Fiduciary Duty Directors

News & Analysis as of

Court Rules Unincorporated Association Aided Director’s Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

Nearly four years ago, I devoted this post about California’s Unincorporated Association Law. Typically, an unincorporated association is a club, church, or other social organization. A criminal street gang might also be an...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

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

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

Director Compensation After Calma v. Templeton: Proactive Steps to Consider

Delaware case exposes director compensation to heightened “entire fairness” standard absent adequate stockholder ratification - The Delaware Court of Chancery recently decided a case that makes it easier for plaintiffs...more

Delaware Offers New Guidance on Enforcing Fiduciary Duties Owed to Insolvent Corporations

On May 4, 2015, Vice Chancellor Travis Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision in Quadrant Structured Products Co., Ltd. v. Vertin, analyzing creditors’ standing to bring derivative claims against directors...more

Back To The Future – Should Stock Incentive Plans Impose Grant Limits on Non-Employee Director Awards?

On April 30, 2015, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware rendered an important case decision in a procedural matter dealing with the equity compensation of non-employee members of a company’s board of directors (see...more

An Exercise of Business Judgment: Chancery Court Dismisses Shareholder Derivative Demand-Refused Case

Last week, Vice Chancellor Glasscock released an important decision dismissing a case under Rule 23.1 that was brought by a DuPont shareholder who alleged that the board improperly refused a demand to sue DuPont’s officers...more

Delaware Court Limits Stockholder Ratification Defense for Derivative Claim Challenging Director Compensation - Court Permits...

In Calma v. Templeton, et al., C.A. No. 9579-CB, (Del. Court of Chancery, April 30, 2015), the stockholders of Citrix Systems, Inc. (the “Company” or “Citrix”) had previously approved a compensation plan with few limits;...more

"Fairness of Director Awards Granted Under Market-Standard Equity Plans Comes Under Increased Scrutiny"

A Delaware court opinion issued late last week may subject equity grants to directors to increased judicial scrutiny (Calma v. Templeton, No. 9579-CB (Del. Ch. Apr. 30, 2015)). In Calma, the Chancery Court denied the...more

Avoiding Personal Liability: A Guide For Directors And Officers

According to the popular media, we are living in an era of corporate crime. Scandals like Enron, HealthSouth and WorldCom stretch so far back they seem like they are not even of this millennium. Among the milestones since...more

How Recent Fiduciary Duty Cases Affect Advice To Directors And Officers Of Delaware And Texas Corporations

The conduct of corporate directors and officers is subject to particular scrutiny in the context of business combinations (whether friendly or hostile), executive compensation and other affiliated party transactions,...more

"Insights Focus: Key Observations for Directors and Senior Executives"

Although Insights is intended to cover a wide range of issues, there are a number of topics we believe will be of particular interest to directors and senior corporate executives. Below is an introduction to these topics and...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

Lee v. Pincus et al., C.A. No. 8458-CB (Del. Ch. Nov. 14, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery partially granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that (i) plaintiff had stated a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against the Director Defendants because it was...more

Court of Appeal Clarifies Directors’ Fiduciary Duties and the Business Judgment Rule for Executive Compensation Matters

The Court of Appeal for Ontario recently affirmed the nature of directors’ and officers’ fiduciary duties and clarified the application of the business judgment rule in the context of a dispute regarding executive...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

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

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

Directors’ Alleged Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Not Subject To Anti-SLAPP Statute

A SLAPP is a strategic lawsuit against public participation. California enacted Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16 as an antidote to SLAPP suits. In general, a SLAPP is subject to a special motion to strike unless the...more

How a Company Insider Can Leave, Take Company Business and Not Breach Her Fiduciary Duty

In a previous blog post, The Fiduciary Duty of Preserving Corporate Opportunities, I wrote: In general, an officer, director, partner, LLC member or shareholder in a closely held corporation owes a fiduciary duty not...more

Perspectives - January 2014

In This Issue: - Considerations in the Cloud: Managing the Risks - United States V. Sperry: A Revived Threat to Owners, Directors, Managers and Directors of Distressed Organizations - Board Membership &...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

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- December 2013

In This Issue: Regulatory Updates - SEC Continues to Look at a Uniform Fiduciary Standard for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers; SEC Grants Unusual Exemptive Relief from Pay-to-Play “Time-Out” Provision;...more

Delaware Court Issues Important Trados Decision Delineating Director Duties in Sale of Venture-Backed Company

The Delaware Chancery Court issued its long-awaited post-trial decision last month in In re Trados Incorporated Shareholder Litigation. In the decision, the court affirmed that directors designated by the venture capital...more

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