Board of Directors

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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

Does A Director Have A Contractual Right To Compensation?

Yesterday, I wrote about stockholder challenges to director compensation. Today’s post considers what happens when a director joins a board. When someone is invited to join a board, she may ask about compensation. The...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

When It Comes To Director Compensation Claims, Nevada And Delaware Are Fundamentally Different

Since 1969, there has no question that directors of a Delaware corporation have the authority to set their own compensation. 8 DGCL § 141(h). Having authority to do something, however, doesn’t mean that the use of that...more

Cambridge Ret. Sys. v. Bosnjak, C.A. No. 9178-CB (Del. Ch. June 26, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to make a pre-suit demand on the board and for failure to state a claim, holding that demand...more

California Insurers Asked to Submit Diversity Information About Boards of Directors

The California Department of Insurance (“CDI”) has issued a notification to insurers with 2013 written premiums of $100 million or more in California to complete and submit the CDI’s Governing Board Diversity Survey....more

Hart-Scott-Rodino 2013 Annual Report: Filings Decreased, Transactions Investigated Increased and Enforcement Continues for...

On May 21, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice published the Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report Fiscal Year 2013 (for the period from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013). The Annual Report...more

Delaware Supreme Court: Directors May Resign by Oral Statement

Last month, in Biolase, Inc. v. Oracle Partners, L.P. (Del. June 12, 2014), the Delaware Supreme court affirmed the oral resignation of a director while on a board call....more

In re TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 9415-VCN (Del. Ch. Jun. 13, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion denying plaintiffs’ motion to expedite, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiffs, shareholders of TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (“TriQuint” or the “Company”), failed to assert a colorable claim that...more

More Fallout From American Apparel: CEO Refused Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training

Let it never be said that ethics and compliance is a dull field. Some of the stories that happen in it are worthy of Hollywood. In my last post about American Apparel firing CEO Dov Charney, I wrote that this happened after...more

Privacy & Cybersecurity Update - June 2014

In This Issue: - New Studies Highlight Privacy and Cybersecurity Risks and Costs - SEC Commissioner Addresses the Role of the Board on Cybersecurity Matters - Supreme Court Decision on Cellphone Searches...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

Flaa v. Montano, C.A. No. 9146-VCG (Del. Ch. May 29, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this post-trial decision in a proceeding pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 225, the Court of Chancery invalidated stockholder action by written consent on the ground that the proxy solicitation materials failed to disclose an...more

Corporate & Tax E-Note - June 26, 2014

In This Issue: - SBA Ups Size Standards, Allowing 8,400 Firms to Become Small Biz - Auditors Want to Limit Reporting of 'Critical Audit Matters' - House Approves Permanent Extension of Small Business Tax...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

Biolase v. Oracle Partners, L.P., C.A. No. 9438 (Del. June 12, 2014)

In this expedited appeal from a post-trial decision of the Court of Chancery, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Chancery’s holding that, under 8 Del. C. § 141(b), directors may resign by verbal statements,...more

SEC: Don’t Ignore the Habitually Wrong Whistleblower

SEC Chair Mary Jo White recently gave a speech on a number of important matters, including the role of directors as gatekeepers, her views of self-reporting of violations and the SEC’s whistleblower program. In the speech...more

Bishop Gassis v. Corkery, C.A. No. 8868-VCG (Del. Ch. May 28, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this post-trial decision in a proceeding pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 225, the Court of Chancery held that the board of the Sudan Relief Fund, Inc. (the “Fund”), a charitable corporation, validly removed the plaintiff as a...more

Hushmail: Are Activist Hedge Funds Breaking Bad?

Increasingly, some activist hedge funds are looking to sell their stock positions back to target companies. How should the board respond to hushmail? The Rise and Fall of Greenmail - During the heyday of...more

Why BoDs and CEOs Need Workplace Harassment Training Too: American Apparel’s Board and CEO Violated Their Own Code of Ethics

I was driving home Wednesday evening, listening to the news on the radio, when I heard the story about Dov Charney, the CEO of American Apparel, being fired by the company’s board of directors. According to that story and...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Applies Entire Fairness Standard to Going-Private Transaction with a Controlling Stockholder Negotiated...

In In re Orchard Enterprises, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that the entire fairness standard of review applied to a going-private transaction with a controlling stockholder, even though the...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

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