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Full-Text Articles in Securities Law

The Modern Corporation And Private Property Revisited: Gardiner Means And The Administered Price, William W. Bratton Feb 2019

The Modern Corporation And Private Property Revisited: Gardiner Means And The Administered Price, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

This essay casts additional light on The Modern Corporation’s corporatist precincts, shifting attention to the book’s junior coauthor, Gardiner C. Means. Means is accurately remembered as the generator of Book I’s statistical showings—the description of deepening corporate concentration and widening separation of ownership and control. He is otherwise more notable for his absence than his presence in today’s discussions of The Modern Corporation. This essay fills this gap, describing the junior coauthor’s central concern—a theory of administered prices set out in a Ph.D. dissertation Means submitted to the Harvard economics department after ...


Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas Jan 2019

Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In response to a sharp increase in litigation challenging mergers, the Delaware Chancery Court issued the 2016 Trulia decision, which substantively reduced the attractiveness of Delaware as a forum for these suits. In this Article, we empirically assess the response of plaintiffs’ attorneys to these developments. Specifically, we document a troubling trend—the flight of merger litigation to federal court where these cases are overwhelmingly resolved through voluntary dismissals that provide no benefit to the plaintiff class but generate a payment to plaintiffs’ counsel in the form of a mootness fee. In 2018, for example, 77% of deals with litigation ...


The Elephant In The Room: Helping Delaware Courts Develop Law To End Systemic Short-Term Bias In Corporate Decision-Making, Kenneth Mcneil, Keith Johnson Oct 2018

The Elephant In The Room: Helping Delaware Courts Develop Law To End Systemic Short-Term Bias In Corporate Decision-Making, Kenneth Mcneil, Keith Johnson

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Short-termism in corporate decision-making is as problematic for long-term investors as relying on a three-mile radar on a supertanker. It is totally inadequate for handling the long-term risks and opportunities faced by the modern corporation. Yet recent empirical research shows that up to 85% of the S&P 1500 have no long-term planning. This is costing pension funds and other long-term investors dearly. For instance, the small minority of companies that do long-term planning and risk management had a long-term profitability that was 81% higher than their peers during the 2001–2014 period—with less stock volatility that costs investors ...


Proxy Access Voting: Evaluating Proxy Access And The Recent Phenomenon Of Corporations Adopting Shareholder Protective Policies, Danielle Vukovich Jun 2018

Proxy Access Voting: Evaluating Proxy Access And The Recent Phenomenon Of Corporations Adopting Shareholder Protective Policies, Danielle Vukovich

San Diego International Law Journal

Shareholders hold a financial stake in a corporation, and therefore are often viewed as owners of the corporation and believed to be in control for all corporate actions. However, their powers are circumscribed. Board of directors committees nominate directors to serve the corporation and these directors have the power to select the corporation’s officers. The committees provide shareholders a slate of proposed directors that are voted on and approved at the annual shareholder meeting. Shareholders may also propose their own slate of directors, but this typically requires a proxy contest, which can be expensive due to the costs both ...


Enforcing The Bargain V. Materiality Requirement: The Future Of Disclosure-Only Settlements Post-Trulia, Hao Jiang May 2018

Enforcing The Bargain V. Materiality Requirement: The Future Of Disclosure-Only Settlements Post-Trulia, Hao Jiang

Pace Law Review

In In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, the Delaware Court of Chancery broke away from its tradition of routinely approving disclosure-only settlements and required disclosures to be material in order to cure the conflict of interest between plaintiff’s counsel and the plaintiff class. I argue that fairness of settlement is the only standard in approving class action settlements and fairness will not be achieved by requiring materiality. Shareholders are legally entitled to all material information, as the board’s fiduciary duty dictates. Thus, material disclosures are enforcement of a legal duty that is no consideration for the release of ...


