Conference To Explore Rise of Activism in Corporate World

J. Travis Laster ’95 of Delaware Court of the Chancery To Deliver Keynote
Boardroom

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January 18, 2019

Corporate directors and legal practitioners will discuss developments in corporate law from the perspective of business leaders and board members during a conference at the University of Virginia School of Law on Feb. 1 in Caplin Pavilion.

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J. Travis Laster

“A View From the Boardroom: Directors in an Era of Activism” will feature academics, business executives and lawyers, including keynote speaker J. Travis Laster ’95, vice chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery.

“There have been substantial recent changes in how companies deal with shareholders, as mutual funds are now among the largest shareholders at most firms, and hedge funds have developed new ways of engaging with management that can put pressure on business leaders to be extremely responsive to their concerns,” said Professor Quinn Curtis, an expert on corporate law who will moderate two panels. “These have all been hot topics in the world of corporate governance.”

Laster will deliver the keynote at 1:10 p.m. Prior to his appointment in 2009 to the Court of the Chancery he was one of the founding partners of Abrams & Laster, a corporate law boutique specializing in high-stakes litigation involving Delaware corporations and other business entities, and advising on transactional matters carrying a significant risk of litigation. Before forming Abrams & Laster, he was a director in the Corporate Department of Richards, Layton & Finger. The Delaware Court of the Chancery is widely recognized as the pre-eminent forum for corporate legal disputes, because the majority of U.S. businesses are incorporated in the state.

The event, sponsored by the John W. Glynn, Jr. Law & Business Program, Virginia Law & Business Review, and Virginia Law & Business Society, will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Caplin Pavilion.

Schedule

Friday, Feb. 1

Caplin Pavilion


8:30-9 a.m.        

Continental Breakfast


9-9:10 a.m.

Opening Remarks


9:10-10:15 a.m.                        

Panel 1 | Social Responsibility and Shareholder Value in the Boardroom

  • Michal Barzuza, Nicholas E. Chimicles Research Professor of Business Law and Regulation, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Mary Margaret Frank, Samuel A. Lewis Sr. Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Business Administration, UVA Darden School of Business
  • Gloria Larson ’77, former President, Bentley University
  • ModeratorQuinn Curtis, Albert Clark Tate, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

10:30-11:35 a.m.

Panel 2 | Anatomy of Activist Engagement

  • Charles Elson ’85, Edgar S. Woolard Jr. Chair in Corporate Governance, University of Delaware
  • Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sussman, Partner, Olshan Frome Wolosky
  • Roger Kimmel ’71, Vice Chairman, Rothschild Inc.; Lecturer, University of Virginia School of Law
  • ModeratorJustin Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, UVA Darden School of Business

11:35-11:55 a.m.

Lunch


11:55 a.m.-1 p.m.

Panel 3 | Institutional Investors and Corporate Governance

  • Pedro Matos, John G. Macfarlane Family Chair and Professor of Business Administration, UVA Darden School of Business
  • Mike Miller ’77, former Managing Director, Vanguard
  • Jim Rossman, Managing Director, Lazard
  • ModeratorQuinn Curtis, Albert Clark Tate, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law

1:10-2 p.m.

Keynote Address

J. Travis Laster ’95, Vice Chancellor of the Court of Chancery, Delaware

Introductory Remarks by Dean Risa Goluboff, Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law, Professor of History, University of Virginia School of Law


2:15-3:20 p.m.

Panel 4 | Activism and Long-Term Value

  • Don James ’77, former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Vulcan Materials Company
  • Bonnie Wachtel ’80, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Wachtel & Co. Inc.
  • Tom Watjen (Darden ’81), former CEO and Chairman, Unum Group
  • ModeratorMichal Barzuza, Nicholas E. Chimicles Research Professor of Business Law and Regulation, University of Virginia School of Law

Media Contact

Mike Fox
Director of Media Relations
mfox@law.virginia.edu / (434) 982-6832

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