News & Analysis as of

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

Julie Friedman v. Dara Khosrowshahi, et al., C.A. No. 9161-CB (Del. Ch. Jul. 16, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss a stockholder’s complaint, challenging the accelerated vesting of the CEO’s restricted stock units based on an alleged violation of...more

Editorial: Fla. Sets Strict Standard For Direct Shareholder Claims

Florida recently clarified the limited circumstances in which a corporate shareholder or limited liability company member has standing to bring a direct claim for damages relating to the company. On July 9, in Dinuro...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

Chancery Court Provides Additional Room for Shareholders Challenging Change of Control Transactions

What you need to know: In its recent decision in Chen v. Howard-Anderson, Delaware’s Court of Chancery held that directors and officers may be found to have acted in bad faith, thereby breaching their fiduciary duty of...more

In re Westech Capital Corp., Consol. C.A. No. 8845-VCN (Del. Ch. May 29, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this post-trial Section 225 decision, the Court of Chancery resolved a dispute about the meaning of two subsections of a voting agreement that determine how its signatories would designate the directors of Westech Capital...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

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

Delaware Court Clarifies Director and Officer Liability in M&A Transactions

In Chen v. Howard-Anderson, 87 A.3d 648 (Del. Ch. 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Laster, V.C.) held that directors and officers can be held liable for their participation in a change-of-control transaction if their...more

Individual Liability in CFPB Enforcement Proceedings

To date, the CFPB has brought 12 cases—out of more than three dozen total CFPB enforcement cases—in which it named individuals as defendants or respondents liable for violations of consumer protection statutes. Below, we...more

Delaware Court Enforces “Loser Pays” Bylaw, Opens the Door for D&O Insurers to Better Assess and Control Shareholder Litigation...

The Delaware Supreme Court held that a corporation’s fee-shifting bylaw is enforceable as long as the bylaw is not adopted for an inequitable purpose. A first of its kind, this ruling seems poised to change dramatically the...more

Delaware Supreme Court Approves Fee-Shifting Bylaw for Non-Stock Corporations - The Court’s Reasoning Suggests These Provisions...

In its May 8, 2014 decision in ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund, No. 534, 2013, --- A.3d ----, 2014 WL 1847446 (Del. May 8, 2014), the Delaware Supreme Court may have opened the door to the adoption by Delaware...more

Shareholder derivative action against Wyndham Worldwide directors for data breaches

Hot on the heels of our recently released publication, ‘Cyber risks and the impact on company directors’, it has been revealed that a shareholder has commenced a derivative action in the district of New Jersey (USA) against...more

Rights Plan Update - Augusta Decision Charts a Halfway House Course

On May 2, 2014 the British Columbia Securities Commission (the BCSC) ruled in favour of Augusta Resource Corporation, permitting Augusta’s shareholder rights plan to remain in effect for an additional 75 days. HudBay Minerals...more

Special Compensation Arrangements with Dissident Director Nominees

Certain activist shareholders involved in proxy contests have offered special compensation (e.g., a fee for agreeing to be nominated on the activist’s slate or performance-related bonuses after election) to their director...more

Introduction To The SDX Protocol

The Shareholder-Director Exchange (SDX™) is a working group of leading independent directors and representatives from some of the largest and most influential long-term institutional investors. SDX participants came together...more

MA Appeals Court Narrows but Otherwise Keeps Intact Individual Liability Under the Wage Act

A recent decision from a Massachusetts appeals court should give some Massachusetts certain managers and directors one less thing to worry about. Simply having the title of a manager or director alone is insufficient for...more

King v. DAG SPE Managing Member, Inc., C.A. No. 7770-VCP (Del. Ch. Dec. 23, 2013) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed an action under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law brought by a former director to inspect a corporation’s books and records. The Court found that...more

North Carolina Supreme Court Addresses Duties of Corporate Directors

On November 8, 2013, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a rare opinion addressing the duties of corporate directors and reaffirming that those duties are generally owed only to the corporation itself rather than the...more

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2014

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2014 - U.S. public companies face a host of challenges as they enter 2014. Here is our list of hot topics for the boardroom in the coming year: 1. Oversee strategic planning amid...more

Canmore Consultants Ltd. v. L.O.M. Medical Int'l, Inc.: A Limited Exception To Directorial Authority To Fill Board Vacancies

Canmore Consultants Ltd. v. L.O.M. Medical International, Inc. 8 Del. C. § 223(c): A Limited Exception To Directorial Authority To Fill Board Vacancies - Section 223(c) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the...more

An Unexpected Impasse

If a corporation has four directors and two shareholders, one owning 60 shares and the other owning 40 shares, it seems obvious that the majority shareholder should be able to elect a majority of the board of directors. ...more

The Challenge for Boards

Public company boards have experienced real turbulence for the better part of five years. Some of this turbulence is the product of internal dynamics — the need to improve liquidity, strengthen balance sheets and cut costs....more

Seventh Circuit Increasingly Problematic for Directors and Officers Defending Shareholder Derivative Suits

With its recent decision in Westmoreland County Employee Retirement System v. Parkinson, et al., the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has confirmed that the courts of the Seventh Circuit can be a...more

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