News & Analysis as of

Delaware Court of Chancery Restricts Board’s Ability to Subject Former Shareholders to New Bylaws

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held, in a case of first impression, that a non-reciprocal fee-shifting bylaw cannot be applied to a claim brought by a former shareholder who had been cashed out of the company before...more

A Sea Change in Proxy Access?

Proxy access has suddenly leap-frogged to the top of seemingly everyone’s corporate governance list after various setbacks over the past few years. In fact, a March 17th Wall Street Journal article quoted Anne Simpson, head...more

Blog: Is “Tenure Voting” A Possible Cure For “Raging Corporate Activism”?

In “Seeking a Cure for Raging Corporate Activism,” published on March 17, 2015, in the WSJ, the author discusses a technique resurrected from the 1980’s that could, on reexamination, be “a bulwark against short-termers who...more

Blog: White Shares Observations On Shareholder Activism, The Shareholder Proposal Process And Fee-Shifting Bylaws

Today, SEC Chair Mary Jo White spoke at Tulane’s Corporate Law Institute, sharing her observations on the current state of shareholder activism, the shareholder proposal process and fee-shifting bylaws. ...more

Blog: Proxy Access: Not A Question Of “If,” But “When”?

This article in the WSJ observes that there appears to be a major shift in the viability of proxy access, as a growing number of companies are adopting bylaw amendments or are expected to submit the matter to shareholder...more

Court of Chancery Addresses Application of Fee-Shifting Bylaw

The Rites of Spring are upon us: budding flowers, warmer temperatures, and a Delaware court issuing an important decision just before the annual Tulane Corporate Law Institute begins. ...more

Blog: Delaware Chancery Court Addresses Application Of Fee-Shifting Bylaw To Former Stockholder

In a case just decided, Strougo v. Hollander, C.A. No. 9770-CB (Del. Ch. Mar. 16, 2015), the Delaware Chancery Court addressed the issue of whether the timing of adoption affects the enforceability of a unilaterally adopted...more

CorpCast Episode 1: Sections, 204, 205 and In re Numoda [Video]

Morris James LLP’s Corporate and Fiduciary Litigation Group introduces CorpCast, a podcast discussing Delaware corporate and commercial law and practice. In this first episode, we discuss In re Numoda Corporation S’holders...more

User-Friendly 10-Ks–The Next Step in Shareholder Engagement

Much has been written about the dramatic increase in shareholder engagement from both sides of the relationship. For example, financial and governance roadshows have become mainstream not only among large-cap companies, but...more

Annual Meeting Handbook 2015 Edition - Providing a General Overview of State and Federal Laws and Stock Exchange Rules Relating to...

INTRODUCTION – Every public company in the United States is required by its charter documents, the corporate law of its state of incorporation and the federal securities laws to hold a meeting of shareholders at least...more

Delaware Adopts Curative Procedures for Invalid Past Corporate Actions

Business lawyers frequently face mistakes their clients make in documenting what they want to accomplish in terms of corporate actions, such as issuing stock. Clients will ask for advice years after they have delivered stock...more

Blog: Institutional Investors Speak Out On Proxy Access And Conflicting Proposals

Earlier this month, the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee devoted part of its agenda to the topic of proxy access and the much debated Rule 14a-8(i)(9), which permits companies to exclude shareholder proposals from their...more

SEC Timeout on Proxy Access Issue Has Wider Implications

On January 16, 2015, the SEC withdrew its December 1, 2014 no-action letter in which it concurred with the view of Whole Foods Market, Inc. that the company was entitled under SEC Rule 14a-8(i)(9) to exclude from its proxy...more

Are We Closer to Fixing the Proxy Voting System?

The integrity of the shareholder vote is a cornerstone of shareholder democracy for public companies. Shareholders’ ability to “have their say” is exercised at shareholder meetings largely through proxy voting, which is a...more

Blog: Speakers Comment On Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals As False And Misleading, Rule 14a-8(i)(3)

At the PLI conference on February 10, Corp Fin Director Keith Higgins, while focusing primarily on the issue du jour of Rule 14a-8(i)(9), the rule that permits companies to exclude from their proxy statements shareholder...more

Blog: ISS Announces Its Position On Proxy Access And Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals

Yesterday, ISS issued long-awaited FAQs regarding its policy with respect to shareholder proposals for proxy access and its position on exclusion of shareholder proposals under Rule 14a-8(i)(9). ...more

Developments & Predictions for the 2015 Proxy Season

In a January 2015 webcast, Latham & Watkins partners Jim Barrall, global Co-chair of the firm's Benefits and Compensation Practice, and Steven Stokdyk, global Co-chair of the firm's Public Company Representation Practice,...more

Blog: Corp Fin Director Higgins Shares His Thoughts On Rule 14a-8(I)(9), The Exclusion For Conflicting Proposals

At a PLI conference yesterday on Corporate Governance, Corp Fin Director Keith Higgins gave us a preview of the Division’s thinking about how to address the issues that have arisen recently with respect to Rule 14a-8(i)(9),...more

Proxy Access - Recent Developments

Recent activity by shareholder governance advocates and the SEC has thrust proxy access back into the spotlight. Here we provide a brief refresher on proxy access and our thoughts on recent developments....more

Trinity Wall Street Responds in Appeal of Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal

Currently before the Third Circuit is Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The case involves whether Wal-Mart can exclude a shareholder proposal under the “ordinary business exception” to Rule 14a-8. Trinity...more

Barbarians at the (REIT) Gates: REITs Should Be Prepared for a New World Order of Shareholder Activists, Hostile Overtures and...

Publicly traded REITs today face an increased risk of potential shareholder activism, proxy fights and otherwise hostile overtures. In response to this growing trend, public REITs should examine their corporate governance...more

Why Every Day Is Proxy Season for Public Companies [Video]

Historically, the proxy season for public companies ran from January through the spring, but it now has become a year-round concern. In a conversation with Mimesis Law’s Lee Pacchia, Foley Partner John Wilson explains how the...more

Issuer Welcomes Shareholder Proposal

A coalition of investors submitted a shareholder resolution to Royal Dutch Shell plc. The resolutions titled ‘Strategic Resilience for 2035 and Beyond’ call for company disclosures on: - ongoing operational emissions...more

"Insights Focus: Key Observations for Directors and Senior Executives"

Although Insights is intended to cover a wide range of issues, there are a number of topics we believe will be of particular interest to directors and senior corporate executives. Below is an introduction to these topics and...more

SEC Staff Will No Longer Issue No-Action Letters on Conflicting Shareholder Proposals During the 2015 Proxy Season

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance (the “SEC Staff”) recently announced that it would refuse to grant no-action relief during the 2015 proxy season to companies seeking...more

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