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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

Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015) (Strine, C.J.)

In this opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a stockholder challenge to a merger, the Delaware Supreme Court held that the approval of the merger by a fully informed, disinterested stockholder majority...more

Financial Services Quarterly Report - Third Quarter 2015: Recent Developments in U.S. “Excessive Fee” Litigation

The U.S. mutual fund industry is poised to see significant developments in the ongoing wave of Section 36(b) “excessive fee” litigation. Days apart in August, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary...more

CLIENT ALERT: Delaware Supreme Court Finds That Fully Informed Stockholder Vote Approving Merger Invoked Business Judgment Rule

Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015). In this opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a purported class action challenging an acquisition transaction, the Delaware...more

Securities Claims Based on Item 303 of Regulation S-K: It Just Doesn’t Matter

In January 2015, the Second Circuit held in Stratte-McClure v. Morgan Stanley, 776 F.3d 94 (2nd Cir. 2015), that Item 303 of Regulation S-K imposes a duty to disclose for purposes of Section 10(b), meaning that the omission...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

Mannix v. PlasmaNet, Inc., C.A. No. 10502-CB (Del. Ch. July 21, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted a motion to dismiss and approved a settlement whereby certain former stockholders would dismiss their appraisal demands in exchange for shares of the surviving...more

SEC Proposes Amendments to Rules Governing Administrative Proceedings

The Securities and Exchange Commission appears to be hearing the music. In response to the many voices that have expressed dissatisfaction with the procedures used in SEC administrative hearings, the SEC today issued proposed...more

Disclosure-Only Settlements Face Continued Scrutiny In Delaware

On Thursday, September 17, 2015, in In re Riverbed Technology, Inc. Stockholders Litigation, the Delaware Chancery approved a disclosure-only settlement related to the go-private deal for Riverbed Technology, Inc. Although...more

A Farewell to Alms? Peppercorn Settlements of M&A Litigation

An apparently frustrated Delaware Vice Chancellor recently approved yet another disclosure-only settlement of yet another challenge to a merger, but seemed intent on signaling that such proposed class-action settlements might...more

Delaware District Court Explains Securities Law Pleading Rules

This decision is an excellent primer for what must be plead to state a claim under various sections of the federal securities laws. The pleadings rules to establish a claim well enough to avoid a motion to dismiss are...more

Court Of Chancery Grants Stay Of Derivative Case

A stay of derivative litigation is hard to get even when there is another case pending elsewhere. But when, as here, the other litigation may expose the company to significant liability, a stay of the derivative action...more

Delaware Chancery’s In re Dole Food Co., Inc. Decision Provides Lessons For Corporations Considering Going Private Transactions

On Thursday, August 27, 2015, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster found Dole Food Co., Inc. (“Dole”) Chief Executive Officer, David Murdock, and General Counsel, C. Michael Carter, liable to investors for $148 million in fraud...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Unfair Dealing Law In Cash-Out Case

Aside from the very large damage award, this decision should be noted for its thorough analysis of the duties of a controlling stockholder and his aides in the way they act to carry out a going private transaction....more

"DC Circuit Dismisses Challenge to SEC Rule 206(4)-5"

On August 25, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the D.C. District Court’s dismissal of a challenge to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pay-to-play Rule 206(4)-5 (the Rule) and...more

Court Of Chancery Outlines Discovery In Books and Records Case

First, the discovery cannot be of the very records the plaintiff seeks to obtain, for that will give him the relief he seeks before he proves his case. Second, it is often the case that the records are being sought for use in...more

CLIENT ALERT: Court Finds Dole Food Company Directors Liable; Awards $148M in Damages

In re Dole Food Company, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, Consolidated C.A. No. 8703-VCL - In re Appraisal of Dole Food Company, Inc., Consolidated C.A. No. 9079-VCL - In a much anticipated post-trial decision, the...more

D.C. Circuit Reaffirms 2014 Opinion on Conflict Minerals Rule

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed its 2014 ruling that struck down the requirement that public companies must disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and on their...more

Salman v. Newman: The developing standard for insider trading liability

The 9th Circuit just denied rehearing en banc in a closely watched decision that declined to adopt a broad interpretation of its influential sister circuit’s watershed opinion in United States v. Newman, 773 F.3d 438 (2d Cir....more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Stockholder Consents

Given the sanctity of the stockholder vote in Delaware law, it would be surprising if the Court of Chancery would ever reverse such a vote or the use of stockholder consents to take corporate action....more

Appraisal Claims Dismissed Due to Custodial Banks' Technical Acts

Despite being a court of equity, there are certain instances where the Delaware Court of Chancery demands "strict compliance" with procedural provisions irrespective of the potential for an inequitable outcome. For example,...more

Optimizing Damages Adjustments In Securities Class Actions

Because most securities class actions settle, the statutory limitations on damages that plaintiffs are allowed to recover following a favorable verdict are often overlooked. Those limitations, however, can be surprisingly...more

Hill Int’l, Inc. v. Opportunity Partners L.P., No. 305, 2015 (Del. July 2, 2015)

In this opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Chancery’s entry of an injunction, barring appellants Hill International, Inc.’s (“Hill”) from conducting any business at its June 9, 2015 Annual Meeting,...more

Don’t Be Caught Dead Handed: Avoiding Legal Challenges to Dead Hand Proxy Puts in Loan Agreements

A number of public companies have become the target of shareholder books and records inspection demands and litigation related to certain “change of control” provisions in their loan agreements. The type of provisions at...more

Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. - “Lawyers, Guns and Money”

On July 6, 2015 the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued its eagerly awaited opinion in Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., addressing the question of what constitutes a company’s ordinary business operations and...more

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