Do Institutional Owners Monitor? Evidence From Voting On Connected Transaction Proposals In Hong Kong-Listed Companies, Félix E. Mezzanotte, Simon Fung May 2018

Do Institutional Owners Monitor? Evidence From Voting On Connected Transaction Proposals In Hong Kong-Listed Companies, Félix E. Mezzanotte, Simon Fung

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

The conventional view in Hong Kong has been that institutional owners tend to be passive owners and that they do little to monitor the companies’ management. We investigated whether the presence of institutional owners in Hong Kong-listed companies was associated with greater monitoring of management through dissent voting by hand-collecting information for a sample (n= 96) of connected transaction proposals (“CT proposals”) and of their voting outcomes, as announced in the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong during the period from 2012–14. Our study shows that voting approval rates on CT proposals were lower (i.e. greater dissent voting) when ...


Theories And Solutions On Wolf Pack Activism, Kimberly Goldman May 2018

Theories And Solutions On Wolf Pack Activism, Kimberly Goldman

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Section I will describe the key players involved in wolf pack activism and their conflicting motives, including both the members of wolf packs and those affected by them. Given that not all shareholders have common interests, this will include an analysis of the motives of various types of shareholders and an analysis of how these diverse motives may affect the wealth sustainability of companies. Section II will explain the phenomenon of wolf packs in corporate governance by describing the circumstances that lead to their formation and the various regulations (or lack thereof) pertaining to them. Section III will describe divergent ...


Guardians Of The Galaxy: How Shareholder Lawyers Won Big For Their Clients And Vindicated The Integrity Of Our Economy, Daniel J. Morrissey Jan 2018

Guardians Of The Galaxy: How Shareholder Lawyers Won Big For Their Clients And Vindicated The Integrity Of Our Economy, Daniel J. Morrissey

Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

Securities class actions are the most economically significant form of litigation. Highly skilled lawyers expend huge sums and relentless efforts in these matters but because of the costs involved and the potential for enormous liability very few of them ever make it to trial. This Article is the story of one that did, a mammoth fraud where a jury returned a $1.5 billion verdict that, with interest, increased to almost $2.5 billion by the time the case reached the appellate court.

There the Court upheld the shareholders’ theory that their damages could be measured by the excessive amounts ...


Rethinking Corporate Governance For A Bondholder Financed, Systemically Risky World, Steven L. Schwarcz Jan 2017

Rethinking Corporate Governance For A Bondholder Financed, Systemically Risky World, Steven L. Schwarcz

Faculty Scholarship

This Article makes two arguments that, combined, demonstrate an important synergy: first, including bondholders in corporate governance could help to reduce systemic risk because bondholders are more risk averse than shareholders; second, corporate governance should include bondholders because bonds now dwarf equity as a source of corporate financing and bond prices are increasingly tied to firm performance.


Standing Voting Instructions: Empowering The Excluded Retail Investor, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2017

Standing Voting Instructions: Empowering The Excluded Retail Investor, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite the increasing importance of shareholder voting, regulators have paid little attention to the rights of retail investors who own approximately 30% of publicly traded companies but who vote less than 30% of their shares. A substantial factor contributing to this low turnout is the antiquated mechanism by which retail investors vote. The federal proxy voting rules place primary responsibility for facilitating retail voting in the hands of custodial brokers who have limited incentives to develop workable procedures, and current regulatory restrictions impede market-based innovation that incorporate technological innovations.

One of the most promising such innovations is standing voting instructions ...


Agency Theory As Prophecy: How Boards, Analysts, And Fund Managers Perform Their Roles, Jiwook Jung, Frank Dobbin Mar 2016

Agency Theory As Prophecy: How Boards, Analysts, And Fund Managers Perform Their Roles, Jiwook Jung, Frank Dobbin

Seattle University Law Review

In 1976, Michael Jensen and William Meckling published a paper reintroducing agency theory that explained how the modern corporation is structured to serve dispersed shareholders. They purported to describe the world as it exists but, in fact, they described a utopia, and their piece was read as a blueprint for that utopia. We take a page from the sociology of knowledge to argue that, in the modern world, economic theories function as prescriptions for behavior as much as they function as descriptions. Economists and management theorists often act as prophets rather than scientists, describing the world not as it is ...


