News & Analysis as of

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

Directors Need to Meet High Standard to Avoid Liability

The Tax Court of Canada again confirmed that directors of corporations will have a high burden to meet to establish a due diligence defence and avoid liability for unremitted source deductions....more

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2015

In this issue: - Strategic Planning Challenges - Cybersecurity - Assess the Impact of Advances in Technology and Big Data - Shareholder Activism - The Return of M&A - Risk...more

In re Novell, Inc. S’holder Litig., C.A. No. 6032 (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted summary judgment in favor of defendants on claims alleging that directors acted in bad faith by favoring a bidder in a sale process for reasons other than the pursuit...more

Delaware Court Dismisses Action Against Seller's Directors and Financial Advisor, And Finds That Large Stockholder's "Side Deals"...

On October 24, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision, In Re: Crimson Exploration Inc. Stockholder Litigation, addressing when: (i) a stockholder with less than majority voting power may be deemed a...more

Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Action Targeting Directors and Officers for Data Breaches

Earlier this week a federal district court in New Jersey dismissed with prejudice a shareholder derivative suit, Palkon v. Holmes, No. 14-CV-01234 (SRC) (D.N.J.), that tried to blame the directors and officers at hospitality...more

Cut! Eighth Circuit Excludes Non-Board Member from CGL Coverage for “Directors”

Directors and Officers liability policies are typically precise in defining the job descriptions of the individuals to whom they offer coverage. Recently, in United Fire & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Thompson, No. 13-2352 (8th Cir....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

Bill Aims At Clarifying Status Of Ex Officio Directors

Yesterday’s post considered the various paths to becoming a director under the California General Corporation Law. The California Nonprofit Corporation Law defines “directors” in a similar fashion but makes it clear that the...more

Just How Many Ways Are There To Become A Director?

Lao Tzu is said to have written that there a many paths to enlightment, but how many paths are there to becoming a director? To answer the question, let’s look at the definition of “directors” in the California General...more

When Should the Board Call Separate Counsel?

Reports of the increased risk of liability for boards of directors, as well as for individual directors, have become commonplace against the backdrop of ever-increasing regulation and litigation risk. There is intense...more

Minnesota Issues Revenue Notice Regarding Apportionment of Compensation Paid to Nonresident Corporate Board Members

On August 25, 2014, the Minnesota Department of Revenue released Revenue Notice 14-02, which provides an alternative method of apportioning compensation earned by certain corporate directors who are not residents of Minnesota...more

The SEC Gets Serious About Late Beneficial Ownership Reporting

On September 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced charges against 28 directors, officers and significant shareholders of public companies for repeated failures to timely report their share...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

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

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

SEC Request For O&D Bar Denied

A frequently used remedy in Commission enforcement actions is the officer and director bar. A permanent bar has the very harsh effect of precluding the person from being an officer or director of any public company. That, of...more

Corporate Governance in the Lifecycle of a Pre-Sales Revenue Biotechnology Venture Destined for IPO Success

So how do biotech ventures govern themselves to run efficiently while complying with state corporate law statutes and state and federal securities laws and regulations imposed by stock exchanges? Frugality that is often...more

Directors and stockholder engagement: what path to take?

For many decades, independent directors in most public companies generally avoided face-to-face interaction with stockholders. At most, large stockholders would receive a visit from management on a swing through New York or...more

The DLA Piper Guide To Annual Reporting For The Financial Year To 30 June 2014

In This Issue: - Timing Requirements - Content Requirements - Directors’ Report - ASX Listing Rules – Reporting Requirements - Excerpt from Timing Requirements: The table on the following...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

Doing Business in Canada: Directors' Liabilities

DIRECTORS’ LIABILITIES - In Canada, there is a legal duty for every director and officer of a corporation to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the corporation when exercising his/her...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

Cayman Islands Directors Registration and Licensing Law: CIMA Requires Registration or Licensing of Fund Directors by September 3...

Under the Cayman Islands Directors Registration and Licensing Law 2014 (the “Law”), beginning June 4, 2014 directors of (a) “mutual funds” regulated under the Cayman Islands Mutual Funds Law (2013 Revision) and (b) companies...more

D&O Coverage: The Devil Is In the Details

A five-paragraph opinion by the New York Appellate Division suggests the potentially devastating consequences of ignoring the fine print of Directors & Officers Liability insurance policies. In Associated Community Bancorp.,...more

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