In a very important development in the current proxy disclosure litigation wars relating to annual meeting votes, last Thursday the Santa Clara County Superior Court sustained Symantec Corporation’s demurrer in Natalie Gordon vs. Symantec Corporation, et al., dismissing a shareholder lawsuit which had sought declaratory relief and damages against Symantec and its directors based on allegations that the directors had breached their fiduciary duties by failing to provide adequate disclosure to shareholders regarding Symantec’s say-on-pay vote in the company’s August 2012 proxy. The Symantec decision can be read here. (For background on the annual vote proxy disclosure litigation cases, see my February 5 post and Latham’s January 2013 Corporate Governance Commentary.)
While the court’s earlier denial of the plaintiff’s motion to preliminarily enjoin Symantec’s annual say-on-pay vote (in October 2012) was welcome and important news to public companies and their advisors (especially since the same court had previously granted a shareholder’s motion to preliminarily enjoin an equity plan approval vote in Stephen Knee v. Brocade Communications Systems In., et al.), as a decision on the merits, the court’s Thursday decision will be even more valuable than the injunction denial decision to companies in defending proxy disclosure lawsuits.