Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Fiduciary duties

Discipline
Institution
Publication Year
Publication
Publication Type
File Type

Articles 1 - 30 of 245

Full-Text Articles in Law

How A “Superstar” Ceo Exposes The Necessity For Third Party D&O Insurance, Angela N. Aneiros, Karen Woody Jan 2024

How A “Superstar” Ceo Exposes The Necessity For Third Party D&O Insurance, Angela N. Aneiros, Karen Woody

Scholarly Articles

he influence that “superstar” CEOs have over a company’s board of directors can be alarming. Among other things, Elon’s ability to skirt personal liability for seemingly obvious breaches of duty has raised concerns within the realm of corporate governance and corporate regulation. While much has been written on Elon’s influence on Tesla’s board of directors, one area of the law that often gets overlooked that has exacerbated Elon’s corporate governance issues, is that of directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance. While personally insuring board members seems like a very "Elon" move, it could have broader implications beyond Elon. Are “superstar” …


Expanding Mfw: Delaware Law Should Offer A Business Judgment Rule Safe Harbor For All Conflicted Controller Transactions, Alex Lindsey Dec 2023

Expanding Mfw: Delaware Law Should Offer A Business Judgment Rule Safe Harbor For All Conflicted Controller Transactions, Alex Lindsey

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

While courts usually defer to a board’s business decisions under the business judgment rule, courts will apply a much less deferential standard of review due to loyalty concerns if a conflicted controller is involved in a business decision such as a merger. However, in Kahn v. M & F Worldwide (“MFW”) when a squeeze out merger was challenged by a minority stockholder, the Delaware Supreme Court reviewed the transaction under the deferential business judgment rule standard because the Court found that the structure of the transaction neutralized the controller loyalty concerns. Building on this reasoning, the Court developed a checklist …


The Value Of Fiduciary Duties: Evidence From En Bloc Sales In Singapore, Jianfeng Hu, Kelvin F. K. Low, Wei Zhang Dec 2022

The Value Of Fiduciary Duties: Evidence From En Bloc Sales In Singapore, Jianfeng Hu, Kelvin F. K. Low, Wei Zhang

Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business

This paper examines the impact of fiduciary duties on collective asset sales in the case of owners acting as delegates for other owners, thereby potentially inducing conflicts of interests. Our identification strategy exploits a unique legal shock in Singapore, which established fiduciary duties in those transactions in the real estate market known colloquially as en bloc sales. The imposition of fiduciary duties caused the price premium of units sold via en bloc sales to increase over units ineligible for en bloc sale, as well as over units that, although eligible for en bloc sale, are sold individually. In addition, this …


Monitoring Facebook, Hillary A. Sale Jan 2022

Monitoring Facebook, Hillary A. Sale

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Few companies still in business have a track record as negative as Facebook. Facebook has paid billions of dollars in government fines and paid hundreds of millions in private settlements. Yet, the financial penalties are actually minimal relative to the harm done. Facebook seems to have been involved one way or another in privacy breaches, organized crime, election manipulation, suicide, and even genocide. Mark Zuckerberg, who still controls Facebook, appears to ignore the consequences of his choices, seemingly prioritizing profits over people. He appears to disregard the law and operate without integrity or honesty, excommunicating insiders who speak out or …


In Re The Walt Disney Co. Derivative Litigation Rewritten, Hillary A. Sale Jan 2022

In Re The Walt Disney Co. Derivative Litigation Rewritten, Hillary A. Sale

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In re The Walt Disney Co. Derivative Litigation is notable for upholding the broad latitude courts afford to boards through the business judgment rule. The case addressed a $130 million termination package delivered to former Disney CEO, Michael Ovitz, after fourteen months of underperformance at the company. This rewritten opinion, to be published in “Feminist Judgements: Rewritten Corporate Law,” (Kelli Alces Williams, Anne Choike, & Usha R. Rodrigues, eds.) (Cambridge Univ. Press, forthcoming 2022), follows the style of the Delaware Supreme Court and reaches the same outcome with a different approach. The opinion expounds on the corporate governance practices in …


The Landscape Of Startup Corporate Governance In The Founder-Friendly Era, Jennifer S. Fan Jan 2022

The Landscape Of Startup Corporate Governance In The Founder-Friendly Era, Jennifer S. Fan

Articles

In corporate governance scholarship, there is an important debate about the nature and roles of the members of the board of directors in venture capital-backed private companies. The impact of a newly emerged, founder-centric model has been underappreciated, while the role of the independent director as tiebreaker or swing vote is vastly overstated. The reality is that corporate governance in these companies is a norm-driven, consensus-building process that rarely spills out into open conflict.

