Responsible Shareholders

The Elliot Firm represents shareholders in public companies — particularly shareholders who view their investments as socially responsible initiatives — when those companies act in ways that damage shareholder value or otherwise violate ethical business laws and codes.

Socially responsible investors have a larger mission than simply increased profits year after year. Socially responsible investors also view their investments as ways to help in consciously improving life, not only for themselves but for the rest of the planet as well.

For that reason, the Elliot Firm represents socially responsible investors, especially groups of such investors and investment funds, in wielding the considerable rights and powers of shareholders to improve corporate governance and behavior.

This most often takes the form of facilitating shareholders’ requests for information (“books and records” demands) from the corporation and representing shareholders and shareholders groups in securities litigation, both direct and derivative.

In direct securities litigation, the shareholder takes legal action against those who have harmed the corporation that the shareholder is invested in.  In shareholders’ derivative litigation, the shareholder takes legal action for the corporation itself when the corporate board of directors refuses to take such action even though the corporation has been harmed.

In securities class actions, both direct and derivative, the Lead Plaintiff is appointed by the court to represent the other class members in the litigation and act in their best interest. The Lead Plaintiff controls the litigation on behalf of the Class and can steer the outcome in favor of socially responsible future governance changes.

Such actions are often, though not always, triggered by corporate misbehavior that results in precipitous declines in stock price and shareholder value. Sometimes, however, evidence of corporate violation of the law, even without a concomitant stock price drop, may justify intervention by socially responsible investors.

Shareowner derivative actions may be brought by investors to protect the rights of the corporation injured by others’ misconduct, including both outside parties and insiders in management or the Board of Directors.

Using derivative suits, shareholders can act to protect the interests of the corporation when its management will not, for reasons that may involve management conflicts of interest, lax oversight, inertia, or outright corruption.

Shareholders’ derivative suits have been brought to address corporate misconduct such as options backdating, bribery of foreign officials, supply chain management failures including human slavery, executive self-dealing, management and board deception of shareholders, pollution, pharma fraud, and insider trading and related self-dealing.

The Elliot Firm represents investors, investor groups, and socially-responsible investment funds and institutions who are willing to assume the role of lead plaintiff in securities actions in order to better control the litigation and make sure that the outcomes reflect the values and goals of such investors.

If you have suffered a loss in share value traceable to corporate misconduct, or are aware of such misconduct and wish to take responsible shareholder action to correct it and prevent its reoccurrence, contact the Elliot Firm now.