News & Analysis as of

Proxy Access Developments: ISS Issues FAQs on Voting Policies and Several Companies Voluntarily Adopt Proxy Access Bylaws

On February 20, (ISS) published long-awaited FAQs clarifying its voting policies on proxy access proposals that would allow investors to include director nominees in the company’s proxy materials....more

SEC Proposes Disclosure Rule for Hedging Transactions by Directors, Officers and Employees

On February 9, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a proposed rule that, if adopted, would require public companies to disclose in annual proxy statements whether their employees and board members...more

SEC Proposes Equity Hedging Disclosure Rules under Dodd-Frank

On February 9, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) proposed long-awaited equity hedging disclosure rules to implement Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010...more

Jail for UK directors and corporate sentencing to come

The prosecution of Smith and Ouzman Ltd. for bribery is winding to a close, with the sentencing of two directors of the company for corruption....more

Weavering: Appeal court judgment clears directors of wilful default

On 12 February 2015 the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal handed down its long-awaited judgment in Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Ltd v Peterson and Ekstrom. The case, which measured the liability of directors, sent...more

How Recent Fiduciary Duty Cases Affect Advice To Directors And Officers Of Delaware And Texas Corporations

The conduct of corporate directors and officers is subject to particular scrutiny in the context of business combinations (whether friendly or hostile), executive compensation and other affiliated party transactions,...more

Is Your Board Engaged on Compliance or Not? Be Honest!

We all can cite situations in which we avoid the truth. Part of the reason is we want to believe and cannot accept the truth. With age, we supposedly acquire wisdom and become more realistic about personal and professional...more

Shareholder’s Challenge to Smith & Wesson SLC’s Independence Misfires in the First Circuit

On February 4, 2015, the First Circuit affirmed the summary dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit, which brought Nevada state claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, unjust enrichment, and...more

Court Refuses To Break Board Deadlock By Appointing A Provisional Director

Section 308 of the California Corporations Code provides for the appointment of a provisional director when a corporation has an even number of directors who are equally divided and cannot agree as to the management of the...more

"Insights Focus: Key Observations for Directors and Senior Executives"

Although Insights is intended to cover a wide range of issues, there are a number of topics we believe will be of particular interest to directors and senior corporate executives. Below is an introduction to these topics and...more

"US Corporate Governance: Boards of Directors Remain Under the Microscope"

For a number of years, the message for directors of U.S. public companies has been that their decisions face greater and greater scrutiny. While some of this enhanced scrutiny has come from federal and state governments,...more

Director Tenure: A Solution in Search of a Problem

Director tenure continues to gain attention in corporate governance as term limits become a cause célèbre. Proponents argue directors should no longer qualify as independent after 10 years of service, even though no law, rule...more

Directors Need to Meet High Standard to Avoid Liability

The Tax Court of Canada again confirmed that directors of corporations will have a high burden to meet to establish a due diligence defence and avoid liability for unremitted source deductions....more

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2015

In this issue: - Strategic Planning Challenges - Cybersecurity - Assess the Impact of Advances in Technology and Big Data - Shareholder Activism - The Return of M&A - Risk...more

In re Novell, Inc. S’holder Litig., C.A. No. 6032 (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of defendants on claims alleging that directors acted in bad faith by favoring a bidder in a sale process for reasons other than the pursuit...more

Delaware Court Dismisses Action Against Seller's Directors and Financial Advisor, And Finds That Large Stockholder's "Side Deals"...

On October 24, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision, In Re: Crimson Exploration Inc. Stockholder Litigation, addressing when: (i) a stockholder with less than majority voting power may be deemed a...more

Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Action Targeting Directors and Officers for Data Breaches

Earlier this week a federal district court in New Jersey dismissed with prejudice a shareholder derivative suit, Palkon v. Holmes, No. 14-CV-01234 (SRC) (D.N.J.), that tried to blame the directors and officers at hospitality...more

Cut! Eighth Circuit Excludes Non-Board Member from CGL Coverage for “Directors”

Directors and Officers liability policies are typically precise in defining the job descriptions of the individuals to whom they offer coverage. Recently, in United Fire & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Thompson, No. 13-2352 (8th Cir....more

Why Does Determining A Quorum Have To Be So Complicated?

California’s quorum requirement for meetings of directors appears on its face to be straightforward – a majority of the authorized number of directors constitutes a quorum of the board for the transaction of business. Cal....more

Bill Aims At Clarifying Status Of Ex Officio Directors

Yesterday’s post considered the various paths to becoming a director under the California General Corporation Law. The California Nonprofit Corporation Law defines “directors” in a similar fashion but makes it clear that the...more

Just How Many Ways Are There To Become A Director?

Lao Tzu is said to have written that there a many paths to enlightment, but how many paths are there to becoming a director? To answer the question, let’s look at the definition of “directors” in the California General...more

When Should the Board Call Separate Counsel?

Reports of the increased risk of liability for boards of directors, as well as for individual directors, have become commonplace against the backdrop of ever-increasing regulation and litigation risk. There is intense...more

Minnesota Issues Revenue Notice Regarding Apportionment of Compensation Paid to Nonresident Corporate Board Members

On August 25, 2014, the Minnesota Department of Revenue released Revenue Notice 14-02, which provides an alternative method of apportioning compensation earned by certain corporate directors who are not residents of Minnesota...more

The SEC Gets Serious About Late Beneficial Ownership Reporting

On September 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced charges against 28 directors, officers and significant shareholders of public companies for repeated failures to timely report their share...more

When A Corporation Dissolves, Do The Directors Become Zombies?

Even though a corporation has dissolved, there may still be a need to take certain corporate actions. For example, the corporation may need to continue to prosecute or defend lawsuits, file a final franchise tax return, or...more

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