Aiding and Abetting Breach of Duty

News & Analysis as of

Caspian Select Credit Master Fund Ltd. v. Gohl, C.A. No. 10244-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 28, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss direct and derivative claims against the company’s board and controlling stockholders for breaches of fiduciary duty...more

Court of Chancery Applies Business Judgment Standard Under New Supreme Court Precedent

This is an important decision that reverses a prior opinion in the same case. The Court did so because after it issued its prior opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its Corwin decision holding that when a merger is...more

Court of Chancery Again Explains Claim Against An Investment Banker

In this unusual factual circumstance, the Court denied a motion to dismiss a claim against an investment banker for aiding and abetting a board’s alleged breach of its duty to act with care. Note that the board itself was...more

Insights: The Delaware Edition - October 2015

We are pleased to share with you the inaugural issue of Insights: The Delaware Edition, a periodic publication addressing significant Delaware deal litigation and corporation law developments. In This Issue: - Q&A...more

"Dole Ruling Serves as Cautionary Tale for Take-Private Deals"

Earlier this year, in a consolidated breach of fiduciary duty and appraisal action, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial opinion that includes many important takeaways for...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Cautions Directors: Be Vigilant in Recognizing Advisor’s Conflict of Interests

Shareholders challenged the merger of Zale Corporation with Signet Jewelers Ltd. In a decision dated October 1, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery credited allegations that the board of directors of Zale breached its...more

Chancery Court Provides Lessons on Conflicts of Interest in a Sales Process – Holds Only Financial Advisor Open to Liability

In an October 1st decision (In re Zale Corporation), the Delaware Chancery Court dismissed claims that Zale Corporation’s directors breached their fiduciary duties in connection with Zale’s agreement to merge with Signet. ...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Investment Banker Conflict Leads To Aiding And Abetting Claim

Here the banker failed to make a timely disclosure to its client that it had previously pitched the buyer to make a bid for the client. The Court found that in the context of a motion to dismiss the Board may have breached...more

Court Of Chancery Spells Out Aiding And Abetting Claim Requirements

Aiding and abetting claims are often filed against those who have worked with a fiduciary that is breaching his fiduciary duty. This decision explains the requirements for such a claim, particularly the need to show the...more

Fraud Means a “Fairer” Price: In re Dole Finds CEO and COO Personally Liable for Over $148 Million in Damages

On August 27, 2015 the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial decision, In re Dole Food Company, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, that held two of Dole’s directors, David Murdock and Michael Carter, personally liable for...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

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

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

TN COA: Arbitrators Decide Scope and Unconscionability

The Tennessee Court of Appeals at Jackson recently enforced a NY choice-of-law provision against an arbitration challenge, holding that courts determine contract-formation issues, while arbitrators decide the scope and...more

CMS Investment Holdings, LLC v. Castle et al., C.A. No. 9468–VCP (Del. Ch. June 23, 2015) (Parsons, VC)

In this decision, the Delaware Court of Chancery largely declined to dismiss claims for breach of a limited liability company agreement, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, breach...more

Dead Hand Proxy Puts Create Litigation Risk for Lenders

Why it matters - In a noteworthy decision, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled that a lender could be held liable for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty by directors of a public company borrower by including...more

California Decision Expands Actuary’s Potential Liability Based on Aiding and Abetting Theory

The recently published California decision in Nasrawi v. Buck Consultants LLC, issued by the Court of Appeal, Sixth District, has the potential to expand an actuarial firm’s liability well beyond its current limits under...more

Proxy Puts: Consider With Caution

Directors of a Delaware corporation that enters into a financing agreement with a lender may breach their fiduciary duties if the financing agreement contains a common provision allowing the lender to accelerate and demand...more

Court Of Chancery Notes The Outer Limits Of Contract/Fiduciary Claims

There is a long line of decisions that holds when the parties set out their mutual rights and obligations in a contract, only contract law governs and a breach of fiduciary duty claim cannot also be brought....more

NC Appeals Court gives Big Win for Financial Institutions

North Carolina Court of Appeals – No Causes of Action against Financial Institutions for Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty or Bank Secrecy Act Violations - While many bank employees were counting down to...more

Lee v. Pincus et al., C.A. No. 8458-CB (Del. Ch. Nov. 14, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery partially granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that (i) plaintiff had stated a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against the Director Defendants because it was...more

Delaware Court Provides Guidance on Acceptable Deal Protection Mechanisms and Scope of Third Party Aiding and Abetting Liability...

On November 25, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision in In Re Comverge, Inc. Shareholders Litigation, which: (1) dismissed claims that the Comverge board of directors conducted a flawed sales process and...more

In re Sanchez Energy Deriv. Litig., C.A. No. 9132-VCG (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiff stockholders failed to plead particularized facts sufficient to demonstrate demand futility and dismissed the plaintiffs’ fiduciary duty, aiding and...more

Delaware Court Decides Damages in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Aiding and Abetting Case

In March 2014, Vice Chancellor Laster of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware issued an opinion finding Rural/Metro Corporation’s lead financial advisor liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by...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

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