Fiduciary Duty Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Defining the Role of a Board Chair

The prior Family Business Advocates blog post provided an overview of the different legal roles that shareholders, directors, and officers play in the intersection of ownership and management of a company, but how does a...more

Stockholder Merger Vote Sets High Bar for Post-Closing Claims

The Delaware Supreme Court's decision in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings , 125 A.3d 304 (Del. 2015), reaffirmed the power of fully-informed, uncoerced, disinterested stockholder approval to immunize M&A transactions against...more

Race to the Exit as Professional Practice Falters

Does a shareholder have a fiduciary duty not to exercise a contractual right under the shareholders’ agreement to resign and demand a buy-out of his shares by the financially distressed corporation, particularly when the...more

Gordon v. Verizon: New York Parts Company with Delaware

On February 2, 2017, the New York Appellate Division, First Department, issued a decision in Gordon v. Verizon Communications, Inc., No. 653084/13, 2017 WL 442871 (1st Dep’t 2017), approving the settlement of litigation over...more

Alert: DOL Issues Guidance on Shareholder Engagement and Pension Fund Investments

On December 28, the US Department of Labor ("DOL") issued Interpretive Bulletin 2016-01 (published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2016), setting forth its views concerning the legal standards under Sections 402, 403,...more

2016 half-year in review: M&A legal developments

We set out below a number of interesting English court decisions and market developments which have taken place and their impact on M&A transactions. This review looks at these developments and gives practical guidance on...more

Delaying a Bankruptcy for Shareholder Benefit May Benefit the Creditors After All

Equity holders and sponsors be wary - a new arrow may now be available in the quiver of potential causes of action that creditors and trustees can use to maximize their recovery in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. In a recent...more

Solak v. Sarowitz et al., C.A. No. 12299-CB (Del. Ch. Dec. 27, 2016) (Bouchard, C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery held that Section 109(b) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) prohibits a bylaw shifting to a stockholder plaintiff the attorneys’ fees and other expenses incurred by the...more

Sole Owners of Close Corporation and LLC Discover They're Not So Sole

What makes a shareholder a shareholder? What makes an LLC member a member? The simplicity of the questions belies the difficulties and endlessly unique fact patterns encountered in case after case involving close...more

Home Depot Data Breach Derivative Suit Sent Home

Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. of the U.S. District Court of Georgia permanently shelved a derivative suit brought by shareholders of Home Depot. Home Depot is a multinational home improvement retailer. In September, 2014,...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Standing To Bring Fiduciary Duty Claims After Being Forced to Sell Stock

This is an important decision because it clarifies when a stockholder loses standing to bring a fiduciary duty case because he sold his stock. Briefly, breach of fiduciary duty claims may be direct (belonging to the...more

Court Relies on Fully Informed Uncoerced Stockholder Vote in 'Revlon' Challenge

Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III's decision In re OM Group Stockholders Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 11216-VCS (Oct. 12, 2016), represents the latest Delaware Court of Chancery decision to apply Corwin v. KKR Financial...more

Court Applies 'Corwin' and Upholds Board's Adoption of Dissolution Plan

Contract and fiduciary duty law intersect when how a board acts, including the vote required, is affected by a shareholder agreement. Such agreements are common to enable investors to protect their investment, either through...more

Gavel to Gavel: The insolvency dilemma for directors

In light of a recent swell of bankruptcies in Oklahoma and surrounding areas – predominantly triggered by the turbulent energy market – directors should fortify their understanding of fiduciary duties owed to companies in...more

Court Rules Coequal Stockholders Owe Fiduciary Duties To Each Other

Stockholders in closely held corporations often operate their companies as if they were partnerships. Does that mean that the stockholders, like partners, owe fiduciary duties to each other?...more

In Eagerly Awaited Ruling, AXA Beats Excessive Fee Claim

The fund manager was victorious in the first court decision to come from a group of complaints filed over the last several years against manager-of-manager models. Introduction - Following a 25-day bench trial, the...more

Corporate Law & Governance Update - September 2016

The following developments from the past month offer guidance on corporate law and governance law as they may be applied to nonprofit health care organizations: BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE GOVERNANCE GUIDELINES - In an...more

Federal Court Issues Trial Ruling in Section 36(b) "Manager of Managers" Lawsuit

AXA Investor Fees Held Not To Constitute a Breach of Fiduciary Duty - The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued its trial ruling on August 25, 2016 in Sivolella v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance...more

Chancery Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Fiduciary Duty Claims Where Directors Approved Merger That Extinguished Threatened...

On July 28, 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that stockholders of Riverstone National, Inc. had adequately stated a breach of fiduciary duty claim against the company's directors who approved a merger that...more

U.S. Court for District of Minnesota Dismisses Target Data Breach Shareholder Derivative Suits

On July 7, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota granted Target’s unopposed motion to dismiss the derivative actions filed by a number of shareholders against the company relating to the...more

Tenders Have the Same Cleansing Effect as Stockholder Votes in Two-Step, Section 251(h) Deals

In In re Volcano Corp. Stockholder Litig., C.A. No. 10485-VCMR (Del. Ch. June 30, 2016), the Delaware Court of Chancery held that when a fully informed, uncoerced, disinterested majority in voting power of a target’s...more

Blog: Options to Acquire: How these Creative Acquisition Strategies Differ from a Traditional Purchase

Creative acquisition strategies are offering both buyers and targets additional opportunities to grow their businesses through M&A. One strategy that we are seeing parties use is the “option to acquire” structure, which...more

Disregard of Speculative Financial Projections Was Not Bad Faith

In a stockholder challenge to a sale of the company, a plaintiff may rebut the business judgment rule by pleading facts that support a reasonable inference that at least half of the directors, who approved the sale, were not...more

How to Win After You Lost: Examing "Trados"

Perhaps the longest-running litigation in recent Delaware Court of Chancery history has been settled, after the plaintiff class lost at trial. The Jan. 20 settlement hearing in In re Trados Shareholder Litigation, Con. C.A....more

Court of Chancery Eyes Duties in Deals Involving Stockholder

To determine the applicable standard of review in a stockholder challenge to a corporate transaction, a plaintiff may rebut the business judgment rule by pleading facts that support a reasonable inference that "a controlling...more

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