News & Analysis as of

Shareholder Litigation

Delaware Supreme Court Stresses Value Of Deal Price In Appraisal Case

by Morris James LLP on

Dell Inc. v. Magnetar Global Event Driven Master Fund Ltd., No. 565, 2016 (December 14, 2017) - In this much-anticipated decision, the Delaware Supreme Court stresses the importance of the deal price to the award in an...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Issues Important Decision on Recapitalizations and Dual-Class Structures Involving Controlling...

On December 11, 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision that will be important for companies looking to implement measures to extend or make changes to dual-class voting structures and for companies with...more

SeaWorld Shareholders See Red After World Sees Blackfish

by Carlton Fields on

A California District Court granted certification to a group of SeaWorld investors in a shareholder securities fraud case following the release of the documentary “Blackfish.” ...more

Court Of Chancery Expands MFW To Recapitalization

by Morris James LLP on

IRA Trust FBO Bobbie Ahmed v. Crane, C.A.. 12742-CB (December 11, 2017) - This is an important decision because it extends the holding of MFW to a stock reclassification. Under the 6-part test of MFW, the business judgment...more

Court Of Chancery Enforces Oral Agreement To Add Directors

by Morris James LLP on

Sarissa Capital Domestic Fund LP v. Innoviva Inc., C.A. 2017-0309-JRS (December 8, 2017) - This is a great explanation of when a director is authorized to enter into an oral agreement that is enforceable, here to add two...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Basis For Inspection Of Alleged Wrongdoing

by Morris James LLP on

Silverberg v. ATC Healthcare Inc., C.A. 2017-0242-JRS (December 5, 2017) - While the standard to win the right to inspect corporate records to investigate alleged wrongdoing is a lenient one, it is still not enough to just...more

Delaware Court Of Chancery Dismisses Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims In Connection With Two-Step Merger, Despite Finding Corwin...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On November 30, 2017, Vice Chancellor Tamika Montgomery-Reeves of the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed breach of fiduciary duty claims against the board of Opower, Inc. (“Opower”) in connection with Opower’s acquisition...more

Finding No Credible Basis For Inferring Wrongdoing, Delaware Court Of Chancery Denies Demand for Books And Records Concerning...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On December 5, 2017, Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III of the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion for reargument concerning the Court’s rejection of a shareholder’s demand to inspect documents pertaining to alleged...more

Court of Appeals Ruling Eases the Way for Shareholders to Bring Derivative Suits Against Cayman Islands Companies in the New York...

On Nov. 20, 2017, the New York Court of Appeals held that in a derivative action brought in a New York court against a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, the plaintiff need not comply with Rule 12A of the Cayman...more

Pre-Merger Suit Deemed Premature By Chancery, Dismissal Granted

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In a recent decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery, In re Straight Path Commc’ns Inc. Consol. S’holder Litig., Civil Action No. 2017-0486-SG (Del. Ch. Nov. 20, 20107), Vice Chancellor Glasscock stayed consideration of a...more

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Finding Of Failure To Allege Demand Futility Based On Board Composition Days After Complaint Was...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On November 27, 2017, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissing a stockholder derivative complaint against certain directors and officers of BioScrip, Inc. for failing to...more

Court Of Chancery Applies Corwin And Test For Control

by Morris James LLP on

Peter Van Der Fluit v. Yates, C.A. No. 12553-VCMR (Nov. 30, 2017) - Briefly, under Corwin, the informed vote of a majority of the disinterested stockholders subjects a transaction to the business judgment rule when the...more

Delaware Court Of Chancery Ruling Provides Guidance On Attorney-Client Privilege Protection For Draft Stockholder Communications

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

At a recent hearing, Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III of the Delaware Court of Chancery provided guidance on the application of the attorney-client privilege to draft stockholder communications in the context of a...more

New York Court Of Appeals Reverses Dismissal Of Derivative Claims Involving Cayman Islands Company, Finding Cayman Islands...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On November 20, 2017, the New York State Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of derivative claims brought by a shareholder of Scottish Re Group, Limited (“Scottish Re”)—a Cayman Islands company—against the company, its...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Dismissal With Prejudice Of Class Action Lawsuit Due To Failure To Sufficiently Allege Loss Causation And...

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

On November 21, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a dismissal by Judge Jon S. Tigar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California of a putative class action...more

Commercial Division Dismisses Derivative Lawsuit After Board Rejects Shareholder Demand

The decision to bring a lawsuit on behalf of a corporation is entrusted to the corporation’s board of directors. A shareholder may not maintain a derivative lawsuit on behalf of a corporation without first making a demand on...more

Court Of Chancery Finds Pre-Merger Suit Unripe

by Morris James LLP on

This is an interesting decision with potential implications for future shareholder litigation. Briefly, the complaint alleged that, in connection with a proposed merger, the controlling shareholder secured a side deal at the...more

Court of Chancery Addresses the Effect of Corwin and Garner in the Section 220 Context

Since its issuance in 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court’s decision in Corwin v. KKR Financial Holdings LLC has been routinely applied, in appropriate circumstances, to dismiss post-closing deal litigation. However, Corwin’s...more

Continuing Trends in M&A Disclosure Litigation

Over the past two years, the deal litigation landscape has changed dramatically. In early 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery announced a new rule for evaluating disclosure-based settlements in deal litigation — the “plainly...more

Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Action for Failure to Plead Demand Futility

by Morris James LLP on

A cardinal principle of Delaware law is that directors manage the business and affairs of a Delaware corporation. This includes decisions regarding whether to pursue claims against officers and directors whose breach of duty...more

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

Segway Competitor Rolls Away from Former CEO’s Attempt to Force Arbitration

by Zuckerman Spaeder LLP on

A party seeking to enforce a contract has to show mutual assent, also referred to as “a meeting of the minds.” In other words, both parties actually have to agree on the same thing. If the parties don’t agree, then a contract...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

Section 220 Demand Denied In Lawyer-Driven Litigation

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In the recent decision of Wilkinson v. Schulman, C.A. No. 2017-0138-VCL (Del. Ch. Nov. 13, 2017), the Court of Chancery denied a Section 220 books and records demand on the basis that even though the demand stated a “proper...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

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