Proxy Statements

News & Analysis as of

Whole Foods’ Proposal for Proxy Access Is Sufficient to Exclude Shareholder Proposal

In a closely watched development, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance Staff (Staff) granted no-action relief in early December to Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods, or the Company) in response to the Company’s...more

Recent Developments Relating to Rights to Exclude Shareholder Proposals from Proxy Statements

A recent court decision and no-action letter have brought to light new issues surrounding issuer requests for Securities and Exchange Commission no-action relief with respect to the ability to exclude shareholder proposals...more

In Texas Can Some Shares Be More Equal Than Others?

Although Rome before Augustus is often described as a republic, it was in many respects ruled by the wealthy who jealously guarded their power. So it was with Rome’s comitia centuriata. In theory, this was an assembly of...more

Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Provides New (But Limited) Guidance on the Ordinary Business Exception to Rule 14a-8

A tenet of corporate law is that directors—not shareholders—manage a company's business and affairs. Recognizing that proposals adopted through the Rule 14a-8 process could allow shareholders to intrude on matters...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 48

In this issue: - Recent Developments Relating to Rights to Exclude Shareholder Proposals from Proxy Statements - SEC Approves MSRB Best Execution Rule - SEC Sanctions Operator of Unregistered Virtual...more

On the Third Day of Privacy, the Shareholders Gave to Me……

…….Shareholder Proposals on Cybersecurity and Privacy: Another Country Heard From As the holiday season slips into the rear view mirror, another season looms large for public companies —- proxy season. Adding to the...more

SEC Grants No-Action Relief to Whole Foods to Exclude Proxy Access Shareholder Proposal

On December 1, 2014, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission granted no-action relief to Whole Foods Market regarding its request to omit a shareholder proposal from its proxy materials pursuant to Rule...more

Blog: Court Precludes Omission Of Shareholder Proposal, After SEC Staff Permits Exclusion

In Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a federal district court in Delaware granted injunctive relief precluding omission of a shareholder proposal from Wal-Mart’s proxy statement, notwithstanding the SEC staff’s...more

Should Judicial Deference To The SEC Be Strong, Weak or Non-Existent?

This post yesterday by Broc Romanek alerted me to Judge Leonard P. Stark’s recent opinion in Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165431 (D. Del. Nov. 26, 2014). The case involved Wal-Mart’s...more

Blog: Proxy Access — Is Private Ordering Now Taking Front And Center Stage?

As reported by thecorporatecounsel.net blog, on December 1, the SEC staff granted the no-action request of Whole Foods Market, Inc., allowing the company to omit from its proxy statement a non-binding shareholder proposal to...more

Emerging Sustainability Reporting Standards

Whether they call it ESG (environment, social responsibility and governance), CR (corporate responsibility), sustainability or something else, more and more companies are choosing to voluntarily disclose their efforts and...more

In re Allergan, Inc. S’holder Litig., C.A. No. 9609-CB (Del. Ch. Nov. 7, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this Memorandum Opinion, the Court of Chancery denied plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, holding that (i) plaintiffs’ request for declaratory relief regarding whether certain certificate of incorporation and...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

Final Disclosure Rules Regarding Women on Boards and in Senior Management

TSX-listed companies will almost certainly need to include disclosure in their information circulars or annual information forms on the representation of women on their boards and in senior management for the 2015 proxy...more

Re-evaluating the Board Evaluation

Board evaluations have long been standard practice among public companies. With shareholder interest in corporate governance practices at an all-time high, the focus on board evaluations is expected to increase. ...more

Company Liability for Insider Stock Ownership Reports

Earlier this month, the SEC announced charges against six public companies for contributing to their insiders’ failure to properly file Form 4s or for violating the Item 405 proxy disclosure requirements for late insider...more

SEC Enforcement Actions for Failure to File Timely Reports (under Sections 16(a), 13(d) and 13(g) of the Exchange Act)

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced settled charges against (i) 28 officers, directors and major beneficial owners of publicly traded companies that failed to file Schedules 13D and 13G and...more

ISS’ FAQs on Equity Plan Data Verification – Roadmap for Proxy Statement Disclosures

If you have a proposal to adopt or amend the company’s equity plan in the proxy statement that you file with the SEC after September 8, 2014, then you can use a new data verification portal recently launched by Institutional...more

District Court Clarifies Statute of Repose Timeline in Material Misstatement Case

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently dismissed a class action claim, determining the reasserted claim violated the applicable statute of repose that requires all claims be brought within three...more

SEC Staff Legal Bulletin Addresses Use of Proxy Advisory Firms by Advisers and Reliance by Proxy Advisory Firms on Proxy Rules...

The SEC’s Divisions of Investment Management and Corporation Finance issued Staff Legal Bulletin No. 20 (the “Guidance”) which provides guidance from the Division of Investment Management to investment advisers on their...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

Raul v. Astoria Fin. Corp., C.A. No. 9169-VCG (Del. Ch. June 20, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted defendant’s motion to dismiss, finding that plaintiff was not entitled to attorneys’ fees under the corporate benefit doctrine because plaintiff had not presented a...more

Does A Director Have A Contractual Right To Compensation?

Yesterday, I wrote about stockholder challenges to director compensation. Today’s post considers what happens when a director joins a board. When someone is invited to join a board, she may ask about compensation. The...more

If Fee-Shifting Bylaws Are Ever Put On Trial, This Case Should Be Exhibit A

Item 5.07(d) of Form 8-K requires issuers to disclose “the company’s decision in light of such vote as to how frequently the company will include a shareholder vote on the compensation of executives in its proxy materials...more

Sustainability Reporting–Something to Consider

It’s common knowledge that investors, analysts and other stakeholders view certain non-financial information as increasingly important indicators of a company’s long-term value. This information tends to be grouped into three...more

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