News & Analysis as of

The Marx Brothers Mirror Scene: Absurdity and Comments by a SEC Commissioner

I continue my Marx Brothers’ themed week by today looking at what I and many others believe to be their most cherished routine: the Mirror Scene. Danny Leigh, in his article in the Financial Times (FT), entitled “Souped-up...more

New York’s Nonprofit Revitalization Act: A Guide to the Law’s Key Provisions

Significant portions of the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act (the “Revitalization Act” or the “Act”) went into effect in 2014. The Act represents the first overhaul in more than 40 years of laws applicable to nonprofit...more

Del. Justices Reverse Injunction Halting Sale of Control Transaction

When a Delaware corporation engages in a sale of control transaction, its board's obligation is to obtain the highest value reasonably attainable. This obligation, often referred to as Revlon duties, may be fulfilled as long...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That Revlon Does Not Require An Active Market Check, Reverses Lower Court Order Preliminarily...

On December 19, 2014, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed the Delaware Court of Chancery's November decision to preliminarily enjoin for 30 days a vote by C&J Energy Services stockholders on a merger with Nabors Red Lion...more

Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Injunction Requiring Thirty Day Go-Shop

In a recent decision, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Court of Chancery's entry of a preliminary injunction that enjoined C&J Energy Services, Inc. ("C&J") from holding a stockholder vote on its proposed merger with...more

De Commissaris - December 2014

'De Commissaris' aims to provide insights into Corporate Governance and related subjects. In round tables and interviews, commissioners, directors and experts share their vision. Contents of Issue 26, December...more

The “New Reality” for Corporate Boards

I have very little patience for a corporate board that fails to do its job. A board usually consists of talented, successful and experienced professionals. They have seen good and bad business practices in their days....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

SEC Commissioner Wonders Whether Harvard Violated Securities Laws

SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher and Joseph A. Grundfest, Stanford Law School, Rock Center for Corporate Governance, have just published a paper titled “Did Harvard Violate Federal Securities Law? The Campaign Against...more

SEC Grants No-Action Relief to Whole Foods to Exclude Proxy Access Shareholder Proposal

On December 1, 2014, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission granted no-action relief to Whole Foods Market regarding its request to omit a shareholder proposal from its proxy materials pursuant to Rule...more

ISS and Glass Lewis Update their Proxy Voting Guidelines for 2015

Proxy research and advice entities Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) and Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (“Glass Lewis”) recently updated the guidelines each service will use to inform their voting recommendations for...more

Blog: NACD Releases “Critical Issues For Board Focus In 2015?

The National Association of Corporate Directors has just released “Critical Issues for Board Focus in 2015.” The issues list was developed following the NACD’s dialogues with a number of major institutional investors and...more

Glass Lewis Releases 2015 Proxy Paper Guidelines

On November 6, 2014, Glass Lewis & Co. released its 2015 Proxy Paper Guidelines for the United States showing the key draft policy changes for the 2015 proxy season. There are updates in the following areas: -...more

California Attorney General Clarifies Oversight Board Member Compensation Rules

Opinion Comes in Wake of Dissolution of Redevelopment Agencies - Local entities making appointments to oversight boards are prohibited from compensating the appointee, or reimbursing expenses incurred as a result of...more

Board Oversight of Political Contributions Is Gradually Becoming a Corporate Governance Standard

On September 24, 2014, the Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research published their fourth annual index of corporate political disclosure and accountability (2014 Index), which...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

Re-evaluating the Board Evaluation

Board evaluations have long been standard practice among public companies. With shareholder interest in corporate governance practices at an all-time high, the focus on board evaluations is expected to increase. ...more

1, 2 or 3 Years? How Should Boards Decide The Frequency Of Say-On-Pay Votes?

Although the initial ruckus over how to determine the outcome of executive compensation say-on-frequency votes has subsided, I still maintain that the Securities and Exchange Commission botched the rule (§240.14a-21(b)). ...more

Activism: An Overview from the Company Perspective

Increasingly, companies are being confronted with shareholders seeking to exercise power and influence over business activities. The term “activism” has become a buzzword to refer to shareholders seeking to make operational,...more

The Origins of the FCPA: Lessons For Effective Compliance and Enforcement - Part Four

This is the fourth part of an occasional series. The first is available here, the second here and the third here. The entire paper will be published by Securities Regulation Law Journal early next year. The volunteer...more

Board of Directors and FCPA Oversight – An Internal Control Under SOX, Part II

In Part I of this two-part post regarding a Board of Director’s Role in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) oversight from the internal controls perspective, I reviewed how a Board might have independent liability for its...more

Activism and Engagement: Yadda, Yadda, Yadda or a Useful tool (or a Little of Both)

Activism is on the rise and everyone's activism defense playbook includes engagement, engagement and more engagement as the principal response. The experts in the field are well versed in when to engage, who to engage...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

Does The Corporations Code Permit “Boards R Us”?

In an article published last summer, Professors Stephen Bainbridge and M. Todd Henderson argued that “significant gains that could be realized by permitting firms (be they partnerships, corporations, or other business...more

OCC Specifies ‘Heightened Expectations’ for Board of Director Oversight Responsibilities for Large Banks

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, has adopted guidelines, issued as an appendix to its safety and soundness standards regulations, establishing minimum standards for the design and implementation of a...more

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