Shareholder Litigation

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Recent Decisions Confirm That Forum Selection Bylaws Are Best Considered on a Clear Day - But May Be Beneficial Later as Well

“Exclusive forum” bylaws and charter provisions are a powerful tool for managing the risk of parallel corporate governance litigation against a company and its directors in multiple forums, allowing stockholders to bring such...more

Forum Selection Bylaws Gain Ground

As we previously discussed (Should Your Board Adopt an Exclusive Forum Bylaw?, July 2013; The Future of Exclusive Forum Bylaws, November 2013), forum selection bylaws (also sometimes called exclusive forum bylaws) have become...more

The General Counsel Is Not The Shareholders’ Agent

A recent paper by Adair Morse, Wei Wang, and Serena Wu, Executive Gatekeepers: Useful and Divertible Governance, tackles interesting questions about the the effectiveness of internal gatekeepers and the impact of equity...more

Oklahoma Takes a Stand a Stand in the Battle Over Derivative Fee-Shifting

Back in May we discussed ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund a seminal Delaware Supreme Court case that upheld a non-stock corporation’s “loser pays” fee-shifting bylaw. ATP Tour held that where a Delaware corporation...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court 2013-2014 Term Summary Part 3: Recap of Cases Affecting Wisconsin Businesses

This post is the third in a series of posts analyzing the 2013-14 term of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This post provides in a nutshell what businesses need to know about the cases from last year’s term of the...more

In re Nine Systems Corp. S'holders Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 3940-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 4, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this 146-page post-trial opinion addressing claims challenging a 2002 recapitalization of Nine Systems Corporation (“Nine Systems”), the Court of Chancery held that a conflicted transaction resulting in a fair price...more

Delaware Court Denies Dismissal for Disinterested Directors When Entire Fairness Applies

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently addressed the pleading standard for claims against disinterested directors arising out of transactions involving a controlling stockholder, where the transaction has been alleged to be...more

Delaware Court Enforces Exclusive Forum Provision Adopted Concurrently with Announcement of Merger Agreement

Public companies are increasingly enacting “exclusive forum” bylaws — designating a single forum for intra-corporate disputes — as a way to limit the risk and burden of multi-jurisdictional stockholder litigation. This trend...more

Forum Selection Bylaws Are Best Considered On A Clear Day

“Exclusive forum” bylaws and charter provisions are a powerful tool for managing the risk of parallel corporate governance litigation against a company and its directors in multiple forums, allowing stockholders to bring such...more

The Delaware Court of Chancery Finds Two Transactions Were Not Entirely Fair, but Awards No Damages Where the Prices of the...

On September 4, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued two lengthy post-trial opinions, both authored by Vice Chancellor John W. Noble, finding that recapitalization or restructuring transactions did not satisfy the...more

Forum Selection Bylaws–More Good News

Fending off merger-related shareholder lawsuits keeps getting easier. Just a week ago, the Delaware Chancery Court upheld the enforceability of the bylaw of a Delaware corporation headquartered in North Carolina that selected...more

SEC Issues Stern Reminder for Timely Filing of Beneficial Ownership Reports

After years of little enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a press release yesterday announcing charges against 28 officers, directors, or major shareholders for violating federal...more

Breaking: Chancery Court Issues Decision on Claims Against Independent Directors in Controlling Stockholder Transactions

Delaware decisional law on entire fairness review of controlling shareholder transactions has been complicated in part by the subtle distinction between facially disinterested directors (who are liable only where a specific,...more

Delaware Supreme Court Rules That Privileged Documents Must Be Produced To Shareholders Investigating Corporate Misconduct

The Delaware Supreme Court recently held that, in certain circumstances, shareholders may be able to obtain access to privileged, internal documents in order to investigate potential breaches of fiduciary duty. In Wal-Mart...more

The Root Cause of Skyrocketing Securities Class Action Defense Costs

Why do the costs of defending securities class actions continue to increase? Because of my writing on the subject) I’m asked about the issue a lot. My answer has evolved from blaming biglaw economics – a combination of...more

Dealmakers Q&A: Baker Botts' Buzz McGrath

Frederick H. (Buzz) McGrath has counseled public and private companies for more than 30 years on a wide range of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic joint ventures and complex capital structures....more

Forum Selection Bylaws Help Combat Multijurisdictional Shareholder Litigation: State Courts are Increasingly Upholding Forum...

When almost 98 percent of takeover transactions valued at more than $100 million result in shareholder litigation, and often such transactions are the subject of multiple lawsuits filed in multiple jurisdictions, it is no...more

Delaware Court Denies Attorneys’ Fees for Stockholders in Appraisal Proceedings

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held that certain stockholders who launched appraisal proceedings challenging a merger lacked standing to obtain reimbursement of attorneys’ fees from a $10.7 million settlement in a...more

Fiduciary Duties in the Context of Dent v. Ramtron Int’l Corp.

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently addressed a number of claims commonly made in the “ubiquitous” stockholder litigation that follows announcement of a public merger or acquisition transaction. In Dent v. Ramtron Int’l...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 34

In this issue: - Oregon State Court Refuses to Enforce Forum Selection Bylaw - SEC Announces Pilot Program to Widen Tick Sizes for Smaller Companies - NFA Issues Notice Setting Effective Date for Risk...more

In re Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. S'holders Litig., Consol. C.A. No. 8917-VCL (Del. Ch. Aug. 25, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

The Delaware Court of Chancery denied a request by the parties to enter a proposed order withdrawing plaintiffs’ counsel’s request for the Court to retain jurisdiction to determine an award of attorneys’ fees and closing a...more

Delaware’s Adoption of Garner — and Practical Ways to Respond

On July 23, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW held that plaintiff stockholders, who make a showing of good cause, can inspect documents concerning a...more

Texas Court of Appeals Decertifies Class of Brigham Shareholders

On August 15, the Texas Court of Appeals decertified a class of Brigham Exploration Co. shareholders, holding that the trial court failed to comply with a state rule requiring rigorous analysis of certification requirements. ...more

Levick Monthly - August 2014, edition 13: The U.S. House Signals Significant Mobile Usage Upticks

In This Issue: - The U.S. House Signals Significant Mobile Usage Upticks - The Nick Hanauer Debate: Trickledown, Trickle Dee, And Trickle Dumb - Texas Supreme Court Guts Minority Shareholder Oppression...more

Director Liability for Cybersecurity Risks

If a corporation is the target of a cyberattack resulting in a data breach, its board may be the target of a shareholder derivative action claiming breach of fiduciary duty. A recent example is Palkon v. Holmes, No....more

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