News & Analysis as of

Shareholder Litigation Board of Directors

Activists at the Gate: Court of Chancery Weighs In on Claims Involving Activist Stockholders

Several recent decisions applying Delaware law offer helpful insight about the impact that activist investor involvement has on board decision-making leading to a transaction and how those decisions will be reviewed by the...more

“Lawyer Driven” Books and Records Demand Rejected by the Delaware Court of Chancery

by Reed Smith on

The Delaware Court of Chancery rejects the ability for stockholders to access a corporation’s books and records based on “lawyer driven” motives. A recent decision of the Delaware Court of Chancery, Wilkinson v. A....more

Be Careful What You Ask For in a Section 225 Case

by Morris James LLP on

Delaware recognizes the need to promptly resolve disputes over the composition of the board of directors of a Delaware corporation. Section 225 of the Delaware General Corporation Law provides that the Delaware Court of...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Rejects "Lawyer-Driven" Section 220 Demand

On November 13, 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a short but potentially important opinion in Jack Wilkinson v. A. Schulman, Inc., an action to inspect books and records brought under Section 220 of the Delaware...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

The moral of this story is as follows: if Maysayoshi Son says the merger’s off, it’s probably off (regardless of what the rest of the board says). We discussed the will they/won’t they status of the T-Mobile/Sprint deal last...more

Finding Complaint Did Not Adequately Plead Claims For Breach Of Fiduciary Duty, Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Court Of Chancery...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On October 12, 2017, the Supreme Court of Delaware affirmed a decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims against the directors of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (“CCOH”) in...more

Court Of Chancery Decides It Will Determine Stock Validity In A Section 225 Case

by Morris James LLP on

Southpaw Credit Opportunity Master Fund L.P. v. Roma Restaurant Holdings Inc., C.A. No. 2017-0059-TMR (Oct. 13, 2017)- In a contest over who has been elected to a board of directors under Section 225 of the DGCL, it is...more

Court of Chancery Imposes Incorporation By Reference Condition On Books and Records Production

by Morris James LLP on

The City Of Cambridge Retirement System v. Universal Health Services Inc., C.A. No. 2017-0322-SG (Oct. 12, 2017) - A stockholder may inspect a corporation’s records for any recognized proper purpose, including...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Demand Excusal Based On Knowing Violations Of Law

by Morris James LLP on

Kandell v. NIV, C.A. No. 11812-VCG (Sept. 29, 2017) - Derivative plaintiffs alleging that directors allowed the corporation they serve to violate the law typically face dismissal for failure to make pre-suit demand on the...more

Court Of Chancery Examines Books And Records Inspection Demand

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In the recent decision of Mehta v. Kaazing Corporation, C.A. No. 2017-0087-JRS (Del. Ch.), Vice Chancellor Slights examined a stockholder’s books and records request upon a Delaware corporation pursuant to 8 Del. C. § 220. ...more

Nevada Favors New York Over Delaware Precedent For SLC Review

by Allen Matkins on

Nevada law endows a board of directors “full control over the affairs of the corporation”. NRS 78.120(1). This control is subject only to such limitations as may be provided by NRS chapter 7, or the articles of...more

Demand Futility Isn't Dead For Derivative Actions Against Non-Profit Corporations

by Brooks Pierce on

You probably thought that you would never again have to argue that a demand on a corporation's board of directors before filing a derivative action should be excused because it would have been futile. That's because the...more

Shareholder Activism Dealt a Blow in Australia's Federal Court

by Jones Day on

The Background: In RBC Investor Services Australia Nominees Pty Limited v Brickworks Limited [2017] FCA 756 (10 July 2017) ("Brickworks case"), a large institutional investor sought to dismantle a cross shareholding...more

Court Of Chancery Gives Guidance On What Constitutes Bad Faith

by Morris James LLP on

In Re Meadwestvaco Stockholders Litigation, C.A. No. 10617-CB (August 17, 2017) - As this decision explains, to state a claim attacking a merger on the basis that the Board acted in bad faith you need more than ...more

Minnesota Supreme Court Articulates Test for Direct Versus Derivative Claims in In re Medtronic, Inc. Shareholder Litigation

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

On August 16, 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided In re Medtronic, Inc. Shareholder Litigation, holding that a shareholder’s claim is properly characterized as a direct claim, not a derivative claim, if the shareholder...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Duty Of Care and Loyalty Claims

by Morris James LLP on

H&N Management Group Inc. v Couch, C.A. No. 12847-VCMR (Del. Ch. Aug. 1, 2017) - This is a rare case involving apparent lack of care in approving a conflicted transaction and a failure to employ almost any safeguards to...more

Under Delaware Law, the Occurrence of Alleged Illegal Conduct at a Company Is Not Enough to Plead Demand Futility Sufficient to...

In a shareholder derivative action, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to plead facts showing demand futility, a derivative plaintiff must plead particularized facts showing either actual involvement by a majority of...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Stock Restriction Law

by Morris James LLP on

Henry v. Phixios Holdings Inc., C.A. No. 12504-VCMR (July 10, 2017) - This is the rare decision explaining when restrictions on stock transfers (permitted by Section 202 of the DGCL) can be enforced. While the statute...more

Delaware Chancery Court Declines To Dismiss Challenges To Director Option Grants And Outside Investor Voting Agreement

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On June 28, 2017, Vice Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves of the Delaware Court of Chancery declined to dismiss purported derivative and direct stockholder claims for breaches of fiduciary duty against the directors of...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When Entire Fairness Applies To Option Grants And Voting Agreements

by Morris James LLP on

While directors have the right to issue options, when the grant is to themselves and there are specific facts suggesting unfairness, those directors will have the burden of proving the grants were entirely fair in a...more

Court of Chancery Dismisses Post-Closing Challenge to Merger Transaction

by Morris James LLP on

Stockholders who believe that a board breached its fiduciary duties in connection with information provided to stockholders asked to vote for a merger transaction can either seek to enjoin the transaction or seek damages...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Corwin Limits

by Morris James LLP on

This is an important decision if only because it explains a further limitation on the Corwin rule that an informed uncoerced stockholder vote insulates a corporate transaction from attack. First, the decision explains when a...more

Delaware Law Updates – Delaware Court Of Chancery Provides Clarity On The “Quasi-Appraisal” Remedy And Post-Closing Claims

by McCarter & English, LLP on

On May 11, 2017, Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard of the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed with prejudice a putative class action brought by stockholders of networking solutions in In re Cyan, Inc. Stockholders Litigation.[1]...more

“If at First You Don’t Succeed…” - Shareholders Keep Trying to Sue D&Os for Data Security Breaches

by Locke Lord LLP on

Several high-profile lawsuits have been filed in recent years by shareholders seeking to hold corporate officers and directors liable for damage resulting from data security breaches. For example, directors and officers at...more

Delaware Chancery Court Holds That Well-Pled Unocal Claim Does Not Automatically Excuse Pre-Suit Demand

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On May 15, 2017, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III of the Delaware Chancery Court dismissed a shareholder derivative action asserting that the directors of The Williams Companies, Inc. (“Williams”) breached their duty of...more

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