Proxy Access Update

As previously reported, after being sued by the Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce, the SEC stayed new Rule 14a-11 and amendments to Rule 14a-8 regarding “proxy access.” According to an October 15 client alert from Reed Smith:

On October 8, 2010, the petitioners and the Commission jointly filed a Motion for Expedited Consideration with the court. The motion seeks court approval of a briefing schedule negotiated by the parties that calls for the petitioners’ opening brief to be filed by November 30, 2010, and contemplates that briefing will be completed by February 25, 2011. The motion also requested that oral argument be scheduled in the case on the earliest available date following the completion of briefing. In the Motion, the parties jointly stated that the stay granted by the Commission pending review by the court, even with the review being on an expedited basis, necessarily means that the Commission’s rule changes will not be available for use by shareholders during the 2010-2011 proxy season, but that expedited review would help ensure that outstanding uncertainty about the rules’ validity will be resolved before the 2011-2012 proxy season.

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