Shareholders

News & Analysis as of

Director Liability for Cybersecurity Risks

If a corporation is the target of a cyberattack resulting in a data breach, its board may be the target of a shareholder derivative action claiming breach of fiduciary duty. A recent example is Palkon v. Holmes, No....more

Delaware Supreme Court Permits Stockholders to Overcome Corporation’s Attorney-Client Privilege for “Good Cause”

On July 23, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Indiana Elec. Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW held that plaintiff stockholders, who make a showing of good cause, can inspect documents concerning a...more

Connecticut's Passage of Its Benefit Corporations and Social Enterprise Statute

Over the last few years, the phenomenon of corporations existing for the purpose of accomplishing a social good rather than only for maximizing profits for shareholders has taken root. The Connecticut General Assembly...more

IC-DISC Benefits Enhanced with Foreign Shareholders

Since the reduction in the individual tax rate on qualified dividends in 2004, the Interest Charge Domestic Sales Corporation (“IC-DISC”) has become an attractive vehicle to obtain a tax incentive for exporting U.S.-produced...more

EU Merger Law May Soon Extend To Minority Acquisitions

Economically, minority shareholdings — ranging from minimal passive investments to strategic control — are a significant phenomenon. Globally, however there is a wide variety of approaches to antitrust regulation of these...more

Directors and stockholder engagement: what path to take?

For many decades, independent directors in most public companies generally avoided face-to-face interaction with stockholders. At most, large stockholders would receive a visit from management on a swing through New York or...more

Three New Weapons to Combat Shareholder Litigation

Over the past several years there has been an overwhelming abundance of class action shareholder litigation. A study by Cornerstone Research found that in 2013 alone, 94% of mergers and acquisitions worth over $100 million...more

The Activist Investor and Negotiated Share Purchases

Steven Stokdyk is the global Co-chair of Latham & Watkins’ Public Company Representation Practice. He has extensive corporate, finance and acquisition experience representing companies, principal investors and investment...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Issues Key Ruling on Pleading of Loss Causation in Securities Class Actions

Loos v. Immersion Corp., et. al., Case No. 12-15100, ---F.3d--- (9th Cir. 2014) - On August 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued a key opinion on the pleading of loss causation in securities class actions, ruling for the...more

SOX Claim Dismissed: Rejection of IP Assignment Clause Not Protected Activity

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently granted a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim, concluding that the plaintiff did not engage in protected activity. Fuqua...more

One-sided “Shareholder Pays” Provisions Approved For Corporate Bylaws

The “American Rule.” To the uninitiated, that name probably conjures up fuzzy feelings of independence. The hardy spirit of our forefathers. Bootstraps and grit. Rocky IV. But to American lawyers, it’s just a rule about...more

Wisconsin Adopts Twombly, Though "No One Is Sure What Twombly Means"

In Data Key Partners v. Permira Advisers LLC, 2014 WI 86, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted the “plausibility” pleading standard articulated by the United States Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544...more

The Current View On Direct vs. Derivative

When a member or shareholder of a company or corporation sustains a loss, is that member’s loss directly compensable by a direct suit? Or does the member have to bring a derivative suit on behalf of the corporation? ...more

Julie Friedman v. Dara Khosrowshahi, et al., C.A. No. 9161-CB (Del. Ch. Jul. 16, 2014) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss a stockholder’s complaint, challenging the accelerated vesting of the CEO’s restricted stock units based on an alleged violation of...more

Significant Legislation Affecting Business Passed by General Assembly

At the end of last week, the North Carolina General Assembly passed significant legislation affecting the State’s business legal climate. With large bipartisan majorities, the Legislature adopted Senate Bill 853 (SB 853),...more

Acquisitive Reorganization Under Section 367(b)

This outline discusses, in plain English, the regulatory provisions called into play under IRC § 367(b) on acquisitive mergers and other non-divisive corporate reorganizations. A Section 367(b) acquisitive reorganization...more

The Texas Supreme Court Decision in Ritchie v. Rupe

On June 20, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Ritchie v. Rupe, 2014 Tex. LEXIS 500 (Tex. 2014). In Ritchie, a minority shareholder in a closely held corporation attempted to force the majority shareholders...more

New Tax Guidance Would Simplify Rules for Shareholders of Institutional Money Market Funds

On July 23, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final rules governing the structure and operation of money market funds (SEC MMF Reform Rules). See our client alert entitled “SEC Adopts Floating-NAV and...more

Stockholder Proposal Seeks To Ratification Of All Decisions And Actions

For the last six years, Amerco as included a rather unique stockholder proposal in its proxy statement. It’s there again this year. Basically, it asks the stockholders to ratify and affirm all decisions and actions by...more

Texas Supreme Court's Recent Shareholder Oppression Opinions Reaffirm Primacy of Common Law Fiduciary Duties Under Gearhart

In three recent cases, the Texas Supreme Court has made it clear that for claims of "minority shareholder oppression" — essentially, acts of a majority shareholder group that are harmful to a minority shareholder without...more

In Business & Corporate Law Avoiding a Messy Business Divorce is Important! #BusinessAttorney

When people come together to begin a business, they may not think the time will come when they will not get along. But if, after many years, you and your business partner no longer see eye-to-eye when it comes to how to...more

Delaware Likes Garner/California Not So Much

In 1970, Richard Nixon was president, the 26th Amendment was still not part of the Constitution, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Garner v. Wolfinbarger, 430 F.2d 1093 (5th Cir. 1970). In that...more

I Find More Confusion On Tallying Votes

I recently came across the following vote tally in Item 5.07 of Form 8-K: - 73,197,209 votes for (28.9% of the voted shares) - 177,776,280 votes against (70.2% of the voted shares)... ...more

Delaware Formally Adopts Proposed Statutory Amendments Governing Mergers Following the Completion of a Tender Offer

The governor of Delaware recently signed into law previously proposed amendments to Section 251(h) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), which make Section 251(h) more accessible to deal parties by...more

Vote-Counting Standards: A Recipe for Confusion?

Shareholder voting standards was a hot topic this proxy season and will likely continue to be of significant interest next proxy season and in subsequent years. This proxy season, shareholders submitted various proposals...more

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