Proxy Statements

News & Analysis as of

SEC Staff Legal Bulletin Addresses Use of Proxy Advisory Firms by Advisers and Reliance by Proxy Advisory Firms on Proxy Rules...

The SEC’s Divisions of Investment Management and Corporation Finance issued Staff Legal Bulletin No. 20 (the “Guidance”) which provides guidance from the Division of Investment Management to investment advisers on their...more

Delaware Court Dismisses Shareholder Class Action Suit Attacking Corporate Merger

Almost every proposed corporate merger is met with a shareholder suit against the acquiring company, merger target and the target’s board of directors in which the shareholders assert that the board breached its fiduciary...more

Raul v. Astoria Fin. Corp., C.A. No. 9169-VCG (Del. Ch. June 20, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted defendant’s motion to dismiss, finding that plaintiff was not entitled to attorneys’ fees under the corporate benefit doctrine because plaintiff had not presented a...more

Does A Director Have A Contractual Right To Compensation?

Yesterday, I wrote about stockholder challenges to director compensation. Today’s post considers what happens when a director joins a board. When someone is invited to join a board, she may ask about compensation. The...more

If Fee-Shifting Bylaws Are Ever Put On Trial, This Case Should Be Exhibit A

Item 5.07(d) of Form 8-K requires issuers to disclose “the company’s decision in light of such vote as to how frequently the company will include a shareholder vote on the compensation of executives in its proxy materials...more

Sustainability Reporting–Something to Consider

It’s common knowledge that investors, analysts and other stakeholders view certain non-financial information as increasingly important indicators of a company’s long-term value. This information tends to be grouped into three...more

Court Refuses to Invalidate Proxies Obtained Via Deficient Proxy Circular

In Weyburn Inland Terminal Ltd. v The Director of Corporations for Saskatchewan, 2014 SKQB 46, the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan ordered dissident shareholders of Weyburn Inland Terminal Ltd. (the “Company”) to...more

Full disclosure: A practical guide for the HR professional when preparing the retirement plan portions of a proxy statement

In 2006, the SEC adopted rules which created the Pension Benefits Table and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Table to supplement the Summary Compensation Table. The tables mandate certain specific disclosures with respect...more

Rely Only on This Prospectus . . . Unless We Left Something Out

In a little-noticed part of a December 2013 opinion in the multidistrict Facebook IPO litigation, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet ruled that plaintiffs could use prospectus language once thought to be a shield against...more

Proxies Unbundled: Recent SEC Guidance after Greenlight Capital v. Apple Case

Last year, Judge Sullivan in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a preliminary injunction in Greenlight Capital, L.P. v. Apple, Inc. enjoining the “bundling” of multiple proposals by Apple in...more

M&A Update: The “Gatekeepers”: Delaware Court Holds Conflicted Financial Advisor Liable For Aiding And Abetting Breach Of...

Delaware courts have increasingly shined a spotlight on what they consider to be conflicts of interest for sell-side financial advisors. On March 7th, the Delaware Chancery Court hit these conflicts with a laser beam. In a...more

Company Press Releases During Proxy Fights May Not Be Proxy Solicitations

Overview - In Smoothwater Capital Partners LP I v. Equity Financial Holdings Inc., 2014 ONSC 324, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that a press release issued by Equity Financial Holdings Inc. (the “Company”)...more

Proxy Statement Enterprise Risk Management Disclosure – A Missed Opportunity

Buried at the end of the SEC’s multi-page corporate governance disclosure rule (Regulation S-K, Item 407(h)), is the requirement to: “disclose the extent of the board’s role in…risk oversight, such as how the board...more

New York Court Holds That Revlon Standards Are Not Triggered In A Stock-for-Stock Merger Where No Change of Control Results

The recent decision in Badowski v. Corrao, No. 652986/2011, NYLJ 1202642854864 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County, Commercial Division), is a timely application by a New York court of the limitations of so-called Revlon duties to...more

What’s The Matter With The SEC’s Unbundling Interpretation?

Rule 14a-4 requires, among other things, that a form of proxy “identify clearly and impartially each separate matter intended to be acted upon, whether or not related to or conditioned on the approval of other matters, and...more

Proxy Statement Unbundling–New Guidance for an Old Rule

With the recent emphasis on proxy statement compensation disclosure, director independence and corporate governance, little attention has been paid to another issue that can delay your proxy statement mailing schedule and...more

I May Be Pettifogging, But I Have to Ask: Is It Time To Dump The Proxy And Give Shareholders A Ballot?

The proxy is the most misunderstood and mischaracterized of all instruments. For the record, a “proxy” is “a written authorization signed or an electronic transmission authorized by a shareholder or the shareholder’s...more

Top Disclosure and Governance Tips for 2014

The proxy and annual reporting season is upon us and, as with other things, it is best to be prepared. Here are some thoughts for publicly traded companies to carry through the season and help plan for the remainder of the...more

RR Donnelley Survey: Inside Scoop on Investors’ Review of Proxy Statements

Registrants and investors are increasingly placing greater focus on proxy statement presentation. As a result, over the last few years, proxy statements have evolved into more effective disclosure and marketing tools as...more

Dodd-Frank Essentials: Executive Compensation Requirements And Disclosures

Several provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act have brought compensation of financial institution executives into the public eye. Although disclosure of executive and director compensation...more

D&O Questionnaire Update Forms For 2014

The SEC has adopted rules prohibiting “bad actors” from using Rule 506 after September 23, 2013 (the effective date of the rules), or if prohibited conduct occurred prior to the effective date of the rules, the prohibition...more

Delaware Chancery Court Permits Shareholder to Bring Fiduciary Claim for Board’s Violation of a Stock Incentive Plan

On November 8, the Delaware Chancery Court denied a motion to dismiss a derivative action brought by a shareholder of Healthways, Inc. against the company’s president, Ben Leedle, Jr., and the board of directors for approving...more

When It Comes To Proxy Statements, The U.S. District Courts May Not Be So Exclusive After All

A recent ruling by Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons, Jr. caused me to ponder why a case involving alleged misstatements in a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission wasn’t immediately tossed out on...more

Beware Proxy Statement Non-GAAP Financial Measures

It’s no secret that proxy statements are rapidly evolving into full-blown marketing documents. The introduction of the CD&A began the trend back in 2006 (although it took a while for companies to move beyond black and white...more

Misbehaving Directors, Including Directors’ Duties To Maintain The Confidentiality Of Information

I. Introduction. The conduct of corporate directors and officers is subject to particular scrutiny in the context of business combinations (whether friendly or hostile), executive compensation and other affiliated...more

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