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Shareholder Derivative Litigation

Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP has extensive experience litigating shareholder derivative actions on behalf of corporate entities.  This litigation is often necessary when the corporation has been injured by the wrongdoing of its officers and directors.  This wrongdoing can be either active, such as the wrongdoing by certain corporate officers in connection with purposeful backdating of stock-options, or passive, such as the failure to put in place proper internal controls, which leads to the violation of laws and accounting procedures.  A shareholder has the right to commence a derivative action when the company’s directors are unwilling or unable, to pursue claims against the wrongdoers, which is often the case when the directors themselves are the wrongdoers.

The purpose of the derivative action is threefold: (1) to make the company whole by holding those responsible for the wrongdoing accountable; (2) the establishment of procedures at the company to ensure the damaging acts can never again occur at the company; and (3) make the company more responsive to its shareholders.  Improved corporate governance and shareholder responsiveness are particularly valuable because they make the company a stronger one going forward, which benefits its shareholders.  For example, studies have shown the companies with poor corporate governance scores have 5-year returns that are 3 .95% below the industry average, while companies with good corporate governance scores have 5-year returns that are 7.91 % above the industry-adjusted average.  The difference in performance between these two groups is 11 .86%.  Corporate Governance Study: The Correlation between Corporate Governance and Company Performance, Lawrence D. Brown, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Accountancy, Georgia State University and Marcus L. Caylor, Ph.D. Student, Georgia State University Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP has achieved all three of the above stated goals of a derivative action.  The firm regularly obtains significant corporate governance changes in connection with the successful resolution of derivative actions, in addition to monetary recoveries that inure directly to the benefit of the company.  In each case, the company’s shareholders indirectly benefit through an improved market price and market perception.