Fiduciary Duty Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Claims Even Though Entire Fairness Arguably Applied

Delaware’s requirements for stockholders to maintain derivative actions reflect the twin principles of director management and control and accountability. Because directors manage the business and affairs of Delaware...more

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

Second Circuit: Facebook Shareholders Lack Standing for Derivative Suits Challenging Pre-IPO Statements

Earlier this week, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit opinion reinforced that federal courts take standing in derivative actions quite seriously, particular when the alleged director misconduct predated the IPO....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

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer Based on "Other Capacity" Exclusion

On June 22, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of National Union Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., in an action where the insured sought $10 million in coverage under a D&O policy. 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

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

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

Northstar v. Schwab: The Ninth Circuit’s End Run Around Derivative Lawsuits in the Mutual Fund Context

It is well recognized that only investors have standing to sue a mutual fund on behalf of a class of investors and that a fiduciary duty claim accusing fund trustees of mismanagement is the property of the fund, and not of...more

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

SEC Proposes Hedging Disclosure Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed amendments to its rules under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “hedging disclosure proposal”). The hedging disclosure proposal would require public companies to...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

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