Dual-Class Capital Structures: A Legal, Theoretical & Empirical Buy-Side Analysis, Christopher C. Mckinnon Feb 2016

Dual-Class Capital Structures: A Legal, Theoretical & Empirical Buy-Side Analysis, Christopher C. Mckinnon

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

“The advantage of a dual-class share structure is that it protects entrepreneurial management from the demands of ordinary shareholders. The disadvantage of a dual-class share structure is that it protects entrepreneurial management from the demands of shareholders.” Issuing dual classes of stock has become hotly debated since two major events transpired in 2014: (1) Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion and (2) Alibaba chose to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) instead of the Hong Kong Exchange. Because dual-class managers, like those at Facebook and Alibaba, retain a controlling voting block, their decisions are immune from ...


Disciplining Corporate Boards And Debtholders Through Targeted Proxy Access, Michelle M. Harner Jan 2016

Disciplining Corporate Boards And Debtholders Through Targeted Proxy Access, Michelle M. Harner

Indiana Law Journal

Corporate directors committed to a failed business strategy or unduly influenced by the company’s debtholders need a dissenting voice—they need shareholder nominees on the board. This Article examines the biases, conflicts, and external factors that impact board decisions, particularly when a company faces financial distress. It challenges the conventional wisdom that debt disciplines management, and it sug-gests that, in certain circumstances, the company would benefit from having the shareholders’ perspective more actively represented on the board. To that end, the Article proposes a bylaw that would give shareholders the ability to nominate direc-tors upon the occurrence of predefined ...


Institutional Investors In Corporate Governance, Edward B. Rock Jul 2015

Institutional Investors In Corporate Governance, Edward B. Rock

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter of the Oxford Handbook on Corporate Law and Governance examines the role of institutional investors in corporate governance and the role of regulation in encouraging institutional investors to become active stewards. I approach these topics through asking what lessons we can draw from the U.S. experience for the E.U.’s 2014 proposed amendments to the Shareholder Rights Directive.

I begin by defining the institutional investor category, and summarizing the growth of institutional investors’ equity holdings over time. I then briefly survey how institutional investors themselves are governed and how they organize share voting. This leads me ...


Is The Quest For Corporate Responsibility A Wild Good Chase? The Story Of Lovenheim V. Iroquois Brands, Ltd., D.A. Jeremy Telman Jun 2015

Is The Quest For Corporate Responsibility A Wild Good Chase? The Story Of Lovenheim V. Iroquois Brands, Ltd., D.A. Jeremy Telman

Akron Law Review

In Part I, this Article explores the law of shareholder proposals and the reasons why the SEC and the courts permit proposals relating to social or ethical issues (social proposals) so long as those issues relate to the corporation’s business. The focus here is on the regulation of such social proposals. Other regulations permitting the exclusion of shareholder proposals will be discussed only to the extent that they interact with the Rule relating to social proposals. Part II presents the complete narrative of the Lovenheim case, providing details that are not captured in the decision or in the limited ...


On The Rise Of Shareholder Primacy, Signs Of Its Fall, And The Return Of Managerialism (In The Closet), Lynn Stout Feb 2015

On The Rise Of Shareholder Primacy, Signs Of Its Fall, And The Return Of Managerialism (In The Closet), Lynn Stout

Lynn A. Stout

In their 1932 opus "The Modern Corporation and Public Property," Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means famously documented the evolution of a new economic entity—the public corporation. What made the public corporation “public,” of course, was that it had thousands or even hundreds of thousands of shareholders, none of whom owned more than a small fraction of outstanding shares. As a result, the public firm’s shareholders had little individual incentive to pay close attention to what was going on inside the firm, or even to vote. Dispersed shareholders were rationally apathetic. If they voted at all, they usually voted ...


A Blended Approach To Reducing The Costs Of Shareholder Litigation, Valian A. Afshar Nov 2014

A Blended Approach To Reducing The Costs Of Shareholder Litigation, Valian A. Afshar

Michigan Law Review

Multiforum litigation and federal securities law class actions impose heavy costs on corporations and their shareholders without producing proportionate benefits. Both are largely the result of the agency problem between shareholders and their attorneys, driven more by the attorneys’ interests in generating fees than by the interests of their clients. In response to each of these problems, commentators have recommended a number of solutions. Chief among them are forum selection and mandatory arbitration provisions in a corporation’s charter or bylaws. This Note recommends that corporations unilaterally adopt both forum selection and mandatory arbitration bylaws to address shareholder lawsuits under ...


