Fiduciary Duty Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Violation of Corporate Charter: Breach of Contract, Fiduciary Duties or Both

When a company takes action through its board in violation of its certificate of incorporation, may a plaintiff stockholder bring suit against the company directly for breach of its certificate—the most important of corporate...more

Delaware court of chancery issues significant ruling on the ability of creditors to assert fiduciary duty claims against...

In Quadrant Structured Products Co. v. Vertin, 2015 WL 2062115 (Del. Ch. May 4, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster) announced a bright-line standard governing the threshold inquiry of when...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

Massachusetts Federal Court Holds That LLC Operating Agreement Does Not Shield Defendants from Liability for Breaching Their...

A recent decision by Judge F. Dennis Saylor of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Butler v. Moore, C.A. No. 10-10207-FDS U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39416 (D. Mass. Mar. 26, 2015), offers an example of how...more

Courts Continue to Dismiss Shareholder Suits Based on FCPA Violations

On March 16, 2015, Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the Southern District of New York dismissed a shareholder derivative suit filed by Sylvia Pritika against the CEO and others of Avon Products Inc. ("Avon") alleging breach of...more

Ninth Circuit Opinion May Open Litigation Doors Most Thought Closed

A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion charts potential new pathways for claims for damages resulting from portfolio losses by mutual fund shareholders against both a fund’s trustees and its investment adviser....more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Former Counsel

In a few weeks’ time over at Appellate Strategist’s sister blog, the Illinois Supreme Court Review, we’ll address the question of just how rare it is to get an unpublished decision – what we in Illinois call a Rule 23 order –...more

Delaware Independent Director Liability in Control Buyout Cases

The Delaware Supreme Court will address the standard for pleading that an independent director has breached fiduciary duties in connection with a controlling shareholder buyout. The issue was certified for interlocutory...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - January 2015

In this issue: - News from the Courts - Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Fiduciary Duties in Sale Context and Overturns Judicial Imposition of Auction in Deal with Passive Market Check - Illinois Court...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 Family Dollar Stores, Inc.: No Revlon Duty to Seek Better Terms From Competing Bidder

Last month, in In re: Family Dollar Stores, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, a Delaware Chancery judge rejected the efforts of certain shareholders of Family Dollar Stores, Inc., to prevent Family Tree’s shareholders from voting...more

Del. Justices Reverse Injunction Halting Sale of Control Transaction

When a Delaware corporation engages in a sale of control transaction, its board's obligation is to obtain the highest value reasonably attainable. This obligation, often referred to as Revlon duties, may be fulfilled as long...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That Revlon Does Not Require An Active Market Check, Reverses Lower Court Order Preliminarily...

On December 19, 2014, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed the Delaware Court of Chancery's November decision to preliminarily enjoin for 30 days a vote by C&J Energy Services stockholders on a merger with Nabors Red Lion...more

Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Injunction Requiring Thirty Day Go-Shop

In a recent decision, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the Court of Chancery's entry of a preliminary injunction that enjoined C&J Energy Services, Inc. ("C&J") from holding a stockholder vote on its proposed merger with...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

In re Sanchez Energy Deriv. Litig., C.A. No. 9132-VCG (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery held that plaintiff stockholders failed to plead particularized facts sufficient to demonstrate demand futility and dismissed the plaintiffs’ fiduciary duty, aiding and...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects Entire Fairness Review in Absence of Conflicted Transaction

On October 24, the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed a lawsuit filed by certain minority stockholders of Crimson Exploration, Inc. in In re: Crimson Exploration Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 8541-VCP (Del. Ch. Oct...more

Delaware Court Establishes "Taxonomy" For Controlling Stockholder Claims

In a recent decision, the Delaware Court of Chancery (Parsons, V.C.) dismissed a shareholder class action complaint alleging that a target company’s board of directors and private equity firm controlling stockholder breached...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - October 2014

In this issue: - Delaware Legislative Update - Amendments to DGCL Effective August 1, 2014 - News from the Courts - Additional Guidance on Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. - Exculpation...more

The Delaware Court of Chancery Finds Two Transactions Were Not Entirely Fair, but Awards No Damages Where the Prices of the...

On September 4, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued two lengthy post-trial opinions, both authored by Vice Chancellor John W. Noble, finding that recapitalization or restructuring transactions did not satisfy the...more

Forum Selection Bylaws–More Good News

Fending off merger-related shareholder lawsuits keeps getting easier. Just a week ago, the Delaware Chancery Court upheld the enforceability of the bylaw of a Delaware corporation headquartered in North Carolina that selected...more

Breaking: Chancery Court Issues Decision on Claims Against Independent Directors in Controlling Stockholder Transactions

Delaware decisional law on entire fairness review of controlling shareholder transactions has been complicated in part by the subtle distinction between facially disinterested directors (who are liable only where a specific,...more

Delaware Supreme Court Rules That Privileged Documents Must Be Produced To Shareholders Investigating Corporate Misconduct

The Delaware Supreme Court recently held that, in certain circumstances, shareholders may be able to obtain access to privileged, internal documents in order to investigate potential breaches of fiduciary duty. In Wal-Mart...more

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