News & Analysis as of

Business Judgment Rule

Commercial Division Enjoins Xerox-Fujifilm Deal Resulting In Resignation of Xerox’s CEO

On April 27, 2018, Justice Barry Ostrager of the Commercial Division enjoined a no-cash transaction that would have granted Fujifilm (“Fuji”) a 50.1% controlling interest in Xerox. ...more

Who’s the Boss? Minority Stockholders That Exercise Control

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

In two recent cases, the Delaware Court of Chancery provided informative guidance on when stockholders that hold less than 50% of a corporation’s stock are nevertheless considered to be controlling stockholders. This inquiry...more

Approval of Enhanced Advance Notice Bylaws

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

On April 3, 2018, the Superior Court of Washington for King County issued a decision affirming the use of enhanced advance notice bylaws and finding that the board’s decision to reject a deficient notice is an exercise of its...more

Theranos Charges Provide Perspective for Medical Device Companies, Biotechnology Companies, and Investors

by Knobbe Martens on

On March 14, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it filed charges against the founder and CEO of Theranos Inc., Elizabeth Holmes, and its former president, Ramesh Balwani....more

Business Judgment Rule Applies to a Board’s Response to Take “All Necessary Actions”

What legal standard applies to assess a corporate board’s refusal to pursue litigation in response to a shareholder’s demand to take “all necessary actions” to correct alleged director misconduct?...more

New York Supreme Court Dismisses Derivate Suit, Finding That Shareholder's Letter Constituted A Demand And Business Judgment Rule...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On March 23, 2018, Justice Charles E. Ramos of the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court dismissed with prejudice a purported derivative suit alleging that the board of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc....more

Alert: Delaware Supreme Court Changes Conversation on Director Compensation

by Cooley LLP on

In recent years, there has been an increase in Delaware breach of fiduciary duty claims (including stockholder demands and actual cases) asserted against public company boards alleging that the directors engaged in...more

Inside the Courts – An Update From Skadden Securities Litigators - March 2018/ Volume 10 / Issue 1

This quarter's issue includes summaries and associated court opinions of selected cases principally decided between November 2017 and January 2018. The cases address developing trends in appraisal, class certification, core...more

Delaware Court Of Chancery Relies On Corwin To Dismiss Post-Closing Fiduciary Duty Claims After Finding Acquiror Was Not A...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On March 9, 2018, Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III, of the Delaware Court of Chancery, dismissed a stockholder class action complaint seeking damages for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty by directors of Rouse...more

Business Judgment or Entire Fairness: The Meaning of Delaware’s Interested Director Statute

Cummings v. Eden et al was a case where the Delaware Court of Chancery examined allegations that members of a board of directors breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the approval an asset acquisition at an...more

SEC Reporting & Compliance and Corporate Governance Series

On February 13, 2018, Skadden hosted a webinar titled “ SEC Reporting & Compliance and Corporate Governance Series: Key Trends in Executive Compensation, Employment Law and Compensation Committee Practices.” Executive...more

Updated Guidance (and Ground Rules) for Controlling Stockholder Deals

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

The Delaware Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Kahn v. M&F Worldwide Corp. (“MFW”) provided business judgment rule protection for controlling stockholder transactions that are conditioned from the outset on certain procedural...more

Delaware Chancery Court Clarifies That Section 144 Compliance Will Not Automatically Bestow Business Judgment Protection

by White and Williams LLP on

Most directors and officers are aware of Section 144 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which provides that a corporate transaction involving an interested director or officer is not void solely because of that reason,...more

Delaware Court Of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims In Connection With Publication Of Non-Final Drug...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On February 28, 2018, Vice Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves of the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed claims against the directors of Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. (“Orexigen”) for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty in...more

Delaware Supreme Court Confirms All Material Facts Must be Disclosed to Receive Corwin Business Judgment Rule "Cleansing" Effect

by White & Case LLP on

The Delaware Supreme Court has reversed the Delaware Court of Chancery's earlier dismissal of a stockholder challenge to the sale of Diamond Resorts International, finding that the reasons why Diamond's chairman abstained...more

Delaware Court Of Chancery Holds That Addition Of MFW Protections Following Initial Controller Proposal But Before Negotiations...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On February 2, 2018, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster of the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed a stockholder challenge to the buyout of Synutra International Inc. (“Synutra”) in a squeeze-out merger by a controlling...more

Directors Fail To Escape Liability For Approving Dividend

by Allen Matkins on

I last wrote about FDIC v. Ching, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92687 (E.D. Cal. July 8, 2014) in July of 2014. That post concerned Judge Kimberly J. Mueller's ruling that California's statutory restrictions on distributions to...more

Accountant and Attorney Liability NewsBrief - Winter 2018

by LeClairRyan on

Our attorneys have published the Winter 2018 edition of LeClairRyan's Accountant and Attorney Liability NewsBrief, available. Please see full Publication below for more information....more

New considerations for director compensation awards in light of Delaware Supreme Court's recent decision in In re Investors...

by Hogan Lovells on

The subject of director compensation awards has been moving up the corporate governance agenda of many public companies since December 2017. ...more

Impact of Compensation-Related Litigation on Public Companies

Compensation-related litigation and threats of litigation continued to significantly impact public companies in 2017. These companies should be mindful of issues that were raised in recent litigation: proxy disclosure,...more

Judge Kaplan Declines to Apply Business Judgment Rule Where Corporate Board’s Decision Lacked Rational Support

Key Takeaway: Where there were “serious questions” about the independence of a board and the good faith of its decision not to pursue a derivative suit against a former director, Judge Kaplan refused to apply the...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Extends Business Judgment Deference to Controller-Driven Stock Reclassification Transaction

by Polsinelli on

Recent Delaware court decisions have underscored the value of procedural safeguards in controlling stockholder transactions—which, at least when involving minority freeze-outs, historically were subject to entire fairness...more

Hot Topic for 2018 Proxy Season: Director Compensation in Wake of New Delaware Supreme Court Ruling

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

In an important recent opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in In re Investors Bancorp, Inc. Stockholder Litigation that certain director compensation decisions would be reviewed under the “entire fairness” standard...more

Better Part of Valor: Delaware Supreme Court Rules No Ratification Defense for Director Grants under Discretionary Plans

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

What happens when corporate directors approve their own awards under an equity incentive plan? Under Delaware law, so long as the plan is approved by a majority of the fully informed, uncoerced and disinterested stockholders,...more

“You’re Not Fully Clean”: § 220 Inspection Demands Under Corwin

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On December 29, 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery declined to extend the ruling in Corwin by finding that the approval of a merger by a vote of the disinterested stockholders does not act as an impediment to a properly...more

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