Shareholder Rights

News & Analysis as of

Responding to Stockholder Inspection Demands Under Delaware Code § 220

Delaware Code § 220 gives stockholders the right to inspect a corporation’s books and records, but that right is subject to certain important limitations that have developed in the Delaware caselaw. When a corporation is...more

ISS Publishes Results of Annual Global Voting Policy Survey

On September 29, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a leading proxy advisory firm, published the results of its 2014–2015 global voting policy survey. The survey, which, according to ISS, received more than 370...more

Minority Shareholder Oppression In Family Businesses In Pennsylvania

Decades ago, Pennsylvania courts, as well as other state courts, were reluctant to interfere with business judgments of majority shareholders managing a corporation, even where the expectations of a minority shareholder had...more

BVI court issues pivotal guidance on exclusive jurisdiction clause

In what is likely to be considered a landmark decision, the BVI Commercial Court has held that winding up proceedings brought on just and equitable grounds relating to BVI companies will not be caught by an exclusive...more

Minority Shareholder Rights In Pennsylvania And Florida: A Tale Of Two Very Different Approaches

This article analyzes the development of the law relating to treatment of minority shareholders in Pennsylvania and Florida. The article discusses what type of conduct is actionable, what remedies are available as well as...more

Blog: Corp Fin Tallies Shareholder Proposal No-Action Requests And Responses

As reported by Bloomberg, director of Corp Fin Keith Higgins, speaking at the ABA meeting of the Business Law section in Chicago, provided Corp Fin’s tally of no-action requests and responses in connection with shareholder...more

Council of Institutional Investors Issues Report on Board Evaluation Disclosure

The Council of Institutional Investors (CII), an advocacy group for corporate governance and shareholder rights, has published a report that highlights two approaches to disclosure regarding a board’s process of...more

Court of Appeal Clarifies Directors’ Fiduciary Duties and the Business Judgment Rule for Executive Compensation Matters

The Court of Appeal for Ontario recently affirmed the nature of directors’ and officers’ fiduciary duties and clarified the application of the business judgment rule in the context of a dispute regarding executive...more

The Financial Report - Volume 3, No. 14 • July 24, 2014 (Global)

Discussion and Analysis - Monday of this week was the fourth anniversary of the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Like all anniversaries, it is a time for looking back. As would...more

Texas Ruling Highlights the Need for Shareholder Agreements in Closely Held Corporations

On June 20, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that brings to light the importance of every corporation, especially closely held corporations, having a comprehensive shareholders' agreement that...more

Governance & Securities Law Focus: Europe Edition

In this issue: - EU DEVELOPMENTS - Statutory Audit Directive and Regulation Published in Official Journal - Council Adopts Intra-Corporate Transferees Directive - ESMA Publishes Consultation and...more

The Resilient Rights Plan: Recent Poison Pill Developments and Trends

Shareholder rights plans were developed more than 30 years ago to fend off opportunistic hostile offers and other abusive takeover transactions. Rights plans deter unauthorized stock accumulations by imposing substantial...more

"Navigating Today’s Shareholder Activism Landscape: What Companies Should Consider"

Shareholder activism is the corporate topic du jour, be it in boardrooms, the media or Washington, D.C. While corporate boards and management need to understand the current environment and how we got here, their top priority...more

Possible Offshore Deferrals for Hedge Fund Managers – IRS Confirms That Certain Stock Options and Stock Appreciation Rights Are...

The Internal Revenue Service (the "IRS") has issued Revenue Ruling 2014-18 (the "Ruling"), which generally confirms that a stock-settled stock option or stock appreciation right that is granted with an exercise/base price of...more

Shareholder Activism in Germany Following Takeover Announcements

Over the past few years there has been a noticeable increase in the frequency of activist investors building up considerable stakes in German listed companies in the context of public takeovers. One reason for this...more

Court Upholds Poison Pill in Response to Activist Accumulations

The Delaware Court of Chancery on May 2 rejected a request by Third Point to enjoin Sotheby’s annual stockholder meeting, scheduled for May 6, because of a “poison pill” stockholder rights plan adopted by Sotheby’s board....more

In a Decision of First Impression, Delaware Court of Chancery Denies Third Point's Motion to Enjoin Sotheby's Novel Poison Pill

On May 2, 2014, Vice Chancellor Donald Parsons of the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a significant decision in the litigation brought by Daniel Loeb's hedge fund, Third Point LLC, challenging Sotheby's stockholder rights...more

Third Point LLC V. Ruprecht; Two-Tiered Poison Pill Withstands Judicial Review

In Third Point LLC v. Ruprecht, et al., C.A. No. 9469-VCP (Del.Ch. May 2, 2014), the Delaware Chancery Court denied a preliminary injunction challenging Sotheby’s stockholder rights plan, or so-called “poison pill,” which...more

M&A Update: Delaware Court Upholds Sotheby’s Poison Pill Defense Against Activist Citing “Negative Control” As A Corporate Threat

In a May 2, 2014 ruling relating to activist hedge fund Third Point LLC’s proxy battle with auction house Sotheby’s, the Delaware Chancery Court found that Third Point was not likely to succeed in its argument that the...more

EU Commission Proposes to Amend Shareholder Rights Directive

The proposal covers shareholder votes on remuneration policies and related party transactions and greater transparency obligations on certain market participants. The European Commission (EU Commission) recently...more

Lead Director Networks: Viewpoints - April 2014

Dealing with shareholder activism - On March 4, 2014, Lead Director Network (LDN)1 members met in New York City to discuss shareholder activism. Ralph Whitworth, founder, principal, and investment committee member of...more

California’s RULLCA Impossible Pleading Requirement For Derivative Suits

California’s Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act requires a member of a domestic or foreign LLC to include two specific allegations in any complaint brought in the right of the company. Failure to include these two...more

Dissenter Rights Create Trend of Investors Driving Higher Prices and Gaining Interest

Two recent high-profile shareholder rights cases in the Delaware Chancery Court have received a lot of attention due to the money that is at stake and the individuals in the disputes. These two cases, along with several other...more

Shareholders Have an Absolute Right to an Auditor and to Audited Financial Statements - Financial Hardship is Irrelevant, Says...

In a decision released on January 29, 2014, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that companies incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act must, by operation of law, appoint an auditor, and thereafter produce annual...more

On Closer Inspection, This CII “Best Practice” May Be Neither Good Nor Legal

The Council of Institutional Investors has adopted what it describes as ”a comprehensive body of corporate governance best practices”, including Policies on Corporate Governance. I question, however, whether some of these...more

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