Mergers & Acquisitions General Business Civil Procedure

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Avoiding Antitrust Pitfalls: Even When You Didn't Do Anything Wrong!

You might already be thinking: “Is this another article about why an antitrust compliance program is very important? Really? People in our company are ethical and would not do anything to violate the laws.” But when you were...more

Another Court Deals with Privileged Communications' Ownership after a Corporate Transaction

Most if not all courts recognize that selling a corporation's stock transfers ownership of the corporation's privileged communications. These can include even communications about the sale transaction. Great Hill Equity...more

The End of Disclosure Only Settlements in M&A Cases? Not So Fast.

Disclosure-only settlements have been popular in the past – last year, about 80% of settlements in M&A-related lawsuits were for disclosures only, according to Cornerstone Research – but lately they have come under scrutiny. ...more

"Recent Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law Address Fee-Shifting and Forum Selection Provisions"

It has become almost axiomatic that when a public company merger is announced, stockholder litigation quickly follows. In recent years, some studies have indicated that more than 90 percent of transactions valued at more than...more

Two Cases From NC Business Court: Class Action Fees Doubled And Expedited Discovery Denied

Last week (well, two weeks ago, I'm kind of behind) seemed like class action week at the Business Court. Judge Gale issued three rulings in class action cases. ...more

The English Court’s Approach to interpretation of Material Adverse Effect provisions

The English High Court recently considered whether a downward revision of a profit forecast would constitute a “material adverse effect” within the parameters of the provision agreed on by the parties in the share purchase...more

Fraud Vitiated Special-Committee Process in Dole Merger

In a self-interested transaction between a company and its controlling stockholder, the operative standard of judicial review under Delaware law is the most rigorous: entire fairness standard of review. To obtain the least...more

Business Judgment Rule Applies to Merger Approved by Informed, Disinterested Stockholders

Delaware Supreme Court’s ruling provides additional grounds for dismissal in post-closing stockholder litigation regarding mergers that are not subject to entire fairness review. Introduction - Clarifying a...more

M&A Update: Fully Informed Vote of Disinterested Stockholders Results in Business Judgment Rule Protection in Post-Closing Review...

In an October 2, 2015 decision, Corwin, et al. v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC., et al., the Delaware Supreme Court clarified that once a merger closes, as long as it has been approved by a fully informed vote of the...more

In re Appraisal of Dell Inc., C.A. No. 9322-VCL (Del. Ch. July 13, 2015) (rev'd July 30, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the continuous holder requirement set forth in Section 262 of the General Corporation Law of the State...more

Oil Supplier Appeals Conoco’s Right To Buy Stake In Refinery Unit

In a long-standing dispute between Venezuelan state-owned Oil Company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (“Petroleos”) and ConocoPhillips, a New York district court judge upheld ConocoPhillips’ acquisition of a 50% stake in a Texas...more

In re Riverbed: The Beginning of the End for Disclosure-Only Settlements in M&A Cases?

The past decade has seen an incredible rise in M&A litigation. According to Cornerstone, in 2014, a whopping 93% of announced mergers valued over $100 million were subject to litigation, up from 44% in 2007. As Delaware...more

"Federal Trade Commission Loses Challenge to Steris-Synergy Deal"

On September 24, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio denied the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) bid to enjoin Steris Corporation (Steris) from acquiring its alleged potential competitor, Synergy...more

Court Of Appeals Affirms Business Court Award Of $1 Million In Fees To Class Counsel

It seems like forever ago that the then venerable North Carolina institution, Wachovia Bank, failed and was acquired by Wells Fargo. (This was actually seven years ago). But just last week came what might be the final...more

District of Colorado Grants Summary Judgment for Insurer on Bad Faith Claim Arising from Denial of Coverage Under E & O Policy

P&S LLC v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-cv-00735-LTB-CBS (D. Colo. July 29, 2015). District of Colorado grants summary judgment for insurer on bad faith claim where insurer established that an...more

Sublicensee’s Purchase of Licensee Not Prohibited under the License Agreement - VDF FutureCeuticals, Inc. v. Stiefel Labs., Inc.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that a sublicensee of patent and trademark rights that purchased its sublicensor in order to reduce the royalties it owned to the licensor was not prohibited from buying...more

Delaware Chancery Court Rejects Allegations Assailing Independence Of VC Directors In Dismissing Derivative Suit

A recent Delaware Chancery Court decision dismissing derivative fiduciary duty claims has significance for public companies with board members who are associated with venture capital firms. ...more

In Reversal, California Supreme Court Allows Assignment of Coverage for Liability Claims

California’s Supreme Court has reversed its own heavily criticized decision from 2003 in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. (2003) 29 Cal. 4th 934. In Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court, the Court announced that its...more

M&A Update: Delaware Court Finds Dole Executives Personally Liable for Millions in Damages for Defrauding Stockholders in Buy-Out...

In its August 27th post-trial opinion, In re Dole Food Co., Inc. Stockholder Litigation, the Delaware Chancery Court held Dole executives David Murdock and Michael Carter personally liable for $148 million in damages for...more

The California Supreme Court Issues Its Landmark Decision in Fluor

On August 20, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Fluor v. Superior Court, overruling its prior holding in Henkel Corp. v Hartford, which precluded successor entities from tapping into their...more

California Supreme Court Decides that Insurance Protection for Losses that Have Already Occurred May Be Freely Assigned in...

On August 20, 2015, the California Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated decision in Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court (Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company). The California Supreme Court held that California...more

Compliance with pre-arbitration and pre-litigation notice procedures is critical to enforcing contractual rights: English High...

When a party to a contract wishes to sue, the contract may include specific procedures for giving notice to the counterparty in a prescribed way prior to the right to litigate or arbitrate in accordance with the contract...more

LongPath Capital, LLC v. Ramtron Int'l Corp., C.A. No. 8094-VCP (Del. Ch. June 30, 2015) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this appraisal action, the Court of Chancery determined that the negotiated merger price less synergies yielded the fair value of Ramtron International Corporation (“Ramtron”) for purposes of Section 262 of the Delaware...more

Insights from DRI Class Action Seminar 2015 – Part 2

Andrew Pincus, lead counsel in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (to be decided by the Supreme Court next Term, see my May 1, 2015 blog post), spoke on this subject. The question presented is whether a federal statute can confer...more

Delaware Corporation Law Amendments Address Fee-Shifting and Exclusive Jurisdiction Provisions

Recently enacted amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law will prohibit the certificates of incorporation and bylaws of Delaware corporations from including "loser pays" litigation provisions with respect to...more

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