News & Analysis as of

Board of Directors Shareholder Litigation

Nevada Favors New York Over Delaware Precedent For SLC Review

by Allen Matkins on

Nevada law endows a board of directors “full control over the affairs of the corporation”. NRS 78.120(1). This control is subject only to such limitations as may be provided by NRS chapter 7, or the articles of...more

Demand Futility Isn't Dead For Derivative Actions Against Non-Profit Corporations

by Brooks Pierce on

You probably thought that you would never again have to argue that a demand on a corporation's board of directors before filing a derivative action should be excused because it would have been futile. That's because the...more

Shareholder Activism Dealt a Blow in Australia's Federal Court

by Jones Day on

The Background: In RBC Investor Services Australia Nominees Pty Limited v Brickworks Limited [2017] FCA 756 (10 July 2017) ("Brickworks case"), a large institutional investor sought to dismantle a cross shareholding...more

Court Of Chancery Gives Guidance On What Constitutes Bad Faith

by Morris James LLP on

In Re Meadwestvaco Stockholders Litigation, C.A. No. 10617-CB (August 17, 2017) - As this decision explains, to state a claim attacking a merger on the basis that the Board acted in bad faith you need more than ...more

Minnesota Supreme Court Articulates Test for Direct Versus Derivative Claims in In re Medtronic, Inc. Shareholder Litigation

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

On August 16, 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided In re Medtronic, Inc. Shareholder Litigation, holding that a shareholder’s claim is properly characterized as a direct claim, not a derivative claim, if the shareholder...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Duty Of Care and Loyalty Claims

by Morris James LLP on

H&N Management Group Inc. v Couch, C.A. No. 12847-VCMR (Del. Ch. Aug. 1, 2017) - This is a rare case involving apparent lack of care in approving a conflicted transaction and a failure to employ almost any safeguards to...more

Under Delaware Law, the Occurrence of Alleged Illegal Conduct at a Company Is Not Enough to Plead Demand Futility Sufficient to...

In a shareholder derivative action, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to plead facts showing demand futility, a derivative plaintiff must plead particularized facts showing either actual involvement by a majority of...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Stock Restriction Law

by Morris James LLP on

Henry v. Phixios Holdings Inc., C.A. No. 12504-VCMR (July 10, 2017) - This is the rare decision explaining when restrictions on stock transfers (permitted by Section 202 of the DGCL) can be enforced. While the statute...more

Delaware Chancery Court Declines To Dismiss Challenges To Director Option Grants And Outside Investor Voting Agreement

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On June 28, 2017, Vice Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves of the Delaware Court of Chancery declined to dismiss purported derivative and direct stockholder claims for breaches of fiduciary duty against the directors of...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When Entire Fairness Applies To Option Grants And Voting Agreements

by Morris James LLP on

While directors have the right to issue options, when the grant is to themselves and there are specific facts suggesting unfairness, those directors will have the burden of proving the grants were entirely fair in a...more

Court of Chancery Dismisses Post-Closing Challenge to Merger Transaction

by Morris James LLP on

Stockholders who believe that a board breached its fiduciary duties in connection with information provided to stockholders asked to vote for a merger transaction can either seek to enjoin the transaction or seek damages...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Corwin Limits

by Morris James LLP on

This is an important decision if only because it explains a further limitation on the Corwin rule that an informed uncoerced stockholder vote insulates a corporate transaction from attack. First, the decision explains when a...more

Delaware Law Updates – Delaware Court Of Chancery Provides Clarity On The “Quasi-Appraisal” Remedy And Post-Closing Claims

by McCarter & English, LLP on

On May 11, 2017, Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard of the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed with prejudice a putative class action brought by stockholders of networking solutions in In re Cyan, Inc. Stockholders Litigation.[1]...more

“If at First You Don’t Succeed…” - Shareholders Keep Trying to Sue D&Os for Data Security Breaches

by Locke Lord LLP on

Several high-profile lawsuits have been filed in recent years by shareholders seeking to hold corporate officers and directors liable for damage resulting from data security breaches. For example, directors and officers at...more

Delaware Chancery Court Holds That Well-Pled Unocal Claim Does Not Automatically Excuse Pre-Suit Demand

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On May 15, 2017, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III of the Delaware Chancery Court dismissed a shareholder derivative action asserting that the directors of The Williams Companies, Inc. (“Williams”) breached their duty of...more

Court Of Chancery Declines To Hold Unocal Claim Automatically Excuses Demand

by Morris James LLP on

A derivative plaintiff who fails to make a pre-suit demand on the board must show why demand is excused using particularized facts. Here, the plaintiff argued that demand was automatically excused by sufficiently pleading a...more

Court Of Chancery Rejects Novel Breach Of Appraisal Rights Claim

by Morris James LLP on

This decision begins with a conventional analysis of a claim that disclosure violations and director self-interest have tainted a merger vote. That claim was rejected for want of factual support. More unusual, the decision...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Examines Director Disinterestedness, Independence"

Delaware law provides important tools for directors to maintain control of derivative lawsuits.1 One such tool is the “demand requirement” embodied in Court of Chancery Rule 23.1, which requires that before a stockholder acts...more

"Q&A With Delaware Litigation Partner Ed Micheletti"

What is the most significant recent development in Delaware, from a litigation standpoint? The most significant recent development impacting deal litigation in Delaware is the continuing evolution of the Corwin doctrine,...more

"The Continuing Evolution of Corwin in Delaware Courts"

Recent Delaware Supreme Court and Court of Chancery cases have continued to refine the impact and requirements of Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, in which the Delaware Supreme Court held that the business judgment rule...more

Stockholders' Complaint Survives Chancery's 'Corwin' Analysis

by Morris James LLP on

After a series of successful applications of the Corwin doctrine in Delaware's Court of Chancery, a plaintiff has finally survived a motion to dismiss where Corwin was applied. In In re Saba Software Stockholder Litigation,...more

Court Of Chancery Explains The “Known Looter” Theory For Controllers

by Morris James LLP on

This is an interesting decision because it examines an intriguing legal theory for holding a controlling stockholder liable in a sale: the “known looter” theory. Generally speaking, controllers can sell their stock to whoever...more

Home Depot Agrees to Settle Data Breach Shareholders’ Suit

In a surprise move late last week, Home Depot has agreed to settle a shareholders derivative suit filed against current and former members of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Information...more

Notable Delaware Decisions: First Quarter 2017

by BakerHostetler on

The Delaware Chancery Court and Delaware Supreme Court were busy during the first quarter of 2017, handing down decisions touching on: Required disclosure in a variety of settings – for standard-of-review “cleansing”...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Shareholder Suit, Finding Subject Matter Jurisdiction Was Properly Exercised, Equity Dilution...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On April 26, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a shareholder of Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (“Star Bulk”) against its directors and entities affiliated...more

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