Placing Election Bylaws on the Corporate Ballot

11 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2006 Last revised: 7 May 2009

Lucian A. Bebchuk

Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Allen Ferrell

Harvard Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Reinier Kraakman

Harvard Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute

Mark J. Roe

Harvard Law School

Guhan Subramanian

Harvard Business School

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

This piece provides our amicus curiae brief in the case of American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Pension Plan v. American International Group, which is now under consideration by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In this case, a shareholder submitted a proposal to amend the company's bylaws to require the company in certain circumstances to place candidates nominated by shareholders on the company's ballot, and the company sought to exclude this proposal from the ballot. We suggest in our amicus curiae brief that companies should not be allowed to exclude form the company ballot bylaw amendments concerning corporate elections. Prohibiting companies from doing so, we argue, is required by a reasonable interpretation of the proxy rules and necessary to advance the policy goals underlying the rules. As an appendix to the brief we attach a letter to the SEC sent by forty-eight law professors including ourselves that expresses a similar position.

Keywords: Corporate elections, shareholder voting, proxy contests, access to the ballot, by-laws, by-law amendments, proxy fights, proxy contests, corporate governance, agency costs

JEL Classification: D70, G30, G32, G34, G38, K22

Suggested Citation

Bebchuk, Lucian A. and Ferrell, Allen and Kraakman, Reinier and Roe, Mark J. and Subramanian, Guhan, Placing Election Bylaws on the Corporate Ballot (2005). Harvard PON Working Paper No. 915403. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=915403 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.915403

Lucian A. Bebchuk (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3138 (Phone)
617-812-0554 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/bebchuk/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Allen Ferrell

Harvard Law School ( email )

Griswold 303 1525 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 495-8961 (Phone)
(617) 495-1110 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Reinier H. Kraakman

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-3586 (Phone)
617-496-6118 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Mark J. Roe

Harvard Law School ( email )

Griswold 502
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-8099 (Phone)
617-495-4299 (Fax)

Guhan Subramanian

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-9784 (Phone)
617-496-7379 (Fax)

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