Board of Directors Fiduciary Duty

News & Analysis as of

M&A Team News - January 2016

Here is a look back at the top M&A developments that affected deal-making last year and a look forward to our expectations for 2016....more

Court Explains Rigorous 'Caremark' Pleading Requirements

A recent opinion containing the report and recommendation of the magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, In re Chemed Shareholder Derivative Litigation, C.A. No. 13-1854-LPS-CJB (D.Del. Dec....more

"Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Earlier Rulings, Chancery Court Stakes Out New Positions"

Delaware courts tackled a number of issues of importance in 2015. The Delaware Supreme Court clarified prior inconsistent case law by reiterating that deference must be given to decisions made by disinterested directors. It...more

"Director Compensation in the Spotlight"

Individuals serving on company boards of directors should carefully examine director compensation programs and decisions involving their own compensation following an April 30, 2015, ruling by the Delaware Court of Chancery....more

Global Private Equity Newsletter - Winter 2016 Edition: Recent Developments in Acquisition Finance

Two recent court decisions may result in a broadening of the range of options available to an equity sponsor in respect of an insolvent portfolio company. The first decision may provide increased flexibility in structuring...more

Shaev v. Adkerson, C.A. No. 10436-VCN (Del. Ch. Oct. 5, 2015) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims that in granting one million restricted stock units, defendants, the board of directors of a corporation, violated its...more

Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Rural/Metro Decision

The Delaware Supreme Court recently affirmed the 2014 decisions of the Delaware Court of Chancery finding the lead financial advisor for Rural/Metro Corporation (“Rural”) liable to a class of Rural stockholders for aiding...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Contours of In Pari Delicto Doctrine

The Delaware Supreme Court, in a recent order affirming the opinion of the Delaware Court of Chancery, provided clear guidance about when third-party corporate advisers may raise the in pari delicto defense as a shield to...more

The Importance of Oversight: Recent Trends in Delaware Financial Advisor Liability

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently made a series of rulings that underscore the importance of oversight by directors in performing their fiduciary duty of care, particularly as it pertains to financial advisors and their...more

Goldman Sachs May Still Be Liable After Board's Fiduciary Duty Breach Exculpated

Section 102(b)(7) of the Delaware General Corporation Law permits a provision in a company's certificate of incorporation that exculpates directors from monetary liability for breaches of the fiduciary duty of care. By...more

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

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - SEC Decides Against Mounting an Appeal in Koch Ruling - The July 2015 ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court in Koch v. SEC will apparently not be challenged by the SEC. The Court ruled in that...more

Inside M&A - October 2015

Overview of SPACs and Latest Trends - A number of recent successful business combination transactions involving special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) led by prominent sponsors have driven a resurgence in the SPAC...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

"Delaware Supreme Court Reaffirms Important Protections for Corporate Directors"

A trio of opinions from the Delaware Supreme Court, each authored by Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., has reaffirmed Delaware’s deference to the business judgment of disinterested corporate decision-makers and restored...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

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of '40 Act Section 36(b) Excessive Fee Action Against Davis

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an amended complaint asserted by a shareholder of the Davis New York Venture Fund (the “Fund”) under section 36(b) of the Investment Company...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

A WARNing to Directors and Officers — Failure to give proper WARN Act notice may breach your fiduciary duty

At first glance, Stanziale v. MILK072011, looks like someone suing over a bad expiration date and conjures up images of Ron Burgundy proclaiming “milk was a bad choice.” But in actuality Stanziale is much more interesting: it...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

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

Perspectives - September/October 2015

In a decision in which no opinion commanded a majority, the Ohio Supreme Court sided with a private entity — a charter school operator — in a dispute over the ownership of personal property purchased by the operator with...more

Do Public Pension Funds Breach Their Fiduciary Duties By Pursuing Social Issue Proposals?

Yesterday, UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge noted the publication of a recent study that reaches some devastating conclusions for public pension funds.  The study by Professor Tracie Woidtke at the University of...more

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