Proxy Statements

News & Analysis as of

Court Of Chancery Explains When Disclosures Required Absent A Stockholder Vote

This is an interesting decision for two reasons. First, it explains when directors might have a duty to cause the company to make disclosures to the stockholders about transactions that do not require the stockholders’ vote....more

M&A Litigation Update: Delaware Chancery Court Delivers Devastating Blow to Disclosure Settlements

A new decision makes clear that parties should no longer expect the Delaware Court of Chancery to approve broad settlements of M&A class actions based on supplemental proxy disclosures. Chancellor Andre Bouchard issued a...more

How to Prepare for Annual Reporting

Annual reporting season is once again upon us, so as you dust off your to do list, here are a few of the many important items for in-house counsel to consider during the inevitable flurry of activity in the coming weeks....more

2016 Proxy Season Field Guide

The 2016 proxy season occurs in an environment of heightened shareholder activism and an ever-increasing focus on compensation and corporate governance disclosures. This Proxy Season Field Guide provides you with an overview...more

Recent CCM Provides that CFO of Small Reporting Companies May Be Subject to Code Section 162(m), Raises Questions for All Public...

Since 2007, public companies have generally relied on a position taken by the IRS in Notice 2007-49 that a “covered employee” for determining who is subject to the $1 million deductibility limitations of Code Section 162(m)...more

Consider New IRS Guidance on 162(m) When Drafting Proxy Statement Disclosures

Many public companies include a description of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code in their proxy statements without distinguishing the application of 162(m) between various categories of issuers such as accelerated...more

A Small Point for Your Proxy Statement – This Year or Next

Part of the required audit committee report, set forth in Item 407(d)(3)(i)(B), has a tortured history. As currently written, it requires the audit committee to state whether “The audit committee has discussed with the...more

The SEC Staff’s Position On Unbundling Gets Even More Weird

“Bundling” was a colonial American practice of unmarried persons sharing the same bed whilst being physically separated by a board or sack.  As might be expected, bundling had its critics.  One Henry Reed Stiles...more

Report Shows Upward Trend in Enhanced Audit Committee Disclosures Among S&P 1500

The Center for Audit Quality and Audit Analytics recently released their 2015 Audit Committee Transparency Barometer. The report is based on a review of proxy statements filed through the end of June 2015 by companies in the...more

Blog: Will The SEC Finally Provide Some Relief From The Nearly Incomprehensible Proxy Statement Requirement For A New Plan...

Keith Higgins, Director of Corp Fin, hinted that he might be giving us a welcome gift in the future: a revision of Item 10 of Schedule 14A, the proxy statement – in my view, a component of the disclosure rules that has too...more

Baby You Can Drive My Car… Or Corporate Jet: SEC Scrutiny of Executive Compensation Perks Disclosures

The SEC continues to focus on accounting and disclosure violations, including in the area of executive perks disclosure in corporate proxy statements. In the past year, the SEC brought two enforcement cases against executives...more

New M&A Proxy Statement Unbundling Guidance

After a decade of inattention, the SEC staff has recently sought to clarify the still-murky proxy statement unbundling rule. First came three C&DIs issued back in January 2014 (see this Doug’s Note). Then just weeks ago, the...more

ISS Accepting Company-Selected Peer Group Submissions, including, for the first time, companies in the Russell MicroCap Index

Companies in the Russell 3000 and Russell MicroCap Index with annual meetings scheduled between February 1, 2016 and September 15, 2016 may submit updates to their self-selected compensation benchmarking peer groups from 9:00...more

Blog: Another Study Shows Increase In Enhanced Disclosures Regarding The Audit Committee

The Center for Audit Quality and Audit Analytics have jointly released their second-year analysis, Audit Committee Transparency Barometer. The analysis, which studied proxy statements of companies in the S&P Composite 1500,...more

SEC Issues New Guidance On Exclusions Under Rule 14a-8

New SEC guidance limits the ability of companies to exclude shareholder proposals under the "conflicting proposal" and "ordinary business" exclusions of Rule 14a-8. On October 22, 2015, the staff of the Division of...more

SEC Issues Guidance on Rule 14a-8(i)(9) and Rule 14a-8(i)(7)

On October 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance (Division) issued Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14H (SLB 14H), which (1) sets forth a new standard for determining when a shareholder proposal...more

Blog: Highlights From Panels With Current And Former Staff Of Corp Fin

Below are some highlights (from my notes) of the PLI Securities Regulation Institute panel discussions Thursday and Friday with the Corp Fin staff (Keith Higgins, Shelley Parratt, David Fredrickson, Michele Anderson, Karen...more

Consider Refreshing Your Existing SEC Disclosure

As the fiscal year wraps up and SEC registrants begin to think about their 10-K and proxy, this is a good time for businesses to refresh their disclosure and to consider whether language that reappears annually still...more

Inside M&A - October 2015

Overview of SPACs and Latest Trends - A number of recent successful business combination transactions involving special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) led by prominent sponsors have driven a resurgence in the SPAC...more

Two Cases From NC Business Court: Class Action Fees Doubled And Expedited Discovery Denied

Last week (well, two weeks ago, I'm kind of behind) seemed like class action week at the Business Court. Judge Gale issued three rulings in class action cases. ...more

What's Market? Update: Litigation

In In re Appraisal of Ancestry.com, Inc., C.A. No. 8173-VCG (Del. Ch. 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery held in connection with an appraisal proceeding brought by a dissenting shareholder that the best indication of the...more

Audit Committee Disclosures Among Largest Companies Continue to Expand

In its fourth annual report on enhanced audit committee reporting to shareholders, Ernst & Young reports that “the previously observed trend of Fortune 100 companies going beyond minimum disclosure requirements and providing...more

2015 Guide to Acquiring US Public Companies

This guide summarizes certain important considerations for acquiring a publicly traded US-based target corporation through a negotiated (i.e. “non-hostile”) tender offer, exchange offer or merger. US public companies are...more

A Farewell to Alms? Peppercorn Settlements of M&A Litigation

An apparently frustrated Delaware Vice Chancellor recently approved yet another disclosure-only settlement of yet another challenge to a merger, but seemed intent on signaling that such proposed class-action settlements might...more

How Proxy Data and Pilot Studies Can Help Employers Prepare for the DOL’s New Proposed Overtime Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division recently announced its proposal to amend 29 C.F.R. Part 541, containing the “white collar” exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The...more

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