News & Analysis as of

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

Considering a Director Emeritus

Board composition has been a governance focus for a while. In addition, recent pronouncements by ISS and The Council of Institutional Investors have expressed concerns about the impact of lengthy tenures on director...more

Board Oversight of Cybersecurity

Cyber-attacks on U.S. companies have increased over recent years resulting in significant costs to companies. According to surveys, U.S. companies have experienced a 42% increase between 2011 and 2012 in the number of...more

Creative Shareholder Engagement–Director Videos?

Much has been written lately about the importance of shareholder engagement. (See this Doug’s Note, for example.) There has even been recent clambering to involve directors directly in shareholder engagement....more

Five Essential Improvements to Corporate Governance

Continuing with my list theme for the week, it is important to remind everyone that a culture of compliance begins with the board of directors, filters to the CEO who commits to promoting ethics and compliance in the company,...more

Shareholder-Director Engagement – The Latest Governance Trend?

A few weeks ago several large institutional investors identified as the Shareholder-Director Exchange (SDX) Working Group sent a letter to the lead directors and corporate secretaries of Russell 1000 companies asking them to...more

Stockholder Proposal Seeks To Ratification Of All Decisions And Actions

For the last six years, Amerco as included a rather unique stockholder proposal in its proxy statement. It’s there again this year. Basically, it asks the stockholders to ratify and affirm all decisions and actions by...more

Miami Courts Drive Florida Business Law

Recent opinions in corporate governance litigation make clear that Miami courts are leading the way in developing Florida case law governing key corporate governance issues. In Dinuro Investments, LLC v. Camacho, Judge John...more

Antitrust and competition enforcement is changing fast: our report for multinationals from 3 global conferences

The world of antitrust/competition enforcement is changing more rapidly than ever. This evolving environment presents new challenges for companies with multinational operations, their executives and their advisers....more

Risk Planning and Board Liability

Board members are in the hot seat, or to put it another way – they are in a hot kitchen. The question is whether they can stand the heat of the hot kitchen....more

Directors Beware – The SEC’s High Expectations for Gatekeepers

In a recent speech, SEC Chair Mary Jo White put directors of public companies on notice of their responsibility as “essential” and “important” gatekeepers upon whom their investors and the SEC rely. Chair White described...more

The Fate of Delaware "Fee-Shifting" Bylaws

A topic of considerable controversy within the corporate community over the past two months has been the possibility of adopting a "fee-shifting" provision in the bylaws of Delaware corporations. Depending on how it is...more

Counsel to the Company: A Framework for Corporate Governance

As a threshold matter, counsel must identify, and remain clear as to, the identity of its client, which may be the company or a subsidiary, the Board or Board committee, or one or more executives. The identity of the client...more

Have Your Directors Met Their Revlon Duties? Delaware Court Dismisses Strike-Suit Allegations as Merely Cosmetic

In a virtual course on how to bring—or not bring—an M&A strike suit, on June 30, a Delaware Chancery Court dismissed all shareholder claims against a merger target and its acquirer, ending nearly two years of litigation. ...more

The Resilient Rights Plan: Recent Poison Pill Developments and Trends

Shareholder rights plans were developed more than 30 years ago to fend off opportunistic hostile offers and other abusive takeover transactions. Rights plans deter unauthorized stock accumulations by imposing substantial...more

SEC Chair White Discusses Directors’ Responsibilities

In a recent speech at the Stanford Directors’ College, SEC Chair Mary Jo White discussed several “things that directors should know about the SEC.” Her speech focused on directors as gatekeepers, self-reporting of wrongdoing,...more

Commissioner Aguilar Addresses Boards’ Focus on Cybersecurity

One June 10th SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar made a speech before the New York Stock Exchange, and he took the opportunity to discuss good corporate governance as it relates to cybersecurity and boards of directors....more

Exclusive Forum Provisions: A New Item for Corporate Governance and M&A Checklists

Public companies increasingly are adopting “exclusive forum” bylaws and charter provisions that require their stockholders to go to specified courts if they want to make fiduciary duty or other intra-corporate claims against...more

Defining Corporate Governance: Decisions, Direction, Culture and Risk

When reading about corporate governance, it is hard not to get frustrated. So-called “experts” in the field provide little practical advice but are filled with platitudes that apply to corporate boards, senior management and...more

Boards of Directors Charged with Cybersecurity Risk Management by SEC Commissioner

Last week, SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar outlined expectations for directors of public companies to manage cybersecurity risk. If you think it is enough that a board of directors reviews annual budgets for privacy and IT...more

Fed to Bank Directors: Pay Attention

Daniel K. Tarullo of the Board Of Governors of the Federal Reserve System delivered a speech on the intersection of corporate governance and prudential regulation. Some of the points he noted were (emphasis added)...more

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