This is the first empirical study of startup corporate governance post-Great Recession and during the pandemic. Using survey and interview methodologies, this Article makes four primary …


Hidden Agendas In Shareholder Voting, Scott Hirst, Adriana Z. Robertson Jan 2022

Hidden Agendas In Shareholder Voting, Scott Hirst, Adriana Z. Robertson

Faculty Scholarship

Nothing in either corporate or securities law requires companies to notify investors what they will be voting on before the record date for a shareholder meeting. We show that, overwhelmingly, they do not. The result is “hidden agendas”: for 88% of shareholder votes, investors cannot find out what they will be voting on before the record date. This poses an especially serious problem for investors who engage in securities lending: they must decide whether the expected benefit of voting exceeds the expected benefit of continuing to lend their shares (or making them available for lending) without knowing what they will …


Moby-Dick As Corporate Catastrophe: Law, Ethics, And Redemption, David Yosifon Dec 2021

Moby-Dick As Corporate Catastrophe: Law, Ethics, And Redemption, David Yosifon

Faculty Publications

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick serves here as a vehicle through which to interrogate core features of American corporate law and excavate some of the deeper lessons about the human soul that lurk behind the pasteboard mask of the law’s black letter. The inquiry yields an illuminating vantage on the ethical consequences of corporate capital structure, the law of corporate purpose, the meaning of voluntarism, the ethical stakes of corporate fiduciary obligations, and the role of lawyers in preventing or facilitating corporate catastrophe. No prior familiarity with the novel or corporate law is required.


Fiduciary Duties And Corporate Climate Responsibility, Cynthia A. Williams Jan 2021

Fiduciary Duties And Corporate Climate Responsibility, Cynthia A. Williams

Vanderbilt Law Review

Corporate-law scholarship for decades has been occupied with agency costs and how to mitigate them. But when I teach the basic business organizations class, starting with agency law and looking at the fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and full disclosure of any agent to her principal, we explore both costs and benefits of agency relationships. I do so by introducing Ronald Coase’s theory of the firm. Using an example close to most second-year law students’ experience, that of buying a suit for interviews, I contrast Brooks Brothers establishing its own factories (the “make” decision) with Brooks Brothers using supply chains, …


Whitman And The Fiduciary Relationship Conundrum, Lisa Fairfax Nov 2020

Whitman And The Fiduciary Relationship Conundrum, Lisa Fairfax

All Faculty Scholarship

While the law on insider trading has been convoluted and, in Judge Jed S. Rakoff’s words, “topsy turvy,” the law on insider trading is supposedly clear on at least one point: insider trading liability is premised upon a fiduciary relationship. Thus, all three seminal U.S. Supreme Court cases articulating the necessary elements for demonstrating any form of insider trading liability under § 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 made crystal clear that a fiduciary relationship represented the lynchpin for such liability.

Alas, insider trading law is not clear about the source from which the fiduciary …


Equity And Trusts, Hang Wu Tang, Yong Seng Tay Oct 2020

Equity And Trusts, Hang Wu Tang, Yong Seng Tay

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

Jocelyn Rita d/o Lawrence Stanley v Tan Gark Chong1 (“Jocelyn Rita v Tan Gark Chong”) is an example of an attempt to set aside a trust deed in the wake of BOM v BOK. 2 This case takes place in the context of a husband and wife relationship.


