Topic: Fiduciary Duties

Third Circuit Clarifies Board Observers Are Not Subject to Section 11 Liability

It is common for investors in venture capital and private equity transactions, and in other ‎investment arrangements, as a condition to their investment, to have rights to appoint board ‎observers when director representation is not available. An unanswered question has been the ‎extent to which a board observer has liability exposure under Section 11 of the Securities Act of ‎‎1933, for example, when a company goes public.‎

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Delaware Recognizes Reality of Merger Negotiations in Upholding Application of Business ‎Judgment Rule

In In re Towers Watson & Co. Stockholders Litigation, 2019 WL 3334521 (Del. Ch. July 25, 2019), the Delaware Court of Chancery applied the business judgment rule to dismiss a stockholder suit challenging the $18 billion merger of equals between Towers Watson & Co. and Willis Group despite allegations of imperfections in the merger negotiations.

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Controlling Stockholder Transactions: Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies When It Is Too Late for Business Judgment Review

In Olenik v. Lodzinski, the Delaware Supreme Court found that the conditions required for business judgment review of a controlling stockholder transaction under the MFW standard were not in place “at the outset” of the transaction and reversed the Chancery Court’s dismissal of the case.

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