附属定款中の強制仲裁条項

 米国で 附属定款の中に強制的な仲裁条項を置くということについて、議論が活発になっています。

 この議論は、比較法の検討としても興味深いです。また、比較法の論点に加えて、会社法や金商法の強行法規性の問題として捉えれば、より本格的な論文のテーマにもなりうるように思います。

 また、この議論は、Sciabacucchi v. SalzbergCyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fundの影響もあるようで、複眼的に捉えると米国の法制度の特徴が明らかになって面白いように思えます。

via SEC, Jay Clayton, Cooley, Alison Frankel, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, Allen & Overy, Cooley

附属定款と企業統治

デラウェア州最高裁判所のRidgely裁判官による講演です。

Since the Court’s decision in ATP Tour, a number of commentators have assumed that it applies equally to for-profit, stock corporations.76 The Delaware Supreme Court did not say that in ATP Tour, so this remains an open question. …

Several companies have adopted one-way fee-shifting bylaws in the wake of ATP Tour despite the current uncertainty surrounding their validity. …

Another category of bylaw generating discussion, but not yet litigation in Delaware, is a mandatory arbitration bylaw covering intra-corporate disputes that waives a shareholder’s right to a class action. Some commentators have concluded that a board has the unilateral power to do this after the Boilermakers decision. However, in Boilermakers, then-Chancellor Strine expressly noted that the bylaw at issue did not regulate whether the stockholder may file suit.

via Delaware Litigation Blog

デラウェア州における株式会社以外の会社における訴訟費用の敗訴原告負担を定める附属定款の有効性について(積極)およびその射程—ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund, 2014 WL 1847446 (Del. May 8, 2014)

This Opinion constitutes the Court’s response to four certified questions of law concerning the validity of a fee-shifting provision in a Delaware non-stock corporation’s bylaws. The provision, which the directors adopted pursuant to their charter-delegated power to unilaterally amend the bylaws, shifts attorneys’ fees and costs to unsuccessful plaintiffs in intra-corporate litigation. The United States District Court for the District of Delaware found that the bylaw provision’s validity was an open question under Delaware law and certified four questions to this Court, asking it to decide whether, and under what circumstances, such a provision is valid and enforceable. Although we cannot directly address the bylaw at issue, we hold that fee-shifting provisions in a non-stock corporation’s bylaws can be valid and enforceable under Delaware law.

New Section 331 is intended to confirm and codify the limited liability nature of corporations by expressly stating that provisions in a certificate of incorporation or bylaw may not impose monetary liability on stockholders, except in the very limited circumstances already provided for in the Delaware General Corporation Law. In ATP Tours, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund (No. 534, 2013, May 8, 2014), the Delaware Supreme Court upheld as facially valid a bylaw imposing liability for legal fees on certain members of a non-stock corporation who participated in the litigation. Together with the amendments to Section 114, new Section 331 is intended to limit applicability of that holding to non-stock corporations, and to make clear that such liability may not be imposed on holders of stock in stock corporations.

〔2014年6月24日追記〕

WSJ曰く:

The Delaware legislature has postponed until early 2015 discussion of a proposed bill that had drawn heat from the Chamber, among others, the bill’s sponsor confirmed Wednesday. … “I certainly believe that we should not permit companies carte blanche to adopt these kinds of bylaws,” Sen. Bryan Townsend, who sponsored the bill, said in an interview. “But we have heard from a broad group of stakeholders and thought it best to take the coming months to continue our examination of the issue.”

Bryan Townsent氏は,Davis Polkのsummer associateの頃に会ったことがあります。その後,彼は政治の道を選んだので,結局,DPWには入所しなかったのですが,既に州議会のsenatorとは。

via Westlaw, Francis Pileggi

forum-selection bylaw

forum-selection bylawを採択している会社は,既に多数存在しているとのことですが,最近の例を挙げます。

ARTICLE VIII

EXCLUSIVE FORUM

Unless the Corporation consents in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of the Corporation, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any director or officer or other employee of the Corporation to the Corporation or the Corporation’s stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim against the Corporation or any director or officer or other employee of the Corporation arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law or the Corporation’s Certificate of Incorporation or Bylaws (as either may be amended from time to time), or (iv) any action asserting a claim against the Corporation or any director or officer or other employee of the Corporation governed by the internal affairs doctrine shall be the Court of Chancery of Delaware or, if the Court of Chancery does not have jurisdiction, another state court located within the State of Delaware or, if no state court located within the State of Delaware has jurisdiction, the federal district court for the District of Delaware.*1

via M&A Law Prof Blow

*1:Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., Current Report (Form 8–K) (July 2, 2013).

仲裁条項によるクラスアクションの排除

D&O Diaryが,会社附属定款での仲裁条項に関して,記事を書いています。

The question of whether or not a company can impose an arbitration requirement through its articles of incorporation or its by-laws drew a great deal of attention when The Carlyle Group, which was preparing to go public at the time, specified in its partnership agreement that all limited partners would be required to submit any claims to binding arbitration. (I discussed Carlyle’s initiative in a prior blog post, here.) Ultimately, the SEC used its control of the registration process to prevent Carlyle from including this provision. But as illustrated in an April 22, 2012 article by Carl Schneider of the Ballard Spahr law firm on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (here), the idea continues to have its advocates and it seems likely that sooner or later there will be a case or circumstance testing the permissibility of arbitration provision in articles of incorporation or corporate by-laws.

仲裁条項によるクラスアクションの排除に関する連邦最高裁判所の判決の続きということで。

via D&O Diary