Institutional investors know good corporate governance adds value to their long-term holdings and strengthens the financial markets as a whole. Shareholder lawsuits are an important tool in the fight for boardroom reform— and Berman DeValerio has worked to include corporate governance provisions in a number of settlements.
In a $40 million settlement against UCAR International, the firm won its client, the Florida State Board of Administration, the right to appoint a new member to UCAR's board of directors. Several years ago, the firm negotiated a $50 million settlement on behalf of lead plaintiff Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association that forced defendant Enterasys Networks to institute sweeping governance changes.
In evaluating potential areas for corporate governance reform, we often call upon the experience of our special counsel, Kevin Shelley. As a former California secretary of state and majority leader of the California State Assembly, Mr. Shelley fought for years to strengthen corporate governance laws. While secretary of state, he drafted new corporate accountability requirements and created a restitution fund for victims of corporate fraud, a program that remains in effect today. He offers unique insights about governance matters.
The firm also participates in a number of forums committed to shareowner activism and good governance. Those groups include the Council of Institutional Investors, the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys, the National Association of State Treasurers and the National Council on Teacher Retirement.