Monday, November 05, 2007
On November 5, 2007, Justice Colin Campbell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted an order approving a settlement reached by the parties in Ironworkers Ontario Pension Fund v. Research In Motion Limited. The Ironworkers had commenced an oppression action and sought leave to commence a multi-million dollar derivative action against certain directors and officers of RIM with respect to certain alleged historical stock option granting practices. In March 2007, RIM announced a number of voluntary corporate governance initiatives that addressed some of the concerns raised by Ironworkers. The settlement approved by Justice Campbell involved Ironworkers dismissing its application, RIM adopting a number of additional corporate governance measures, which included a prohibition on any independent directors receiving stock options as compensation, and a $5 million payment by RIM's Co-CEO's to RIM to defray costs of a voluntary, management-initiated investigation into the historical stock option practices. No party admitted liability in connection with the settlement. The order was made binding on all shareholders through a representation order.
Robert Staley and Derek Bell of Bennett Jones LLP, with assistance of Jeff Leon, Alan Gardner, Jeff Kerbel and Art Peltomaa, were counsel to Research In Motion Limited, James Estill and John Richardson. Jim Douglas, David Di Paolo and Kara Beitel of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP were counsel to Jim Balsillie. Steve Tenai and Dera Nevin of Ogilvy Renault LLP were counsel to Mike Lazaridis. Larry Lowenstein and Craig Lockwood of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP were counsel to Douglas Fregin. Peter Howard and Danielle Royal of Stikeman Elliott LLP were counsel to E. Kendall Cork and Douglas Wright. Dimitri Lascaris and Charles Wright of Siskinds LLP and Michael Wright of Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish LLP were counsel to the Ironworkers Ontario Pension Fund.