Fiduciary Duty Board of Directors

News & Analysis as of

Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Quarterly

Welcome to the fourth issue of Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Quarterly, Seyfarth’s quarterly publication of the Securities & Financial Litigation Group focusing on decisions or other items of interest for...more

Directors’ Duties and Obligations Under Cayman Islands Law

There is no statutory codification in the Cayman Islands of the general duties, obligations and liabilities owed by directors to Cayman companies and the general duties are based on a combination of English common law,...more

Delaware General Corporation Law Amendments

On June 24, 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell approved several important amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”),[1] with such amendments generally becoming effective on August 1, 2015. These...more

Dead Hand Proxy Puts Create Litigation Risk for Lenders

Why it matters - In a noteworthy decision, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled that a lender could be held liable for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty by directors of a public company borrower by including...more

Delaware Bans Corporate Fee-Shifting Bylaws and Authorizes Delaware-Only Forum Requirement for Intra-Corporate Litigation

Delaware recently enacted new legislation to prohibit stock corporations from adopting fee-shifting bylaws and charter provisions, among other amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law. The fee-shifting ban ends a...more

Can The Illegality Defence Bar A Claim Against A Dishonest Director?

In Jetivia SA & anr v Bilta (UK) Ltd (in liquidation) & ors [2015] UKSC 23, 22 April 2015, the Supreme Court ruled on the law of corporate attribution and the "illegality defence", which holds that a party cannot pursue a...more

Can The Illegality Defence Bar A Claim Against A Dishonest Director?

In Jetivia SA & anr v Bilta (UK) Ltd (in liquidation) & ors [2015] UKSC 23, 22 April 2015, the Supreme Court ruled on the law of corporate attribution and the "illegality defence", which holds that a party cannot pursue a...more

Making the Most Out of Your Board Meeting

Many first-time entrepreneurs have never participated in a formal board meeting. After an initial round of financing, regular board meetings become a reality. Preparing for board meetings can be time consuming and daunting....more

MSSP Final Rule ACO Eligibility Requirements, Application and Renewal Process

This is the second post in Health Care Law Today’s series on the final rule. This post addresses Eligibility Requirements, and the Application and the Renewal Process. ACO Eligibility Requirements - Under the...more

SEC Sanctions Independent Trustees for Approving Mutual Fund Advisory Contract without Sufficient Information

Underscoring the need for independent trustees to act vigilantly, a recent SEC consent order issued in an enforcement action imposed discipline on a mutual fund's independent trustees, its investment advisor, and the...more

The ABI Commission on Business Bankruptcy Reform: Director and Officer Fiduciary Duties and Lender Liability

Will Congress Finally Act? This is the third in a series of Alerts regarding the proposals made by the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission to Reform Chapter 11 Business Bankruptcies. It covers the Commission’s...more

CMS Issues Final ACO Rules: Key Legal Implications for Hospital & Health System ACOs

On June 4, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule (Final Rule) containing changes to its Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Some of the changes codify informal guidance that the...more

“Dead Hand Proxy Puts” Garner Increased Stockholder Scrutiny In Delaware

A ruling last fall by the Delaware Chancery Court has prompted a wave of 8 Del. C. § 220 books and records inspection demands on (and threatened litigation against) Delaware corporations that have entered into credit...more

Ironworkers Dist. Council of Phila. & Vicinity Ret. & Pension Plan v. Andreotti, C.A. No. 9714-VCG (Del. Ch. May 8, 2015)...

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted a motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s derivative complaint under Court of Chancery Rule 23.1, and in doing so, confirmed that there is a heavy burden confronting derivative...more

Exculpatory Provisions Provide Powerful Protection for Independent Directors

The Delaware Supreme Court recently issued an important decision clarifying the standards that govern claims for money damages against independent directors of corporations whose charters contain exculpatory provisions....more

Dead Hand Proxy Puts Face Continued Scrutiny

"Dead hand proxy puts’’ have emerged as the target du jour for entrepreneurial plaintiffs counsel litigating corporate governance claims. Since last fall, at least seven separate actions have been filed in the Delaware Court...more

Should Directors Be Required To Have Valid Passports?

Lately, I’ve had occasion to think about director qualifications. Section 212(b)(4) of the California Corporations Code permits the bylaws to to specify the qualifications of directors.  In Section 141(b),the Delaware General...more

A Key Reminder to Directors of Delaware Corporations When Granting Equity Awards under an Equity Incentive Plan

Corporate directors routinely make decisions regarding their own compensation. If challenged by stockholders, such decisions are generally reviewed by Delaware courts under the onerous "entire fairness" standard, which...more

Proxy Puts: Consider With Caution

Directors of a Delaware corporation that enters into a financing agreement with a lender may breach their fiduciary duties if the financing agreement contains a common provision allowing the lender to accelerate and demand...more

Protecting Directors and Officers From Derivative Liability Arising From Data Breaches

With data breaches affecting companies across virtually every industry, cyber security has remained front page news. Lawsuits brought by aggrieved consumers and financial institutions against companies that have suffered data...more

Court of Chancery Upholds Right To Secondary Offering

When investors bargain for the right to have their stock sold in a secondary offering after the company goes public, fiduciary duties normally do not operate to restrict that right. Hence, it is not possible to object...more

OIG issues additional guidance to healthcare boards regarding compliance efforts and oversight

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, together with leading legal, audit and compliance collaborators, recently issued the fourth in a series of publications providing...more

Less Is More? Not when it comes to director compensation plans and effective shareholder ratification

Companies cannot merely rely upon shareholder approval to obtain protection under the business judgment rule. While the courts in Delaware do frequently apply the standard of waste to claims of breach of fiduciary duty and...more

Delaware Chancery Court Holds that Creditor Plaintiffs in Derivative Suits May Satisfy Standing Requirement by Showing...

In Quadrant Structured Products Co., Ltd. v. Vertin, C.A. No. 6990-VCL, 2015 WL 2062115 (Del. Ch. May 4, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery held that a creditor plaintiff needs only establish that a corporation was...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Rights of Creditors and Duties of Directors of Insolvent Delaware Entities Clarified

When companies are in financial distress the question arises as to what rights shift to creditors from shareholders or other equity owners. The Delaware Chancery Court recently addressed this issue in some detail in Quadrant...more

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