Directors Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Race to Courthouse in Shareholder Derivative Actions Could Raise Due-Process Issues

The Delaware Supreme Court requested further consideration of the federal due-process issues that might arise where a court is asked to hold that a shareholder derivative action is precluded because a prior derivative action...more

Alert: ISS and Glass Lewis Update 2017 Proxy Voting Policies

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis (GL), the two most influential proxy advisory firms, recently released updates to their voting policies for 2017. Both ISS and GL issued policy updates on director...more

Corporate Communicator - 2017 Annual Meeting Season

Dear clients and friends, We present our traditional year-end issue of Snell & Wilmer’s Corporate Communicator to help you prepare for the upcoming annual report and proxy season. This issue highlights SEC reporting and...more

Oppression in the Context of a Closely-Held Corporation: SCC Weighs In

In Mennillo v. Intramodal inc., the first oppression remedy case to reach the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) since BCE Inc. v. 1976 Debentureholders, the SCC provided clarity on how the oppression remedy operates within...more

Blog: That Was Quick — Proxy Access Test Drive Hits A Wall

You probably recall that, on November 9, 2016, GAMCO Asset Management Inc. (entity affiliated with activist investor Mario Gabelli) and certain affiliates used the proxy access bylaws recently adopted at National Fuel Gas...more

Blog: CII Hunts Zombie Directors

A new analysis from the Council of Institutional Investors, announced on October 31, reports a relatively high proportion of “zombie directors” remaining on corporate boards. (The date was not lost on CII: the press release...more

Changing Proxy Rules: SEC Proposes to Require Universal Proxy Cards

The SEC, by a two-to-one vote on October 26, 2016, proposed amendments to its proxy rules to require universal proxy cards in contested director elections at annual meetings of listed U.S. public companies. If adopted, the...more

ISS Announces Rebranded Governance Rating System and New Factors

ISS has announced the adoption of QualityScore, a benchmark of corporate governance. QualityScore was previously known as QuickScore, and before that by the monikers “GRId” and “CGQ.” For US companies, the following is a...more

Nominee Directors: Rights and Responsibilities

It is common for shareholders of both public and private companies to nominate directors to sit on the companies’ boards on their behalf. This commonly occurs when an investor is an institution, when it has the contractual...more

Blog: Is A Proxy Contest Preferable To A Quick Settlement With Activists? Some Institutional Investors Think So

The obvious tension between the interests of long-term investors, such as institutional shareholders, and short-term investors, principally represented by hedge fund activists, has been the subject of much discussion of late....more

How to Avoid Director Pay Litigation

In the last few years, Delaware courts have issued several rulings in lawsuits involving complaints of excessive compensation to non-employee directors (1). The takeaways from these cases can be summarized as follows...more

Turkey Corporate Newsletter - September 2016

Considering Becoming A Board Member? Read This First. Good corporate governance requires fully informed board members who are aware of their duties and the potential legal implications of their actions. Under the...more

Preliminary Planning for the 2017 Proxy Season

For those who want to start preparing for the 2017 proxy season, our preliminary list of important considerations is set forth below: Directors’ and Officer’s Questionnaire - Nasdaq has adopted a rule requiring...more

Blog: Employees on boards — headed across the Atlantic?

As discussed, in a speech delivered in July, the about-to-be new U.K. Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, Theresa May, advocated strenuously for a number of corporate governance reforms, an approach she...more

Chancery Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Fiduciary Duty Claims Where Directors Approved Merger That Extinguished Threatened...

On July 28, 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that stockholders of Riverstone National, Inc. had adequately stated a breach of fiduciary duty claim against the company's directors who approved a merger that...more

Evolving Director-Investor Communications: Preparing for Your Board’s Direct Engagement with Shareholders

Preparation, two-way communication, targeted proactive engagement and choosing the right director for the job are the keys to a successful engagement strategy, say Latham & Watkins partners Mark Gerstein and Steve Stokdyk in...more

Court Of Chancery Enjoins Board Reduction Plan Prior To Director-Election

This is an excellent review of the law governing when the Court will enjoin board action that affects the ability of stockholders to elect directors....more

B.C. Court of Appeal Issues Important Guidance on Directors’ Disclosable Interests, Oppression Proceedings

The B.C. Court of Appeal last week released a wide-ranging decision on the availability of oppression proceedings under the B.C. Business Corporations Act (BCA), when interests of directors will be disclosable as a...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Demand Refused Rules

This initial formal decision by the recently-appointed Vice Chancellor shows her firm commitment to the tradition of the Court of Chancery to produce well-written, scholarly opinions. ...more

The New U.K. Ownership and Control Transparency Regime (The PSC Regime)

If you read one thing... - U.K. corporates required to identify and record identities (including home addresses) of 25%+ holders of economics/votes/control (“PSCs”) – exclusion for most U.K. listed issuers. ...more

Compliance with the Formal Approval Requirements of Delaware Law Required for Stockholder Ratification of Director Compensation

On October 28th, the Delaware Chancery Court, in Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, et al., held that stockholder ratification of a transaction that was approved by an interested board of directors must be accomplished formally through...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 42

SEC/CORPORATE - ISS Releases 2016 Draft Voting Policy Changes for Comment - On October 26, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a leading proxy advisory firm, released for comment draft voting policy changes...more

Inside M&A - October 2015

Overview of SPACs and Latest Trends - A number of recent successful business combination transactions involving special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) led by prominent sponsors have driven a resurgence in the SPAC...more

UK courts get tough on environmental crime: sentencing of environmental offences committed by large companies

There is a widely held belief that environmental laws in the UK are toothless in practice because enforcement authorities are under resourced and typical levels of fines and penalties imposed are far too low. This view...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of '40 Act Section 36(b) Excessive Fee Action Against Davis

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an amended complaint asserted by a shareholder of the Davis New York Venture Fund (the “Fund”) under section 36(b) of the Investment Company...more

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