News & Analysis as of

"Glass Lewis Issues 2016 US Proxy Policy Guidelines"

Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis recently issued its U.S. voting policy guidelines for the 2016 proxy season. The guidelines include a few key changes, a summary of which is outlined below. Conflicting Shareholder...more

Pitfalls of Delaware Corporate Law

In order to create the invaluable certainty that Delaware corporate law provides to boards of directors and stockholders with respect to corporate governance and capital structure, the General Corporation Law of the State of...more

SEC Staff Legal Bulletin Clarifies Shareholder Proposal Exclusion Analysis

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Division of Corporation Finance (Division) has issued Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14H (SLB14H), which contains guidance on the exclusion of shareholder proposals that...more

Director Independence Revisited

Interested director transactions (transactions where one or more members of a board of directors will “receive a personal financial benefit … that is not equally shared by the stockholders.” Rales v. Blasband, 634 A.2d 927,...more

What 19 Eminent Law Professors Would Have You Believe

UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge yesterday highlighted an amicus curiae brief filed recently by 19 law professors in Freidrichs v. California Teachers Ass’n. That case, which is now pending before the U.S....more

Merger Price Is Best Evidence of Fair Value in Appraisal Action

The practice of a hedge fund buying shares in a Delaware corporation upon the announcement of a cash-out merger to then exercise appraisal rights, sometimes referred to as “appraisal arbitrage,” has generated controversy....more

I’m Guessing That The DOL Didn’t Have in Mind Negative Weighing OF ESG Factors

In this post, I noted a recent study by Professor Tracie Woidtke at the University of Tennessee concluding that social-issue shareholder-proposal activism appears to be negatively related to firm value. I therefore raised...more

Stockholder activism disclosure tips: deciphering increasingly complicated timing and ownership positions

Peeling away the various arguments of stockholder activists and their often larger-than-life personas - and occasional multi-hour conference calls - lays bare the gritty details of the ways stockholder activists actually take...more

ESMA prepares for amended Transparency Directive

ESMA has published four documents relating to the amended Transparency Directive (TD) in order to promote the implementation and harmonised application of the directive when it comes into force on 26 November....more

SEC Issues Guidance on Rule 14a-8(i)(9) and Rule 14a-8(i)(7)

On October 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance (Division) issued Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14H (SLB 14H), which (1) sets forth a new standard for determining when a shareholder proposal...more

Compliance with the Formal Approval Requirements of Delaware Law Required for Stockholder Ratification of Director Compensation

On October 28th, the Delaware Chancery Court, in Espinoza v. Zuckerberg, et al., held that stockholder ratification of a transaction that was approved by an interested board of directors must be accomplished formally through...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 42

SEC/CORPORATE - ISS Releases 2016 Draft Voting Policy Changes for Comment - On October 26, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a leading proxy advisory firm, released for comment draft voting policy changes...more

Proxy Access–Making Sure You are Prepared for the 2016 Proxy Season - Update

UPDATE (October 29, 2015): On October 22, 2015, the Staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporate Finance issued Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14H1, clarifying when a company may exclude a shareholder...more

SEC’s Crowdfunding Rules

Crowdfunding is a popular and controversial form of selling securities using the internet. Prior to the passage of the JOBS Act, which was designed to facilitate capital formation for small companies, such sales generally...more

Court Of Chancery Accepts Merger Price In Appraisal Action

When the merger price is the product of a full market check by a disinterested Board without interference from a controller and is approved by the stockholders, the Court of Chancery is inclined to give that price weight in...more

Court of Chancery Again Explains Claim Against An Investment Banker

In this unusual factual circumstance, the Court denied a motion to dismiss a claim against an investment banker for aiding and abetting a board’s alleged breach of its duty to act with care. Note that the board itself was...more

Nevada Supreme Court Opines On Scope Of Debtor’s Exemption For Stock

NRS 78.746 provides that, with several qualifications, the exclusive remedy of judgment creditors with respect to the stock in a relatively closely held corporation is to charge a stockholder’s shares.  To the extent so...more

Corporate Responsibility: Friedman vs. Porter and the Trend Toward Shared Value

On September 13, 1970, The New York Times published an oped by University of Chicago Professor Milton Friedman that provided the intellectual framework for a profound shift in American corporate governance. The article,...more

SEC Issues Staff Legal Bulletin Outlining the Scope of the “Directly Conflicts” Exclusion under Rule 14a-8 and Providing Guidance...

On October 22, 2015, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance (the Division) issued Staff Legal Bulletin No. 14H (the SLB) in which it provides guidance on two key issues surrounding the exclusion of shareholder proposals...more

A Cross-Border Finance Lawyer Examines Differences in Canadian and U.S. Corporate Practice

As a U.S. finance lawyer working in Canada on cross-border deals, I have noticed a few differences between U.S. and Canadian corporate practice that impact in minor ways the transaction documents, but that may signal in some...more

Investing in Canadian public companies - Encroaching on the reporting threshold: What is the significance of 10 percent?

The threshold in Canada when one becomes a “reporting insider” of a “reporting issuer” is at an ownership level (including control and direction) of 10 percent. When a purchaser acquires ownership or control of greater than...more

SEC Gets Off the Sidelines - Publishes Guidance on Shareholder Proposal Exclusions

Yesterday, just in time for the start of the proxy season, the Securities and Exchange Commission published its eagerly-awaited guidance on two shareholder proposal exclusions – Rule 14a-8(i)(9) (“directly conflicts”...more

U.S. SEC Proposes Liquidity Risk Management Programs, Optional “Swing Pricing,” and Liquidity Reporting for Mutual Funds and...

On September 22, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed a new rule and amendments to rules and reporting forms under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”), designed to standardize...more

Inside M&A - October 2015

Overview of SPACs and Latest Trends - A number of recent successful business combination transactions involving special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) led by prominent sponsors have driven a resurgence in the SPAC...more

New Law Attempts To Clarify Legal Status Of LLC Employee Membership Purchase And Option Plans

California Labor Code Section 407 may be a bit of a surprise to many lawyers both in and outside of the state.  It provides: Investments and the sale of stock or an interest in a business in connection with the securing of a...more

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