Market Efficiency And The Problem Of Retail Flight, Alicia J. Davis Nov 2014

Market Efficiency And The Problem Of Retail Flight, Alicia J. Davis

Articles

In 1950, 91 % of common stock in the U.S. was owned directly by individual inves­ tors. Today, that percentage stands at only 23%. The mass exodus of retail investors and their investment dollars has negative implications not only for capital formation and investor protection, but also for market efficiency. Individual investors are often assumed to be noise traders who distort stock prices and harm market functioning. Therefore, some argue that their withdrawal from the market should be of little concern; indeed, it should be celebrated. Recent empirical evidence calls this assertion of retail noise trading into doubt, and this ...


Limits Of Disclosure, Steven M. Davidoff, Claire A. Hill Jul 2014

Limits Of Disclosure, Steven M. Davidoff, Claire A. Hill

Steven Davidoff Solomon

One big focus of attention, criticism, and proposals for reform in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has been securities disclosure. Many commentators have emphasized the complexity of the securities being sold, arguing that no one could understand the disclosure. Some observers have noted that disclosures were sometimes false or incomplete. What follows these issues, to some commentators, is that, whatever other lessons we may learn from the crisis, we need to improve disclosure. How should it be improved? Commentators often lament the frailties of human understanding, notably including those of everyday retail investors—people who do not understand ...


Is The Independent Director Model Broken?, Roberta S. Karmel Mar 2014

Is The Independent Director Model Broken?, Roberta S. Karmel

Seattle University Law Review

At common law, an interested director was barred from participating in corporate decisions in which he had an interest, and therefore “dis-interested” directors became desirable. This concept of the disinterested director developed into the model of an “independent director” and was advocated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and court decisions as a general ideal in a variety of situations. This Article explores doubts regarding the model of an “independent director” and suggests that director expertise may be more important that director independence. The Article then discusses shareholder primacy and sets forth alternatives to the shareholder primacy theory of the ...


Insider Trading And Other Securities Frauds In The United States: Lessons For Chile, Dante Figueroa Jan 2014

Insider Trading And Other Securities Frauds In The United States: Lessons For Chile, Dante Figueroa

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

This Article is a comparative analysis of insider trading law in the United States and Chile. The study summarily reviews the historical, political, and legal foundations of insider trading regulation in both jurisdictions, identifying areas of convergence, as well as areas in which the Chilean securities market could benefit vis- ` a-vis the more advanced experience of the considerably larger American securities market. The Article also highlights the axiological closeness between both jurisdictions concerning the protection of inside corporate information and the fiduciary role of those who intervene in securities markets in their various capacities (as investors, shareholders, corporate officers, consultants ...


Legally "Strong" Shareholders Of Japan, Gen Goto Jan 2014

Legally "Strong" Shareholders Of Japan, Gen Goto

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Foreign investors often criticize Japanese corporations for not paying enough attention to the interests of their shareholders. It might surprise these critics, then, to learn that shareholders’ legal rights under the Japanese Companies Act are actually quite strong. Indeed, many of the rights that shareholders’ rights advocates often support, including shareholders’ power to alter a corporate charter without board consent, shareholders’ power to control dividend payments, majority voting for board elections, shareholders’ power to replace the board of directors, and shareholder access to a corporate ballot—all of which are strongly debated elsewhere— are already effective in Japan. Moreover, derivative ...


'Quack Corporate Governance' As Traditional Chinese Medicine – The Securities Regulation Cannibalization Of China's Corporate Law And A State Regulator's Battle Against Party State Political Economic Power, Nicholas C. Howson Jan 2014

'Quack Corporate Governance' As Traditional Chinese Medicine – The Securities Regulation Cannibalization Of China's Corporate Law And A State Regulator's Battle Against Party State Political Economic Power, Nicholas C. Howson

Articles

From the start of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) “corporatization ” project in the late 1980s, a Chinese corporate governance regime subject to increasingly enabling legal norms has been determined by mandatory regulations imposed by the PRC securities regulator, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). Indeed, the Chinese corporate law system has been cannibalized by all - encompassing securities regulation directed at corporate governance, at least for companies with listed stock. This Article traces the path of that sustained intervention and makes a case — wholly contrary to the “quack corporate governance” critique much aired in the United States — that ...


