Fee-Shifting—A Potential New Tool in Stockholders’ Toolbox When Seeking Books and Records
December 3, 2020
Much has been written of late about the growing prevalence of books and records demands by stockholders under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, and the increased willingness of Delaware courts to expand the boundaries of stockholders’ inspection rights conferred by that statute.
A recent decision from the Delaware Court of Chancery exemplifies this trend and introduces an additional risk that companies should consider when determining how to respond to a Section 220 demand. Specifically, the court’s suggestion that it would consider awarding attorneys’ fees to plaintiffs’ counsel for its costs to litigate the Section 220 action adds a new twist to the already delicate balance that companies must strike when deciding whether (and to what extent) to comply with a stockholder’s Section 220 demand.
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