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Thursday, March 12, 2015

RPT-U.S. business interests square off against lawyers in Delaware, (NMS: IBKR)

An influential group of lawyers in Delaware, home to more corporations than any other state, is gearing up to do battle with some of the largest U.S. companies over the increasingly busy industry of shareholder lawsuits. The lawyers' group, which includes attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants, fired its opening salvo last week: A series of legislative proposals that, if enacted, would help ensure that Delaware remains the go-to venue for corporate disputes.One proposal would prohibit companies from adopting bylaws or charter provisions requiring investors who sue and lose to pay the company's legal fees. These "fee-shifting" or "loser-pays" clauses sweep away the so-called American Rule in U.S. litigation, which generally assumes that each party pays its own legal costs, regardless of the outcome. Delaware courts can award fees to punish abusive tactics.Big business was quick to respond. In a statement, Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform, blasted the proposed ban on fee-shifting as "a huge win for Delaware's lawsuit business."More than 30 companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Interactive Brokers Group Inc, have adopted fee-shifting bylaws or charter provisions in the past year, after they were upheld by Delaware's Supreme Court. Companies see them as a tool to shut down meritless shareholder lawsuits creating the risk that a shareholder could sue, lose and face an enormous legal bill.

Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (IBG, Inc.) is a holding company. Shares of IBKR traded higher by 4.1% or $1.33/share to $33.79. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $20.35 and as high as $34.05. On average, 571573 shares of IBKR exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 764916.