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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
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Posted: November 30, 2016

Board Did Not Breach Fiduciary Duty By Entering Into Management Contract With Former Employees

On November 22, 2016, the First Department issued a decision in Doppelt v. Denahan, 2016 NY Slip Op. 07868, holding that directors did not breach their fiduciary duty by entering into a management contract with former employees, explaining:

Contrary to the argument advanced by plaintiff, a shareholder who seeks to bring a derivative action on behalf of nominal defendant Annaly Capital Management, Inc., the employees of the company were not an asset that could be monetized, sold or spun off. Therefore, the fact that the employees were free to leave the company to form their own business is not equivalent to the company’s giving up an asset in entering into a management contract with them. Nor does the plan to allow management of the company to be thus “externalized” constitute a breach of fiduciary duty.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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