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Showing 5 posts in Settlement.

Court Of Chancery Declines To Approve Derivative Settlement

Stein v. Blankfein, C.A. 2017-0354-SG (October 23, 2018)

This is the rare decision that declines to approve the settlement of a derivative suit. The Court rejected the settlement because the proposed terms required the corporation, as a nominal defendant, to release breach of fiduciary duty claims against the director defendants in return for which those directors would agree to make disclosures already required by law. The Court viewed that agreeing to do what you had to do anyway as providing no real consideration for the release of the claims. This result illustrates the scrutiny the Court of Chancery applies to such settlements that affect corporate and stockholder rights.

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Supreme Court of Delaware, Applying New York Law, finds that Settlement Amounts were not Uninsurable Disgorgement Under D&O Policies

In re: TIAA-CREF Insurance Appeals, Nos. 478, 2017; 479, 2017; 480, 2017; 481, 2017 (Del. July 30, 2018)

The Supreme Court of Delaware affirmed the Superior Court’s finding that under the relevant D&O policies at issue, the settlement amounts TIAA-CREF paid to class action plaintiffs did not represent uninsurable disgorgement.  In doing so, the Supreme Court distinguished certain cases from New York relied upon by the insurance companies that held settlements represented uninsurable disgorgement.  Unlike the cases cited by the defendants, the settlement amounts at issue in the underlying cases here did not represent the return of ill-gotten gains.  After this decision, whether or not a claim will be treated as uninsurable disgorgement should be an important consideration by defendants when deciding whether to settle merger objection litigation with a payment to the class.

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Court of Chancery Approves Disclosure Settlement Post-Trulia and Finds Management Projections Plainly Material

Posted In Settlements

In re BTU International, Inc. Stockholders Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 10310-CB (Del. Ch. Feb. 18, 2016)(Transcript)

As detailed in a prior post (available here), the ruling in In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholders Litigation, 2016 WL 270821 (Del. Ch. Jan. 22, 2016) changed the legal landscape for so-called disclosure settlements. Among other things, Trulia holds that disclosures must be “plainly material” to support a disclosure settlement – meaning that it “should not be a close call that the supplemental information is material as that term is defined under Delaware law.”  Exactly what disclosures fit into that category remained an open question. More ›

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Court of Chancery Targets “Deal Tax” Litigation By Increasing its Scrutiny of “Disclosure-Only” Settlements

Posted In Settlements

Albert Manwaring and Albert Caroll

            M&A lawsuits and so-called “disclosure-only” settlements – where stockholder plaintiffs drop their requests to enjoin a deal and grant defendants broad releases primarily in exchange for supplemental disclosures to stockholders, followed by requests for six-figure attorneys’ fee awards – have proliferated in recent years.  In turn, these lawsuits have faced increasing scrutiny from scholars, practitioners, and members of the judiciary, who assert that these ubiquitous settlements rarely yield genuine benefits for stockholders, threaten the loss of potentially valuable claims that have not been sufficiently investigated, and only serve the interests of opportunistic plaintiffs’ counsel and defendants happy to acquire a form of deal insurance through a broad release of class action claims challenging the merger. More ›

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