For-Profit Managers As Public Fiduciaries: A Neo-Classical Republican Perspective, Rob Atkinson Jan 2020

For-Profit Managers As Public Fiduciaries: A Neo-Classical Republican Perspective, Rob Atkinson

Scholarly Publications

This Article examines the fiduciary duties of for-profit managers in modern liberal society. To arrive at the right "mix" of these duties, it compares the fiduciary duties implied by a standard descriptive model of our society with two competing normative models: Lockean libertarianism on the "right" and neo-classical republicanism on the "left." This comparison shows that all three versions of liberalism, even the one with a Lockean nightwatchman state, require far more extensive duties than we now expect, including a professionalization of management itself. And it shows that the version of liberalism with the most expansive state, neo-classical republicanism, requires …


The Political Economy Of Corporate Law And Governance: American And Korean Rules Under Different Endogenous Conditions And Forms Of Capitalism, Robert J. Rhee Jan 2020

The Political Economy Of Corporate Law And Governance: American And Korean Rules Under Different Endogenous Conditions And Forms Of Capitalism, Robert J. Rhee

UF Law Faculty Publications

Advanced economies operate under different forms of capitalism and social order. Corporate law is fixed only insofar as a country’s political economy and social organization are static. This article explains why an advanced economy may choose inefficient rules. Korean rules are the product of past industrial development policies and current social-political-economic conditions; endogenous conditions align corporate law with nationalistic sentiments and the public interest. The cost of this policy is diminution of firm value. The benefit is the erection of a plausible distinction between rule- and fact-based control of key corporate groups. This system maintains de facto national control of …


Corporate Governance And The Omnipresent Specter Of Political Bias, Stefan J. Padfield Jan 2020

Corporate Governance And The Omnipresent Specter Of Political Bias, Stefan J. Padfield

Marquette Law Review

Subject to important qualifications, corporate decision-makers are dutybound to maximize shareholder value. However, there is reason to believe corporate decision-makers are allowing their political biases to corrupt their decision-making. This Essay posits two related fact patterns that should concern advocates of good corporate governance. The first occurs when decision-makers expressly disavow any duty to maximize shareholder value, such as when Apple CEO, Tim Cook, told shareholders, “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI [return on investment],” or when Ed Stack, the chairman and chief executive of Dick’s Sporting Goods, decided …


Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls: Fiduciary Duties In Venture Capital Backed Startups, Sarath Sanga, Eric L. Talley Jan 2020

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls: Fiduciary Duties In Venture Capital Backed Startups, Sarath Sanga, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Venture-capital-backed startups are often crucibles of conflict between common and preferred shareholders, particularly around exit decisions. Such conflicts are so common, in fact, that they have catalyzed an emergent judicial precedent – the Trados doctrine – that requires boards to prioritize common shareholders' interest and to treat preferred shareholders as contractual claimants. We evaluate the Trados doctrine using a model of startup governance that interacts capital structure, corporate governance, and liability rules. The nature and degree of inter-shareholder conflict turns not only on the relative rights and options of equity participants, but also on a firm's intrinsic value as well …


Board Compliance, John Armour, Brandon L. Garrett, Jeffrey N. Gordon, Geeyoung Min Jan 2020

Board Compliance, John Armour, Brandon L. Garrett, Jeffrey N. Gordon, Geeyoung Min

Faculty Scholarship

What role do corporate boards play in compliance? Compliance programs are internal enforcement programs, whereby firms train, monitor and discipline employees with respect to applicable laws and regulations. Corporate enforcement and compliance failures could not be more high-profile, and have placed boards in the position of responding to systemic problems. Both case law on boards’ fiduciary duties and guidance from prosecutors suggest that the board should have a continuing role in overseeing compliance activity. Yet very little is actually known about the role of boards in compliance. This paper offers the first empirical account of public companies’ engagement with compliance …


Law And Corporate Governance, Robert P. Bartlett, Eric L. Talley Aug 2019

Law And Corporate Governance, Robert P. Bartlett, Eric L. Talley

Robert Bartlett

Pragmatic and effective research on corporate governance often turns critically on appreciating the legal institutions surrounding corporate entities – yet such nuances are often unfamiliar or poorly specified to economists and other social scientists without legal training. This chapter organizes and discusses key legal concepts of corporate governance, including statutes, regulations, and jurisprudential doctrines that “govern governance” in private and public companies, with concentration on the for-profit corporation. We review the literature concerning the nature and purpose of the corporation, the objects of fiduciary obligations, the means for decision making within the firm, as well as the overlay of state …


