The resolution of corporate law disputes has a significant impact on the stockholders, directors, officers, and employees of companies around the world. With more than 60% of the Fortune 500 incorporated in Delaware, decisions of the state’s courts have a direct impact on leading companies worldwide and greatly influence the law of other jurisdictions. The Enhanced Scrutiny blog provides timely updates and thoughtful analysis on M&A and corporate governance matters from the Delaware courts and, on occasion, from other jurisdictions.

“Thick-As-Thieves” Narrative Persuades Court That Director Independence Is In Question in Carvana

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently denied a motion to dismiss stockholder derivative claims against Carvana Co. arising out of a stock offering Carvana announced in March 2020. The Court found that, based on the plaintiff’s allegations, it was reasonably conceivable that the stock offering had been orchestrated to take advantage of pandemic-related market volatility to benefit investors hand-selected by Carvana’s controlling stockholders. In doing so, the Court rejected the defendants’ arguments of demand futility and provided useful guidance regarding the types of allegations necessary to establish a director’s lack of independence.

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Delaware Chancery Court Addresses Insider Trading Claims Under Brophy

This post continues our prior discussion of Vice Chancellor Laster’s motion to dismiss denial in Goldstein v. Denner.  “Part II” of that decision focuses on interesting – and rarely addressed – matters relating to Delaware law insider trading claims pursuant to Brophy v. Cities Service Co, 70 A.2d 5 (Del. Ch. 1949).

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Don’t Let the Fox in the Henhouse: Lessons from the El Pollo Loco Decision on Special Litigation Committee Independence

In a recent split decision in Diep v. Trimaran Pollo Partners LLC et al., the Delaware Supreme Court, sitting en banc, addressed the level of independence required of members of Special Litigation Committees recommending dismissal of shareholder derivative actions.

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Delaware Chancery Court Examines Independence of Board Members Nominated by Activist Investors

A recent Court of Chancery decision may signal increased scrutiny of the independence of directors repeatedly placed on boards by activist investors.

On May 26, 2022, Vice Chancellor Laster issued the first installment of a two-part decision denying the motions to dismiss filed in Goldstein v. Denner. The litigation is grounded in the decision made by the board of directors of Bioverativ, Inc. (the “Company”) to merge with Sanofi S.A (“Sanofi”).

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The Era of Section 11 Litigation in State Courts Appears To Be Ending

On April 28, 2022, a state appellate court for the first time addressed provisions in a public company’s certification of incorporation that designate federal court as the sole forum for the litigation of Section 11 claims.  Wong v. Restoration Robotics, Inc.,  – Cal. Rptr. 3d –, 2022 WL 1261423.  Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 gives stock purchasers a claim against stock issuers and a broad range of other defendants for materially false or misleading statements in registration statements. 

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Relearning the ABCs: Delaware Court of Chancery Issues Rulings Making Clear That More Information Is Required in Bankruptcy-Alternative Proceedings

The Delaware Court of Chancery took the old maxim “justice delayed is justice denied” to heart recently when it denied a request for a stay of proceedings hours after the request had been filed.  The ruling from Vice Chancellor Paul A. Fioravanti, Jr. in In re Kidbox.com, Inc., Case No. 2022-0379-PAF, is the latest in a series of rulings from the Delaware Court of Chancery requiring litigants in bankruptcy-alternative proceedings in Delaware to support their petitions for relief with sufficient disclosures and to avoid bare-boned pleadings.  These rulings further signal that counsel engaged in bankruptcy-alternative proceedings in Delaware should be prepared for a higher level of scrutiny from the Court of Chancery.

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