News & Analysis as of

Director Liability for Cybersecurity Risks

If a corporation is the target of a cyberattack resulting in a data breach, its board may be the target of a shareholder derivative action claiming breach of fiduciary duty. A recent example is Palkon v. Holmes, No....more

Texas Supreme Court's Recent Shareholder Oppression Opinions Reaffirm Primacy of Common Law Fiduciary Duties Under Gearhart

In three recent cases, the Texas Supreme Court has made it clear that for claims of "minority shareholder oppression" — essentially, acts of a majority shareholder group that are harmful to a minority shareholder without...more

Delaware Likes Garner/California Not So Much

In 1970, Richard Nixon was president, the 26th Amendment was still not part of the Constitution, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Garner v. Wolfinbarger, 430 F.2d 1093 (5th Cir. 1970). In that...more

Delaware Court Dismisses Shareholder Class Action Suit Attacking Corporate Merger

Almost every proposed corporate merger is met with a shareholder suit against the acquiring company, merger target and the target’s board of directors in which the shareholders assert that the board breached its fiduciary...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisition Law News - Second Quarter 2014

In this issue: -Delaware Legislative Update -Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Facial Validity of Fee-Shifting Provisions in Bylaws of Delaware Non-Stock Corporation -News from the Courts: -Court...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

Exclusive Forum Provisions: A New Item for Corporate Governance and M&A Checklists

Public companies increasingly are adopting “exclusive forum” bylaws and charter provisions that require their stockholders to go to specified courts if they want to make fiduciary duty or other intra-corporate claims against...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

Delaware Court of Chancery Rules That a Major Debt Holder and 48 Percent Stockholder Is a Controlling Stockholder and Owes...

In Hamilton Partners, L.P. v. Highland Capital Management, L.P., the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by former stockholders of American Home Patient, Inc. (AHP)...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 25

In this issue: - Delaware Court of Chancery Rules That a Major Debt Holder and 48 Percent Stockholder Is a Controlling Stockholder and Owes Fiduciary Duties to Minority Stockholders - Delaware Court of Chancery...more

Representing the Targeted Executive: Diplomacy Matters

It seemed like a good idea. Provide a local media outlet with a peek under the company's hood—give a tour of the facilities, answer questions about operations, preview a few promising transactions. When the article ran,...more

Delaware Court Rules Nevada Law Governs But Applies Delaware Law

Although there are many significant differences between the corporate laws of Nevada and Delaware, the Nevada Supreme Court has often looked across the country to Delaware. Thus, the Nevada high court has adopted Delaware’s...more

Paradigm Shift? The Delaware Supreme Court Allows Bylaw That Shifts Attorneys’ Fees to Loser in Fiduciary Duty Litigation

Under the prevailing “American rule,” shareholders and their counsel face little financial risk when they assert claims against directors and officers for breaches of fiduciary duty, typically following the announcement of a...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Underscores Heightened Pleading Standard Necessary to Support a Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty In...

In Houseman v. Sagerman, C.A. No. 8898-VCG, 2014 WL 1478511 (Del. Ch. Apr. 16, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Glasscock, V.C.) granted, in part, a motion to dismiss filed by certain directors and the financial advisor...more

Rights Plan Update - Augusta Decision Charts a Halfway House Course

On May 2, 2014 the British Columbia Securities Commission (the BCSC) ruled in favour of Augusta Resource Corporation, permitting Augusta’s shareholder rights plan to remain in effect for an additional 75 days. HudBay Minerals...more

Massachusetts SJC Rules on Fiduciary Duties Owed to and By Shareholder-Employee in Closely Held Corporation

A recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), Selmark Associates v. Ehrlich, illustrates the complex web of fiduciary obligations owed to and by shareholder-employees in a closely held corporation under...more

In re Rural Metro Corp. S'holders Litig., C.A. No. 6350-VCL (Del. Ch. Mar. 7, 2014) (Laster, V.C.)

In this post-trial decision, the Court of Chancery held a financial advisor liable for aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty by a target board in the sale of the company. The Court concluded that the financial...more

Who’s in Charge – Is the Board Responsible to Monitor Its Financial Advisor or Vice Versa?

In the case of In re Rural Metro Corporation Stockholders Litigation, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware held that the primary financial advisor retained by Rural/Metro Corporation aided and abetted the board in...more

Caspian Select Credit Master Fund Ltd. v. Key Plastics Corp., C.A. No. 8625-VCN (Del. Ch. Feb. 24, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this letter opinion, the Court of Chancery granted plaintiff’s request for books and records pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 220. The stockholder plaintiff sought, among other things, to value its equity holding in Key Plastics...more

Inside The Courts - March 2014 | Volume 6 | Issue 1

In This Issue: - U.S. SUPREME COURT: ..Lawson v. FMR LLC, No. 12-3 (U.S. March 4, 2014) ..Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice, No. 12-79 (U.S. Feb. 26, 2014) - CLASS CERTIFICATION: ..In re BP...more

Highlights From 2013 And Implications For 2014

During 2013 shareholder activism continued to surge and impact corporate-decision making. The Delaware courts also handed down several significant rulings during the year. ...more

German Federal Court of Justice simplifies delisting: Renunciation of the obligation to offer cash compensation

In a recent decision, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) abandoned its previous holding whereby, in the event of a delisting, the outstanding minority shareholders could demand cash compensation for...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisition Law News - Recap of Fourth Quarter 2013

In this issue: *News from the Court: - Guidance from Delaware Chancery Court for Notice Provisions and - Survival Periods - Privileged Pre-Merger Attorney-Client Communications Belong to Surviving...more

SEC Update

PROXY SEASON PREVIEW - Say-on-Pay and Equity Compensation Plans - Although say-on-pay votes are only advisory in the United States, they will likely continue to be a focus for many companies in the upcoming 2014...more

In re Rural Metro Corp. S’holder Litig., C.A. No. 6350-VCL (Del. Ch. Dec. 17, 2013) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery declined to reopen the trial record and granted a plaintiffs’ motion to exclude post-trial evidence proffered by a defendant. In reaching its conclusion, the Court found that...more

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