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U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit rejects proxy access rule

01 August 2011

SEC Update

On July 22, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated an SEC rule that would have enabled shareholders of public companies to propose their own director nominees for inclusion in their company's proxy materials. A divided SEC adopted the rule (commonly known as the "proxy access" rule) in August 2010, but stayed the effectiveness of the rule and a related amendment to the SEC's shareholder proposal rule pending the outcome of the D.C. Circuit's review. The court's decision, which is available at 2011 WL 2936808 (D.C. Cir. July 22, 2011), represents a significant setback for the SEC and casts substantial uncertainty over the future of proxy access.

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