Earlier this year, when Vice Chancellor Lori Will sustained the plaintiff’s SPAC-related Delaware State Court direct breach of fiduciary duty action against the motion to dismiss of the former directors of Gig Capital3 (Gig3), there was some speculation that the court’s ruling would lead to a “deluge” of similar lawsuits. While no onslaught of new lawsuits has yet materialized, there was (as I noted in a recent post, here) a SPAC-related Delaware state court direct breach of fiduciary duty action filed late last week against the board of Adara Acquisition Corp. Now, a shareholder plaintiff has filed an additional SPAC-related Delaware State Court direct breach of fiduciary duty action, against the board of Trident Acquisition Corp. in connection with the SPAC’s merger with AutoLotto, to form Lottery.com. As discussed below, the allegations against Trident’s board (as well as its sponsor and its financial underwriting advisor) more closely resemble those alleged in the Gig3 case, underscoring the possibility that plaintiffs’ attorneys may well seek to pursue the state court breach of fiduciary duty claim on similar theories. A copy of the April 3, 2023 complaint against the Trident board can be found here.Continue Reading Shareholders Sue Former SPAC Execs in Delaware Direct Fiduciary Duty Breach Action

Francis Kean

For those of you who may not be following the unfolding news in the U.K. involving P&O Ferries and its firing of 800 of its sailors, it is quite a story. (Background here.) In the following guest post, Francis Kean considers the D&O insurance issues that the P&O Ferries situation could present. Francis is a Partner in the Financial Lines team at McGill and Partners. This article was previously published as a post on the Airmic website. I would like to thank Francis for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Francis’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Would the Board of P&O Ferries be Covered under a D&O Policy?

In my review of SPAC-related litigation on this site, I have mostly focused on SPAC-related securities litigation. However, there have been other types of SPAC-related lawsuits filed, including SPAC-related breach of fiduciary duty direct actions filed in Delaware courts (as discussed for example here). On January 3, 2022, Delaware Vice Chancellor Lori W. Will entered an opinion in one of these direct action breach of fiduciary duty cases – the closely-watched MultiPlan action – denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss and holding that though Delaware courts “have not previously had an opportunity to consider the application of our law in the SPAC context,” well-established Delaware legal principles led the court “despite the novel issues presented” to conclude that the plaintiffs have pleaded “viable, non-exculpated claims against the SPAC’s controlling stockholder and directors.”

As discussed below, the court’s ruling is a landmark ruling addressing governance concerns relating to potential conflicts of interest between a SPAC’s sponsors and directors and officers and its public shareholders. A copy of the January 3, 2022 opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Del. Court Dismissal Denial Has Important SPAC-Related Litigation Implications

If you have not been following the drama surrounding the question of the attorneys’ fees to be paid to class counsel in the State Street foreign currency exchange overcharge case, you will want to read the latest order from District of Massachusetts Judge Mark Wolf. Among other things, in his February 27, 2020 order, Judge Wolf cut the fees of the law firms that acted as class counsel, from $75 million to $60 million. Perhaps even more significantly, Judge Wolf concluded that lawyers at two of the lead plaintiff law firms had violated applicable provisions of the professional code of conduct and referred the attorneys to the local state bar professional practices unit. Judge Wolf’s findings also include his own reflection about the indispensable role of judge in supervising class counsel and their fees. A copy of Judge Wolf’s order can be found here.
Continue Reading Court Ratchets Down Fee Award, Refers Class Counsel for Possible Ethics Violation

One of the recurring issues in securities litigation is the way the erstwhile class counsel and their clients, the prospective class representatives, come together. In what one federal judge described as a "blatant, shocking conflict of interest," it appears, from testimony at a recent lead plaintiff selection hearing, that the leading plaintiffs’ firms are providing

The possibility that a conflict of interest could arise when an attorney or law firm simultaneously representes a corporation and one or more of its officers or directors is a a frequently recurring issue. The issue  was raised recently, for example, in the civil complaint that former Stanford Financial Group CFO Laura Pendergest-Holt filed against the