Shareholder Votes

News & Analysis as of

"SEC Staff Issues Revised Guidance on Unbundling of Shareholder Votes in M&A Deals"

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance (Staff) recently published revised guidance regarding the "unbundling" of matters presented for shareholder votes in connection...more

Proxy Access Update—Preparing for the 2016 Proxy Season

Proxy access predominated corporate governance issues for the 2015 proxy season, with over 100 proposals submitted on the topic, compared to 18 in 2014. Shareholder proponents achieved significant success in 2015, with an...more

Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, No. 9745-CB (Del. Ch. Oct. 28, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In a decision reinforcing the importance of observing corporate formalities, Chancellor Bouchard found that a controlling stockholder cannot ratify a board’s self-dealing with something as informal as an affidavit, a...more

Gorman v. Salamone: Updating Delaware Law on the Removal of Officers by Stockholders

The power to remove officers is usually reserved for a Delaware corporation’s board of directors. Express language in a certificate of incorporation can reserve this power for stockholders, and until recently, Delaware courts...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

Court of Chancery Applies Business Judgment Standard Under New Supreme Court Precedent

This is an important decision that reverses a prior opinion in the same case. The Court did so because after it issued its prior opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its Corwin decision holding that when a merger is...more

SEC Issues Staff Legal Bulletin On Shareholder Proposals Under Rule 14a-8

On October 22, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) staff issued Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14H, providing guidance on important issues arising under Rule 14a-8 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Reaffirms Important Protections for Corporate Directors"

A trio of opinions from the Delaware Supreme Court, each authored by Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., has reaffirmed Delaware’s deference to the business judgment of disinterested corporate decision-makers and restored...more

What's Market? Update: Maryland REIT

For many years, it was assumed and accepted that Delaware corporate law was more advantageous to corporations than the corporate law of other states. While Delaware case law regarding corporations is still more developed...more

Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015) (Strine, C.J.)

In this opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a stockholder challenge to a merger, the Delaware Supreme Court held that the approval of the merger by a fully informed, disinterested stockholder majority...more

"Key Takeaways: Proxy Access - Latest Developments"

On September 17, 2015, Skadden presented a webinar titled “Proxy Access: Latest Developments.” The panelists were Art Crozier, Chairman of Innisfree M&A Incorporated; Mike Garland, Assistant Comptroller for Corporate...more

CLIENT ALERT: Delaware Supreme Court Finds That Fully Informed Stockholder Vote Approving Merger Invoked Business Judgment Rule

Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC, No. 629, 2014 (Del. Oct. 2, 2015). In this opinion affirming the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of a purported class action challenging an acquisition transaction, the Delaware...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Stockholder Consents

Given the sanctity of the stockholder vote in Delaware law, it would be surprising if the Court of Chancery would ever reverse such a vote or the use of stockholder consents to take corporate action....more

Proposed Change to NYSE Shareholder Vote Rule for “Early Stage Companies”

The Securities and Exchange Commission is requesting comments prior to August 31, 2015 regarding whether the Commission should approve or disapprove a proposed change to the NYSE Listed Company Manual Sections 312.03 and...more

Know Your Limits! Section 162(m) and Excess Equity Grants

In the past few years there has been an uptick in stockholder derivative litigation related to equity compensation granted to named executive officers that exceed the plan share limits. The claims against the companies...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Litigation Threat Means Public Companies Should Review Director Compensation Process

Corporate directors are permitted to, and regularly do, set their own compensation. This has not been controversial because boards have typically taken seriously their responsibility to set compensation that is reasonable and...more

California’s Bizarre Voting Records Disclosure Requirement

Some statutes are so poorly drafted that one hardly knows where to begin. One such statute is Section 711 of the California Corporations Code. According to the legislature, the purpose of the statute is “to serve the public...more

A Key Reminder to Directors of Delaware Corporations When Granting Equity Awards under an Equity Incentive Plan

Corporate directors routinely make decisions regarding their own compensation. If challenged by stockholders, such decisions are generally reviewed by Delaware courts under the onerous "entire fairness" standard, which...more

Less Is More? Not when it comes to director compensation plans and effective shareholder ratification

Companies cannot merely rely upon shareholder approval to obtain protection under the business judgment rule. While the courts in Delaware do frequently apply the standard of waste to claims of breach of fiduciary duty and...more

Director Compensation After Calma v. Templeton: Proactive Steps to Consider

Delaware case exposes director compensation to heightened “entire fairness” standard absent adequate stockholder ratification - The Delaware Court of Chancery recently decided a case that makes it easier for plaintiffs...more

Does The SEC’s Unbundling Rule Deprive Stockholders The Right To Vote On The Whole?

A forthcoming academic paper looks for bundling in more than 1,500 management proposals between 2003 and 2012.  Bundling occurs when multiple matters are combined into a single proposal.  The authors, James Cox, Fabrizio...more

Institutional Shareholder Voting Guidelines: How to Win a Proxy Fight Despite a "NO" Recommendation from ISS and/or Glass Lewis

There is no doubt that Institutional Shareholder Services ("ISS") and Glass Lewis, as advisors to institutional shareholders, have a significant impact on the level of shareholder support for a company's Say on Pay and...more

Dismissal Of Involuntary Dissolution Action Pulls The Plug On Corporate Buy Out

Sometimes, shareholders are divided on whether a corporation should live or die. In these cases, the California Corporations Code provides an option that allows for the continued existence of a corporation. In any action...more

Chancery Enjoins Board in Potential Stockholder Dilution Scheme

Directors and officers of struggling corporations seeking capital or startups willing to trade equity for cash should read the Delaware Court of Chancery's recent transcript ruling in Elite Horse Investments Ltd. v. T3...more

ISS Issues FAQs on Proxy Voting Policies Regarding Bylaw and Charter Amendments Adopted Without Shareholder Approval

Existing (ISS) voting policy is to recommend against the election of boards of directors if charter or bylaw amendments were enacted without shareholder approval and in a manner that materially diminishes shareholders’ rights...more

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