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Corporate Governance Discovery Litigation

Chancery Approves Incorporation of Reference Condition in Section 220 Litigation

Books and records actions are heralded as the "tools at hand" for litigators pursuing shareholder claims against a corporation. In fact, the Delaware Court of Chancery has been critical of litigants who failed to take advantage of a shareholder's right to request the books and records of a corporation prior to commencing litigation against the corporation.

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Books and records actions are heralded as the “tools at hand” for litigators pursuing shareholder claims against a corporation. In fact, the Delaware Court of Chancery has been critical of litigants who failed to take advantage of a shareholder’s right to request the books and records of a corporation prior to commencing litigation against the corporation. See, e.g., Thermopylae Capital Partners v. Simbol, 2016 WL 368170, at *17 (Del. Ch. Jan. 29, 2016). And while many shareholders have utilized Section 220′s summary proceeding to get a corporation’s books and records, Delaware courts have approved certain conditions on the use of those records. As discussed below, the Court of Chancery recently approved a company’s proposed incorporation condition, assuring the company that all the documents it produces pursuant to a books and records demand will be incorporated, even if not explicitly referenced, in any subsequent litigation where the plaintiff relies on any of the records produced by the company.

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