A. No. 9469-VCP (Del.Ch. May 2, 2014), the Delaware Chancery Court denied a preliminary injunction challenging Sotheby’s stockholder rights plan, or so-called “poison pill,” which...more

Smith, Katzenstein & Jenkins LLP v. Fidelity Mgmt. & Research Co., C.A. No. 8066-VCL (Del. Ch. April 16, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

The Court of Chancery awarded plaintiffs attorneys’ fees and expenses under Delaware’s common fund and common benefit doctrines, concluding that defendants — who settled their potential claims against Revlon, Inc. (“Revlon”)—...more

M&A Update: Delaware Court Upholds Sotheby’s Poison Pill Defense Against Activist Citing “Negative Control” As A Corporate Threat

In a May 2, 2014 ruling relating to activist hedge fund Third Point LLC’s proxy battle with auction house Sotheby’s, the Delaware Chancery Court found that Third Point was not likely to succeed in its argument that the...more

Houseman v. Sagerman, C.A. No. 8897-VCG (Del. Ch. Apr. 16, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery held that the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead that the board failed to satisfy its Revlon duties in good faith and to negotiate consideration for alleged derivative claims that...more

Business Court Dismisses Derivative Action Against Duke Energy

You might remember the derivative action filed against the board of directors of Duke Energy Corporation stemming from its 2012 merger with Progress Energy. It received a lot of publicity. The merger was concluded long ago,...more

M&A Update: Chancery Court Provides Another Lesson For A Reasonable Sale Process

In a recent decision, Chen v. Howard-Anderson, the Delaware Chancery Court once again questioned the reasonableness of how a board conducted the sale of a company when it permitted stockholder claims to go to trial....more

SEC Settles Five Insider Trading Actions, Cooperation Key

The Commission filed two groups of settled insider trading actions centered on the merger of eBay, Inc. with Pennsylvania based e-commerce company GSI Commerce, Inc., announced on March 28, 2011. The first group traces to...more

Mergers & Acquisitions Alert: Controlling Stockholder Squeeze-Outs May Be Structured to Achieve Deferential “Business Judgment...

In Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. (Del. Mar. 14, 2014), the Delaware Supreme Court recently decided that a going private transaction sponsored by the controlling stockholder of a Delaware corporation may, under certain...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - April 2014

In this issue: - News from the Courts - News from the Regulators - Tax News - Notable Pending Deals - Contributors - Excerpt from News from the Courts: Delaware Court of...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

Frank v. Elgamal, C.A. No. 6120-VCN (Del. Ch. Mar. 10, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to certain claims asserted by a stockholder plaintiff in connection with a merger involving a...more

Who’s in Charge – Is the Board Responsible to Monitor Its Financial Advisor or Vice Versa?

In the case of In re Rural Metro Corporation Stockholders Litigation, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware held that the primary financial advisor retained by Rural/Metro Corporation aided and abetted the board in...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

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