Shareholder Litigation

News & Analysis as of

The Carrot or the Stick? New Ways to Explain Why Compliance Builds a Stronger Bottom Line

There is a well-known truth that most business leaders get: bad ethics are bad for business. The reasons are as obvious as last week’s headlines: fines, investigations, remediations, and the like can take a huge toll...more

Chancery Rejects Facebook Stockholder Ratification Argument

In Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, a stockholder challenged the Facebook board of directors' unanimous approval of a compensation plan for the company's six non-employee directors. The board consisted of eight directors, with only...more

Court of Chancery Again Explains Claim Against An Investment Banker

In this unusual factual circumstance, the Court denied a motion to dismiss a claim against an investment banker for aiding and abetting a board’s alleged breach of its duty to act with care. Note that the board itself was...more

The End of Disclosure Only Settlements in M&A Cases? Not So Fast.

Disclosure-only settlements have been popular in the past – last year, about 80% of settlements in M&A-related lawsuits were for disclosures only, according to Cornerstone Research – but lately they have come under scrutiny. ...more

North Carolina Court Rules Class Action Settlements Can Award Attorneys’ Fees, but Note of Caution to Local Counsel

The North Carolina Court of Appeals considered for the first time whether it is legal in a class action settlement agreement for one party to agree to pay the other’s attorneys’ fees and expenses. The court concluded that it...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Adverse-Interest Exception in Fraud-on-the Market Securities Class Actions

Last week, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision that could affect analyses of corporate scienter in securities class actions. The court reversed the dismissal of In re ChinaCast Education Corporation Securities Litigation and...more

Southern District of Florida Case Challenging Bylaw Requiring Minimum Stake to Sue Dismissed

As we have previously discussed, there has been a growing trend of corporations’ adopting various types of bylaws to define the bounds of shareholder litigation. These include forum-selection bylaws and fee-shifting bylaws...more

Insights: The Delaware Edition - October 2015

We are pleased to share with you the inaugural issue of Insights: The Delaware Edition, a periodic publication addressing significant Delaware deal litigation and corporation law developments. In This Issue: - Q&A...more

"Recent Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law Address Fee-Shifting and Forum Selection Provisions"

It has become almost axiomatic that when a public company merger is announced, stockholder litigation quickly follows. In recent years, some studies have indicated that more than 90 percent of transactions valued at more than...more

Business Litigation Reporter October 2015

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Cautions Directors: Be Vigilant in Recognizing Advisor’s Conflict of Interests

Shareholders challenged the merger of Zale Corporation with Signet Jewelers Ltd. In a decision dated October 1, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery credited allegations that the board of directors of Zale breached its...more

Are Merger Objection Suits a Dying Breed?

Much has been written lately about why suits objecting to a merger are so bad. The complaint is that those suits lack any merit and are filed only to get a fee for the plaintiffs bar, after a quick settlement. As evidence of...more

What's Market? Update: Delaware Corporate and M&A

Fee Shifting and Forum Selection Clauses - Much attention has been paid to Delaware legislative developments regarding fee shifting and forum selection clauses. On June 24, 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed...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, 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

Update from Wilson Elser’s D&O Insurance Digest

Litigation Developments and Mega Settlements - Dole Food, Inc. Derivative Action – Delaware Chancery Court Finds D&Os Engaged in Fraud - Dole Food, Inc. shareholders sued Dole Chairman and CEO David Murdock and Dole...more

Shareholder Suit Challenging Groundbreaking Minimum-Support-To-Sue Bylaw Dismissed

In what is believed to be the first case nationwide seeking to strike down a groundbreaking corporate bylaw aimed at combatting frivolous shareholder class actions, Emergent Capital, Inc., has secured the dismissal with...more

Two Is Not A Lot And It’s Certainly Not Extensive

Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster’s ruling in In re Aruba Networks, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, C.A. No. 10765-VCL has received widespread coverage.  See, e.g., Kevin LaCroix, Game Over?: Del. Chancery Court Rejects...more

Alphabet Soup and Data Security

In the span of two days, mobile device users learned of two data breaches that could compromise their personal data. In one, Experian (a credit reporting agency) reported that it was hacked, potentially putting 15 million...more

Study Shows Financial Restatements Are “Handbooks Of Trickery” For Copycat Peer Companies

No, it’s not from The Onion. According to a study reported in, unless the restating company faces regulatory action or shareholder litigation, the company’s competitors may use its financial restatement as a how-to...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of '40 Act Section 36(b) Excessive Fee Action Against Davis

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an amended complaint asserted by a shareholder of the Davis New York Venture Fund (the “Fund”) under section 36(b) of the Investment Company...more

Fraud Vitiated Special-Committee Process in Dole Merger

In a self-interested transaction between a company and its controlling stockholder, the operative standard of judicial review under Delaware law is the most rigorous: entire fairness standard of review. To obtain the least...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Investment Banker Conflict Leads To Aiding And Abetting Claim

Here the banker failed to make a timely disclosure to its client that it had previously pitched the buyer to make a bid for the client. The Court found that in the context of a motion to dismiss the Board may have breached...more

M&A Update: Fully Informed Vote of Disinterested Stockholders Results in Business Judgment Rule Protection in Post-Closing Review...

In an October 2, 2015 decision, Corwin, et al. v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC., et al., the Delaware Supreme Court clarified that once a merger closes, as long as it has been approved by a fully informed vote of the...more

In re Riverbed: The Beginning of the End for Disclosure-Only Settlements in M&A Cases?

The past decade has seen an incredible rise in M&A litigation. According to Cornerstone, in 2014, a whopping 93% of announced mergers valued over $100 million were subject to litigation, up from 44% in 2007. As Delaware...more

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