Lago Agrio: Guess What Came Up At The Chevron Annual Meeting?

According to a press release from the Lago Agrio plaintiffs, our favorite case was front and center at today’s annual meeting of Chevron’s shareholders. Activist Simon Billenness offered a resolution to lower the threshold necessary for shareholders to call meetings on their own. He had a pithy quote: “A Chevron lawyer summed up the legal strategy in this case as ‘fight till hell freezes over and then fight it out on the ice.’ Just how many shareholders wish to be dragged to hell by the company’s lawyers?”

Billenness’s resolution was defeated by a two-to-one margin. A resolution offered by the New York State comptroller’s office seeking appointment of an independent director with environmental expertise was defeated four-to-one, which, according to the LAPs, was an improvement on last year’s vote. Presumably, though, the Lago Agrio plaintiffs did not really expect to win these votes and were instead there to keep up public pressure on Chevron’s management to soften its approach to the litigation. Similar resolutions at prior meetings did not seem to have the desired effect, and it is not clear whether the Lago Agrio plaintiffs have reason to believe that this year will be different.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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