The Fiduciary Obligations Of Public Officials, Vincent R. Johnson Aug 2019

The Fiduciary Obligations Of Public Officials, Vincent R. Johnson

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

At various levels of government, the conduct of public officials is often regulated by ethical standards laid down by legislative enactments, such as federal or state statutes or municipal ordinances. These rules of government ethics are important landmarks in the field of law that defines the legal and ethical obligations of public officials. Such provisions can form the basis for the kinds of government ethics training that helps to minimize wrongful conduct by public servants and reduces the risk that the performance of official duties will be clouded by appearances of impropriety. Codified government ethics rules also frequently provide mechanisms …


In Whose Interests Should A Company Be Run? Fiduciary Duties Of Directors During Corporate Failure In India: Looking To The West For Answers, Gautam Sundaresh May 2019

In Whose Interests Should A Company Be Run? Fiduciary Duties Of Directors During Corporate Failure In India: Looking To The West For Answers, Gautam Sundaresh

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

This Comment looks at the debate as it has played out in the legal jurisprudence of the U.S. and the U.K. The analysis of each considers the three financial stages of a corporation’s existence that are specifically addressed in the debate today, i.e.: (i) solvency; (ii) insolvency; and (iii) the zone of insolvency. After setting out the current position, this Comment specifically addresses the various shortcomings and criticisms of the models adopted by each jurisdiction and offers observations on the status quo and the implementation of these models. On this basis, this Comment goes on to propose a model to …


Fiduciary Principles In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A.E. Pottow May 2019

Fiduciary Principles In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A.E. Pottow

Book Chapters

This chapter examines fiduciary duties in bankruptcy and insolvency, focusing on the bankruptcy trustee’s duties, which are triggered by virtue of appointment in a case. It first provides a background on bankruptcy law in order to elucidate the doctrines and rules affecting fiduciary responsibilities in bankruptcy, citing a number of relevant provisions in the Bankruptcy Code. It then considers the fiduciary, non-fiduciary, and anti-fiduciary obligations of the trustee under the Bankruptcy Code before discussing the fiduciary duties of care and loyalty. In particular, it highlights bankruptcy-related issues raised by the duty of loyalty with respect to secured creditors, priority unsecured …


Toward A Horizontal Fiduciary Duty In Corporate Law, Asaf Eckstein, Gideon Parchomovsky May 2019

Toward A Horizontal Fiduciary Duty In Corporate Law, Asaf Eckstein, Gideon Parchomovsky

All Faculty Scholarship

Fiduciary duty is arguably the single most important aspect of our corporate law system. It consists of two distinct sub-duties—a duty of care and a duty of loyalty—and it applies to all directors and corporate officers. Yet, under extant law, the duty only applies vertically, in the relationship between directors and corporate officers and the firm. At present, there exists no horizontal fiduciary duty: directors and corporate officers owe no fiduciary duty to each other. Consequently, if one of them fails her peers, they cannot seek direct legal recourse against her even when they stand to suffer significant reputational and …


Disclosure's Purpose, Hillary A. Sale Apr 2019

Disclosure's Purpose, Hillary A. Sale

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The United States securities regulatory infrastructure requires disclosure of a wide array of information both by and about covered companies. The basic purpose of the disclosures is to level the playing field – for investors, for issuers, and for the public. Although investor protection is the disclosure goal often touted, this article develops the purposes of disclosure extending beyond investors to issuers and the public. Indeed, the disclosure system is designed to level the playing field for issuers— addressing confidentiality concerns, for example. In addition, the system helps to promote confidence in the markets, which, in turn, enables growth and …


Alpha Duties: The Search For Excess Returns And Appropriate Fiduciary Duties, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox Mar 2019

Alpha Duties: The Search For Excess Returns And Appropriate Fiduciary Duties, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox

Articles

Modern finance theory and investment practice have shifted toward “passive investing.” The current consensus is that most savers should invest in mutual funds or ETFs that are (i) well-diversified, (ii) low-cost, and (iii) expose their portfolios to age-appropriate stock market risk. The law governing trustees, investment advisers, broker–dealers, 401(k) plan managers, and other investment fiduciaries has evolved to push them gently toward this consensus. But these laws still provide broad scope for fiduciaries to recommend that clients invest instead in specific assets that they believe will produce “alpha” by outperforming the market. Seeking alpha comes at a cost, however, in …


Energy Re-Investment, Hari M. Osofsky, Jacqueline Peel, Brett H. Mcdonnell, Anita Foerster Jan 2019

Energy Re-Investment, Hari M. Osofsky, Jacqueline Peel, Brett H. Mcdonnell, Anita Foerster

Journal Articles

Despite worsening climate change threats, investment in energy — in the United States and globally — is dominated by fossil fuels. This Article provides a novel analysis of two pathways in corporate and securities law that together have the potential to shift patterns of energy investment.

