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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

Exercising Drag-Along Rights After Merger Did Not Waive Appraisal Rights

In Halpin et al v. Riverstone National, Inc., the Delaware Court of Chancery found that invoking drag-along rights against minority stockholders after a merger did not waive appraisal rights under the facts of the case...more

Delaware Adopts Curative Procedures for Invalid Past Corporate Actions

Business lawyers frequently face mistakes their clients make in documenting what they want to accomplish in terms of corporate actions, such as issuing stock. Clients will ask for advice years after they have delivered stock...more

Blog: Institutional Investors Speak Out On Proxy Access And Conflicting Proposals

Earlier this month, the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee devoted part of its agenda to the topic of proxy access and the much debated Rule 14a-8(i)(9), which permits companies to exclude shareholder proposals from their...more

SEC Timeout on Proxy Access Issue Has Wider Implications

On January 16, 2015, the SEC withdrew its December 1, 2014 no-action letter in which it concurred with the view of Whole Foods Market, Inc. that the company was entitled under SEC Rule 14a-8(i)(9) to exclude from its proxy...more

Unpaid Company Director-Shareholder was an Employee

In Stack v Ajar-Tec Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 46, the Court of Appeal considered whether a director-shareholder, who performed work for a company without pay, was an employee....more

Are We Closer to Fixing the Proxy Voting System?

The integrity of the shareholder vote is a cornerstone of shareholder democracy for public companies. Shareholders’ ability to “have their say” is exercised at shareholder meetings largely through proxy voting, which is a...more

Blog: Speakers Comment On Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals As False And Misleading, Rule 14a-8(i)(3)

At the PLI conference on February 10, Corp Fin Director Keith Higgins, while focusing primarily on the issue du jour of Rule 14a-8(i)(9), the rule that permits companies to exclude from their proxy statements shareholder...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Former Counsel

In a few weeks’ time over at Appellate Strategist’s sister blog, the Illinois Supreme Court Review, we’ll address the question of just how rare it is to get an unpublished decision – what we in Illinois call a Rule 23 order –...more

Blog: ISS Announces Its Position On Proxy Access And Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals

Yesterday, ISS issued long-awaited FAQs regarding its policy with respect to shareholder proposals for proxy access and its position on exclusion of shareholder proposals under Rule 14a-8(i)(9). ...more

ISS Speaks: Proxy Access, Fee Shifting By-laws and More

ISS has published its policy on proxy access matters. ISS will generally recommend in favor of management and shareholder proposals for proxy access with the following provisions...more

SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Volte-Face Is Pointlessly Outré But It Does Have Real World Ramifications

Readers may recall that last December Whole Foods Market, Inc. had secured the SEC staff’s concurrence in excluding a shareholder access proposal submitted by Jim McRitchie. Then, SEC Chair Mary Jo White directed the staff...more

Is a Distribution of Previously Taxed Income “Exempt from Tax”?

A U.S. shareholder of a controlled foreign corporation (CFC) is required to include in its gross income its pro rata share of the CFC’s subpart F income and/or the amount determined under Section 956 with respect to such...more

Delaware Independent Director Liability in Control Buyout Cases

The Delaware Supreme Court will address the standard for pleading that an independent director has breached fiduciary duties in connection with a controlling shareholder buyout. The issue was certified for interlocutory...more

New Italian Legislation Allows Enhanced Voting Rights Capital Structures

In a break from the “one share one vote” principle, issuers of Italian-listed stocks now have more flexibility in their capital structures. Legal framework – Law Decree No. 91 of 24 June 2014, as converted...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - February 2015

It’s still the case that commentators have said nothing revelationary about “proxy access ,” the recent private-ordering push, and the SEC’s flip-floppery on its Whole Foods no-action letter. “Proxy access” is short hand for...more

Developments & Predictions for the 2015 Proxy Season

In a January 2015 webcast, Latham & Watkins partners Jim Barrall, global Co-chair of the firm's Benefits and Compensation Practice, and Steven Stokdyk, global Co-chair of the firm's Public Company Representation Practice,...more

GE and Others Voluntarily Adopt Proxy Access

GE has voluntarily adopted a proxy access by-law proposal. The by-law permits a shareowner, or a group of up to 20 shareowners, owning 3% or more of the Company’s outstanding common stock continuously for at least three...more

Blog: Corp Fin Director Higgins Shares His Thoughts On Rule 14a-8(I)(9), The Exclusion For Conflicting Proposals

At a PLI conference yesterday on Corporate Governance, Corp Fin Director Keith Higgins gave us a preview of the Division’s thinking about how to address the issues that have arisen recently with respect to Rule 14a-8(i)(9),...more

Court Rejects “Merger Tax” Litigation Settlements That Benefit Primarily Plaintiffs’ Attorneys and Plaintiffs Who Do Not Represent...

It is no secret that when a public company announces a merger, lawsuits follow. There is nothing inherently wrong with this phenomenon. If the merger price is woefully unjustifiable or if shareholders are not given adequate...more

"Fee-Shifting, Financial Advisor Liability Among Likely Delaware Law Issues for 2015"

The Delaware courts weighed in on familiar issues of importance last year, including multiforum deal litigation and the emphasis on an independent board process, while also delving into relatively new territory such as...more

Shareholder’s Challenge to Smith & Wesson SLC’s Independence Misfires in the First Circuit

On February 4, 2015, the First Circuit affirmed the summary dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit, which brought Nevada state claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, unjust enrichment, and...more

2015 Proxy Season: What to Expect

As we approach this year’s proxy season, it is a good time to reflect on last year’s developments and to plan for this year’s hot topics. A Look Back - In addition to reviewing your own shareholder voting results...more

Proxy Access - Recent Developments

Recent activity by shareholder governance advocates and the SEC has thrust proxy access back into the spotlight. Here we provide a brief refresher on proxy access and our thoughts on recent developments....more

Breaches in the Boardroom: What Directors and Officers can do to Reduce the Risk of Personal Liability for Data Security Breaches

Corporate directors and officers may increasingly be targets of shareholder derivative lawsuits in the wake of the surge of regulatory actions and private litigation around data breaches,. While no individual directors and...more

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