Independent Boards

News & Analysis as of

'Cornerstone' Decision Reinforces Del. Corporate Law Bedrock Principles

Delaware law has long provided that the decisions of disinterested and independent directors who receive no special benefit from a transaction ought not be the basis of personal liability in monetary damages. To subject...more

Value of Independent Directors for the Family Corporation

In the wake of the financial scandals of the early 2000s, a push was made to increase the number of independent directors on public company boards. Most public companies are required to have a majority of independent...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds That a Stockholder Plaintiff Must Plead a Non-Exculpated Claim to Avoid Section 102(b)(7)-Based...

In the consolidated appeal In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., Stockholder Litigation and In re Zhongpin Stockholders Litigation, Nos. 564, 2014 and 706, 2014, 2015 Del. LEXIS 231 (Del. May 14, 2015), the Delaware Supreme...more

Supreme Court Clarifies When Independent Directors May Be Dismissed From Case

This important Supreme Court decision clarifies when independent, disinterested directors may be dismissed from litigation, even when an interested transaction is under attack. When the complaint only alleges a breach of the...more

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Pleading Standard For Claims Against Independent Directors

Yesterday, in In re Cornerstone Therapeutics, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, the Supreme Court of Delaware held that plaintiffs seeking monetary damages against disinterested, independent directors must plead facts sufficient...more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms Exculpatory Clauses Have Teeth, and Can Be Used By Director Defendants At The Pleading Stage

In a decision with important implications for directors of public companies, the Delaware Supreme Court overturned two Chancery Court opinions and ruled that independent directors facing breach of duty of care claims arising...more

Delaware Supremes Give Independent Directors a Way Out

In an opinion Thursday, the Delaware Supreme Court held that independent directors should be dismissed from shareholder derivative litigation – even over transactions presumptively subject to “entire fairness” review – unless...more

M&A Update: Delaware Supreme Court Issues Important Ruling Protecting Independent Directors

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that claims against independent directors must be dismissed when a company charter provision shields directors from monetary liability for breach of the duty of care and the...more

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Exculpatory Charter Provisions to Motions to Dismiss Independent Directors

On May 14, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its decision in In re Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., S'holder Litig., clarifying that damages claims against independent directors can be dismissed where: (1) an applicable...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

"Fee-Shifting, Financial Advisor Liability Among Likely Delaware Law Issues for 2015"

The Delaware courts weighed in on familiar issues of importance last year, including multiforum deal litigation and the emphasis on an independent board process, while also delving into relatively new territory such as...more

Shareholder’s Challenge to Smith & Wesson SLC’s Independence Misfires in the First Circuit

On February 4, 2015, the First Circuit affirmed the summary dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit, which brought Nevada state claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, unjust enrichment, and...more

Appointment Of Independent Directors On The Eve Of Bankruptcy: Why The Growing Trend?

In recent years, companies in financial distress have found “independent” directors to be useful to achieve protections for their board members. An independent director is a director – usually with no prior affiliation to the...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 1

In this issue: - SEC Proposes Rule Amendments to Implement JOBS Act Registration Thresholds - ISS Releases FAQs on Equity Plan Scorecard and Independent Chair Policy - FINRA Issues Annual Regulatory and...more

ISS Issues FAQs on Independent Chair Policy and Equity Plan Scorecard

ISS previously issued its 2015 policy updates. ISS has now issued FAQs on the independent chair policy and the Equity Plan Scorecard....more

Director Tenure: A Solution in Search of a Problem

Director tenure continues to gain attention in corporate governance as term limits become a cause célèbre. Proponents argue directors should no longer qualify as independent after 10 years of service, even though no law, rule...more

ISS and Glass Lewis Update Their Proxy Voting Guidelines

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis), two of the leading providers of corporate governance research and proxy voting services, have published their updated proxy voting guidelines for...more

ISS Releases 2015 Proxy Voting Guidelines

ISS (Institutional Shareholder Services) has released its annual 2015 Proxy Voting Guidelines Updates. These guidelines apply to annual meetings to be held on or after February 1, 2015. Many of our clients have investors who...more

ISS Announces 2015 Canadian Proxy Voting Guideline Updates

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) released updates to its Canadian proxy voting guidelines for the upcoming 2015 proxy season. The ISS updates will apply to shareholder meetings of publicly traded Canadian companies...more

Proxy Advisory Firms Release Policy Updates for 2015

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, two leading proxy advisory firms, recently published their 2015 proxy voting guidelines for US companies, which include several updates applicable to the 2015 proxy...more

ISS and Glass Lewis Adopt 2015 Voting Policies

Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass Lewis have both released their voting policies for the 2015 proxy season. The policy changes for U.S. companies include updates to the firms’...more

ISS and Glass Lewis Update their Proxy Voting Guidelines for 2015

Proxy research and advice entities Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) and Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (“Glass Lewis”) recently updated the guidelines each service will use to inform their voting recommendations for...more

ISS and Glass Lewis Update Proxy Voting Guidelines for 2015

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC, issued their respective annual updates to their proxy voting guidelines on November 6, 2014. As revised these guidelines have important implications...more

ISS Publishes 2015 Proxy Voting Guideline Updates

On November 6, 2014, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) released the 2015 updates to its benchmark proxy voting policies, having received comments to the draft policies it released on October 15, 2014. The final...more

ISS Guidelines for 2015 Proxy Season – More Holistic Review of Board Leadership Structure

On November 6, 2014, ISS released its 2015 proxy voting guidelines which update its benchmark policy recommendations. The updated policies will be effective for shareholder meetings held on or after February 1, 2015....more

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