Shareholder Proposals

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

SEC Commissioner Wonders Whether Harvard Violated Securities Laws

SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher and Joseph A. Grundfest, Stanford Law School, Rock Center for Corporate Governance, have just published a paper titled “Did Harvard Violate Federal Securities Law? The Campaign Against...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

"Checklist of Matters to Be Considered for the 2015 Annual Meeting and Reporting Season"

As our clients and friends once again embark on preparations for their 2015 annual meeting and reporting season, we have compiled a checklist of the corporate governance, executive compensation and disclosure matters that we...more

Court Says SEC Wrong to Permit Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal

The United States District Court for the District of Delaware held that the SEC was incorrect when it rendered a no-action letter permitting exclusion of a shareholder proposal submitted under Rule 18a-8 in Trinity Wall...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

Non-Enforcement

When the U.S. Congress passed the crowdfunding exemption under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the “Jobs Act”) in 2012, there was much anticipation and optimism for the ability of issuers of securities to be able to...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

Anticipating Shareholder Proposals During the 2015 Proxy Season

As companies begin to prepare for the 2015 proxy season, it will be important to anticipate the types of shareholder proposals they should expect so that they can develop a more meaningful response. This can be accomplished...more

SEC Update

PROXY SEASON PREVIEW - Say-on-Pay and Equity Compensation Plans - Although say-on-pay votes are only advisory in the United States, they will likely continue to be a focus for many companies in the upcoming 2014...more

Considerations for 2014 Proxy Season and Beyond

Following are some topics that public companies may want to consider in preparation for the 2014 proxy season. Shareholder Proposals - The 2013 proxy season reflected a continued increase in the number of...more

SEC Staff Provides Additional Rule 14a-8(i)(3) Guidance in No-Action Letter Responses

The SEC has elaborated on its Rule 14a-8(i)(3) analysis in its recent responses to registrant request for no-action letters. Shareholder proposals often reference definitions found in NYSE and NASDAQ listing standards...more

Planning for the 2013 Annual Meeting and Reporting Season

As companies prepare for the 2013 annual meeting and reporting season, we have compiled an overview of the corporate governance and disclosure matters that companies should consider as they draft this season’s disclosure...more

Considerations for the 2013 Form 10-K and Annual Proxy Season

The upcoming 2013 proxy season will likely be impacted by new policies issued by proxy advisers, as well as shareholder activists taking advantage of previously adopted rules, rather than by recent legislative or rulemaking...more

Dealing with ISS and Other Proxy Advisory Firms this Proxy Season

Set forth below are summaries of key ISS and Glass Lewis policy updates that will take effect for the 2013 proxy season. ISS Policy Updates - Pay-for-Performance Evaluation - Revised Peer Group Methodology. ISS...more

SEC Releases Staff Legal Bulletin Regarding Shareholder Proposals

On October 16, 2012, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14G (SLB 14G). The release is the eighth staff legal bulletin discussing...more

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