Delaware General Corporation Law

News & Analysis as of

Delaware Legislature to Resume Debate in January on Bylaws Imposing Liability on Shareholders

The ability of corporations to impose liability on shareholders through bylaws and charter provisions has been the subject of much debate recently. On May 8, 2014, the Supreme Court of Delaware held in ATP Tour, Inc. v....more

Cigna Health and Life Ins. Co. v. Audax Health Sol’ns, Inc., C.A. No. 9405-VCP (Del. Ch. Nov. 26, 2014)

In this action seeking a declaratory judgment regarding the validity of certain provisions in a merger agreement and related contracts, the Court of Chancery granted in part plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings,...more

Delaware Court Invalidates Release and Indemnification Obligations Against a Selling Stockholder in a Merger Transaction

The Delaware Chancery Court recently invalidated a buyer’s attempt to obtain a release and indemnification obligations from selling stockholders of a Delaware corporation that was acquired in a merger. The ruling will require...more

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Preferred Stock Transactions

Preferred stock issuances by Delaware corporations are often effected through a board’s “blank check” power contained in a company’s certificate of incorporation and permitted by Section 151(a) of the Delaware General...more

Going Private Mergers: More Lenient Standard of Judicial Review Now Available

A recent Delaware Supreme Court decision has changed the rules for post-transaction litigation review for “going-private transactions.” The court described the conditions necessary for such a transaction to be judged by the...more

Blog: A Little Inside Scoop In The ATP Fee-Shifting Bylaws Case

Today, at the PLI Securities Regulation Institute, the Honorable Jack Jacobs, formerly a Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, was asked to comment on ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund, the Delaware Supreme Court case...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - October 2014

In this issue: - Delaware Legislative Update - Amendments to DGCL Effective August 1, 2014 - News from the Courts - Additional Guidance on Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. - Exculpation...more

Forum Selection Clauses Were Here Before They Were In Bylaws

Recent rulings by judges in Delaware and other states have given impetus to the adoption of exclusive forum bylaws. To the casual observer, the idea might seem entirely novel. But as Koheleth (the Gatherer) wrote “What has...more

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

Legend Removal Requires Proper “Request To Register Transfer”

Removal of legends from restricted securities (i.e., securities issued without registration under the Securities Act of 1933) can be a tricky business for transfer agents, issuers and their counsel. Improperly removing...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

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–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

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

Oregon State Court Refuses to Enforce Forum Selection Bylaw

In Roberts v. TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc., No. 1402-02441 (Cir. Ct. Or. Aug 14, 2014), an Oregon state court, breaking with state courts in California, Illinois, New York and Texas, held that the bylaw of a Delaware...more

What Does Delaware’s Wal-Mart Decision Mean for the Attorney-Client Privilege and Internal Investigations?

The Delaware Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW, No. 614, 2014 Del. LEXIS 336, 2014 WL 3638848 (July 23, 2014), a Section 220 “books and records” case...more

2014 Amendments Affecting Delaware Alternative Entities and the Contractual Statute of Limitations

On August 1, 2014, amendments to Delaware’s alternative business entity statutes, as well as the statute of limitations applicable to Delaware contracts, became effective. These amendments (the “2014 Amendments”) represent a...more

One-sided “Shareholder Pays” Provisions Approved For Corporate Bylaws

The “American Rule.” To the uninitiated, that name probably conjures up fuzzy feelings of independence. The hardy spirit of our forefathers. Bootstraps and grit. Rocky IV. But to American lawyers, it’s just a rule about...more

Reminder: Delaware Law Changes Are in Effect

This is a reminder that the changes to the Delaware General Corporation Law, which we discussed in more detail below, went into effect on August 1, 2014....more

Delaware Formally Adopts Proposed Statutory Amendments Governing Mergers Following the Completion of a Tender Offer

The governor of Delaware recently signed into law previously proposed amendments to Section 251(h) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), which make Section 251(h) more accessible to deal parties by...more

Vote-Counting Standards: A Recipe for Confusion?

Shareholder voting standards was a hot topic this proxy season and will likely continue to be of significant interest next proxy season and in subsequent years. This proxy season, shareholders submitted various proposals...more

2014 Changes to Delaware Corporate Law

Earlier this month, several significant amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law (the DGCL) were approved. These amendments are substantially the same as the amendments originally proposed in April 2014 and will...more

2014 Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law

On July 15, 2014, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed Delaware House Bill No. 329, which makes a number of noteworthy changes to the Delaware General Corporation Law. The 2014 amendments address: (1) mergers under DGCL...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisition Law News - Second Quarter 2014

In this issue: -Delaware Legislative Update -Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Facial Validity of Fee-Shifting Provisions in Bylaws of Delaware Non-Stock Corporation -News from the Courts: -Court...more

Recent Practical Effects of “Just Saying No”

In the past few months, we have seen an increasing number of hostile or unsolicited M&A bids where boards of directors of target companies have resisted bidders’ advances. Traditionally, the board-friendly Delaware approach,...more

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