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September 17, 2013

Duplicative M&A Litigation Under Scrutiny

Courts around the country are clarifying rules to cut down on duplicative lawsuits that challenge corporate mergers in multiple jurisdictions.  William Savitt explains in the National Law Journal ($):

The average merger transaction draws almost five lawsuits, up from about two 10 years ago. Equally striking is the increase of deals attacked in multiple jurisdictions. As recently as 2002, nearly all merger transactions with large Delaware-incorporated targets were challenged, if at all, in the Delaware Court of Chancery. But today, roughly three-quarters of such transactions are the subject of litigation in Delaware and at least one other jurisdiction (typically the headquarters state of the target company).

Delaware recently upheld a company’s forum-selection by-laws that require shareholder cases to be heard in the state’s Court of Chancery, and a Maryland court ruled that a company’s bylaws may require arbitration of shareholder disputes.

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