The first pathway targets current investments and corporate decision-making. It includes efforts to influence investors to divest from owning shares in fossil fuel companies and to influence companies to address climate change risks in their internal decision-making processes. This pathway has received increasing attention, especially in light of the Paris Agreement and the Trump …


Corporate Disobedience, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2019

Corporate Disobedience, Elizabeth Pollman

All Faculty Scholarship

Corporate law has long taken a dim view of corporate lawbreaking. Corporations can be chartered only for lawful activity. Contemporary case law characterizes intentional violations of law as a breach of the fiduciary duties of good faith and loyalty. While recognizing that rule breaking raises significant social and moral concerns, this Article suggests that corporate law and academic debate have overlooked important aspects of corporate disobedience. This Article provides an overview of corporate disobedience and illuminates the role that it has played in entrepreneurship and legal change. Corporations violate laws for a variety of reasons, including as part of efforts …


Fiduciary Principles In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A. E. Pottow Jan 2019

Fiduciary Principles In Bankruptcy And Insolvency, John A. E. Pottow

Book Chapters

This chapter examines fiduciary duties in bankruptcy and insolvency, focusing on the bankruptcy trustee’s duties, which are triggered by virtue of appointment in a case. It first provides a background on bankruptcy law in order to elucidate the doctrines and rules affecting fiduciary responsibilities in bankruptcy, citing a number of relevant provisions in the Bankruptcy Code. It then considers the fiduciary, non-fiduciary, and anti-fiduciary obligations of the trustee under the Bankruptcy Code before discussing the fiduciary duties of care and loyalty. In particular, it highlights bankruptcy-related issues raised by the duty of loyalty with respect to secured creditors, priority unsecured …


Startup Governance, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2019

Startup Governance, Elizabeth Pollman

All Faculty Scholarship

Although previously considered rare, over three hundred startups have reached valuations over a billion dollars. Thousands of smaller startups aim to follow in their paths. Despite the enormous social and economic impact of venture-backed startups, their internal governance receives scant scholarly attention. Longstanding theories of corporate ownership and governance do not capture the special features of startups. They can grow large with ownership shared by diverse participants, and they face issues that do not fit the dominant principal-agent paradigm of public corporations or the classic narrative of controlling shareholders in closely held corporations.

This Article offers an original, comprehensive framework …


Fiduciary Law In Financial Regulation, Howell E. Jackson, Talia B. Gillis Jan 2019

Fiduciary Law In Financial Regulation, Howell E. Jackson, Talia B. Gillis

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter explores the application of fiduciary duties to regulated financial firms and financial services. At first blush, the need for such a chapter might strike some as surprising in that fiduciary duties and systems of financial regulation can be conceptualized as governing distinctive and nonoverlapping spheres: fiduciary duties police private activity through open-ended, judicially defined standards imposed on an ex post basis, whereas financial regulations set largely mandatory, ex ante obligations for regulated entities under supervisory systems established in legislation and implemented through expert administrative agencies. Yet, as the chapter documents, fiduciary duties often do overlap with systems of …


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 dearly as well. …


Solely Beneficial: How Benefit Corporations May Change The Duty Of Care Analysis For Traditional Corporate Directors In Delaware, Dustin Womack Oct 2018

Solely Beneficial: How Benefit Corporations May Change The Duty Of Care Analysis For Traditional Corporate Directors In Delaware, Dustin Womack

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Rather than adding to the voluminous literature assessing the necessity of benefit corporations themselves or the possible liability of their directors, this Note concerns itself only with how benefit corporations will impact the fiduciary duty of care analysis for the directors of traditional corporations constituted in the state of Delaware. Further, this Note is only concerned with liability arising from claims alleging that a day-to-day directorial decision resulted in a breach of the duty of care. As such, this Note does not address any other potential liability predicated on other situations or duties. Finally, this Note provides general background information …