The Future Of Securities Class Actions Against Foreign Companies: China And Comity Concerns, Dana M. Muir, Junhai Liu, Haiyan Xu Jun 2013

The Future Of Securities Class Actions Against Foreign Companies: China And Comity Concerns, Dana M. Muir, Junhai Liu, Haiyan Xu

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd., the U.S. Supreme Court limited the application of U.S. securities fraud law in transnational situations. The Supreme Court noted that its decision was influenced by international comity considerations. In this Article, we evaluate the availability of class actions in China in cases involving alleged securities fraud. Because we find that the availability of those actions is too limited to fully protect U.S. shareholders, we argue that U.S. investors should be permitted to bring securities fraud class actions against non-U.S. companies whose securities are traded on a U.S ...


On The Rise Of Shareholder Primacy, Signs Of Its Fall, And The Return Of Managerialism (In The Closet), Lynn A. Stout Mar 2013

On The Rise Of Shareholder Primacy, Signs Of Its Fall, And The Return Of Managerialism (In The Closet), Lynn A. Stout

Seattle University Law Review

In their 1932 opus "The Modern Corporation and Public Property," Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means famously documented the evolution of a new economic entity—the public corporation. What made the public corporation “public,” of course, was that it had thousands or even hundreds of thousands of shareholders, none of whom owned more than a small fraction of outstanding shares. As a result, the public firm’s shareholders had little individual incentive to pay close attention to what was going on inside the firm, or even to vote. Dispersed shareholders were rationally apathetic. If they voted at all, they usually voted ...


The Future Of Shareholder Democracy In The Shadow Of The Financial Crisis, Alan Dignam Mar 2013

The Future Of Shareholder Democracy In The Shadow Of The Financial Crisis, Alan Dignam

Seattle University Law Review

This Article argues that the U.K. regulatory response to the financial crisis, in the form of “stewardship” and shareholder engagement, is an error built on a misunderstanding of the key active role shareholders played in the enormous corporate governance failure represented by the banking crisis. Shareholders’ passivity, rather than activity, has characterized the reform perception of the shareholder role in corporate governance. This characterization led to the conclusion that if only they were more active they would be more responsible “stewards” of the corporation. If, as this Article argues, shareholder activity was part of the problem in the banks ...


Limits Of Disclosure, Steven M. Davidoff, Claire A. Hill Mar 2013

Limits Of Disclosure, Steven M. Davidoff, Claire A. Hill

Seattle University Law Review

One big focus of attention, criticism, and proposals for reform in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has been securities disclosure. Many commentators have emphasized the complexity of the securities being sold, arguing that no one could understand the disclosure. Some observers have noted that disclosures were sometimes false or incomplete. What follows these issues, to some commentators, is that, whatever other lessons we may learn from the crisis, we need to improve disclosure. How should it be improved? Commentators often lament the frailties of human understanding, notably including those of everyday retail investors—people who do not understand ...


Shareholders And Social Welfare, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter Mar 2013

Shareholders And Social Welfare, William W. Bratton, Michael L. Wachter

Seattle University Law Review

This Article addresses the questions of whether and how shareholders matter for social welfare, finding that different and contrasting answers have prevailed during different periods of recent history. Observers in the mid-twentieth century believed that the socioeconomic characteristics of real-world shareholders were highly pertinent to social welfare inquiries. But those observers went on to conclude that there followed no justification for catering to shareholder interest, for shareholders occupied elite social strata. The answer changed during the twentieth century’s closing decades, when observers came to accord the shareholder interest a key structural role in the enhancement of economic efficiency even ...


Corporation Code Sections 309 And 1203: California Redefines Directors' Duties Towards Shareholders, Ernest F. Batenga, Mark Willis Jan 2013

Corporation Code Sections 309 And 1203: California Redefines Directors' Duties Towards Shareholders, Ernest F. Batenga, Mark Willis

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Supreme Court And The Shareholder Litigant: Basic, Inc. V. Levinson In Context, Jayne W. Barnard Jan 2013

The Supreme Court And The Shareholder Litigant: Basic, Inc. V. Levinson In Context, Jayne W. Barnard

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.