As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues its devastating impact on individuals, families and communities across the globe, companies are experiencing a myriad of obstacles as they struggle to maintain operations and balance their responsibilities to employees, customers, investors and the public at large during these unprecedented times. With over 40 states issuing shelter-in-place orders and recommendations from public health agencies to limit public gatherings, public companies now face the dilemma of how to conduct their annual shareholder meetings during the 2020 proxy season. Advances in technology have facilitated the use of virtual meetings in recent years, but hosting shareholder meetings at a physical location had remained the most common approach for U.S. companies. Given the current environment, however, we are seeing companies forced to adopt a virtual shareholder meeting platform. This article discusses some of the key considerations public companies should take into account as they transition from a physical in-person shareholder meeting to a virtual meeting format.
Reprinted with permission from The Legal Intelligencer, April / 2020
Copyright © 2019 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
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