As ESG remains a mainstay of board and investor focus, effective shareholder engagement is as important as ever, and as complex as ever, for ensuring that companies have the external support necessary to advance their long-term strategy.
Continue Reading 2022 Shareholder Engagement Trends and Considerations: ESG and Investor Outreach

In one of the first opinions addressing fiduciary duty claims in the context of a transaction involving a special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”), the Delaware Court of Chancery determined that the SPAC shareholders’ right to redeem can be undermined by insufficient disclosures regarding the transaction and allowed class-action claims to continue against a SPAC’s controlling

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently published its Policy Statement on “Enhancing climate-related disclosures by standard listed companies”.[1] This follows a consultation carried out by the FCA in June 2021. The FCA has decided to extend the climate-related disclosure requirements that currently apply to UK premium listed commercial companies to (1) issuers of standard listed shares and (2) issuers of Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) representing equity shares.[2] We expect this to have particular implications for GDR issuers, which may be required to grapple with climate-related disclosure requirements for the first time as a result of the new rules.
Continue Reading UK’s FCA Extends Climate-related Disclosures to Standard Listed Issuers, Including GDR Issuers

On December 15, 2021, the SEC issued for public comment two separate proposals that will, if adopted, significantly affect how corporate directors, officers and employees trade securities of their companies and how companies repurchase their own shares.

This memorandum walks through the two proposals in turn and concludes with some general takeaways and possible issues

The UK Government has recently announced that it will introduce mandatory climate-related financial reporting for the first time.[1]

The new rules are likely to have particular implications for UK public companies listed outside the UK (particularly on the NYSE or NASDAQ) or on AIM, large UK subsidiaries of multinational corporate groups and large portfolio companies of financial sponsors that have a UK topco structure, where the new rules may require them to grapple with climate-related financial reporting for the first time.
Continue Reading UK Introduces Mandatory Climate-Related Financial Reporting for Large Public and Private Companies

On November 8, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to permanently amend provisions of the NY Business Corporation Law to allow companies to use electronic means to document action by written consent by boards and to hold virtual shareholder meetings, unless such action is prohibited by the entity’s articles of organization or by-laws. As discussed in our prior post, Governor Cuomo issued two Executive Orders: the first, March 7 Executive Order No. 202, declared a disaster emergency and ceased operations of all non-essential businesses in New York state; and the second, March 20th Executive Order No. 202.8, temporarily suspended several regulations governing meetings at New York corporations. Absent this relief, New York state still required an in-person shareholder meeting be held, although following an October 2019 rule change, it also permitted a virtual component (subject to certain conditions).
Continue Reading Virtual Shareholder Meetings now Permanently Permitted in NY

On October 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) clarifying whether investments made by fiduciaries of plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) may take into account environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) concerns in selecting investments and investment courses of action, as well as fiduciary duties in exercising shareholder rights.[1]  The Proposed Rule aligns more closely with recent trends toward ESG-oriented investing and seeks to reduce any chilling effects introduced by the Trump administration’s regulatory and non-regulatory guidance on fiduciary duty-compliant ESG investing.
Continue Reading New DOL Proposal on ESG Investing and Fiduciary Exercise of Shareholder Rights