TransPerfect is a Test for All Companies Incorporated in Delaware

Delaware Legislature Must Act

Dear Friends,

On Friday, June 17, 2016, reporterJeff Mordock wrote an article in the Wilmington News Journal about the controversial TransPerfect Global case which is before the Delaware Court of Chancery (which I have been writing about), whereby Chief Chancellor Andre Bouchard, ordered the sale of this extremely profitable company, siding with the Plaintiff, Elizabeth Elting (who appears to be spiteful, vindictive, and acutely unreasonable, from the court documents and pleadings I have read) over defendant Phillip Shawe who appears to love his company, cares about his employees, and has led the company successfully through his brilliant creativity and hard work. Shawe does not want the company sold and Elting does. Shawe has offered Elting more than what her share is worth, however she only wants to hurt Shawe by refusing to negotiate in good faith.

Philip Shawe is the logical owner of TransPerfect

Sworn Testimony about Phil Shawe’s Devotion

The Chancellor in the wake of obvious cronyism and the appearance of personal improprieties has made an arbitrary and capricious ruling, although certainly within his legal right, which is clearly inequitable and does not represent the greater good. Although, reporter Mordock was somewhat thorough in his article, his reporting was typical drive by media reporting (sensationalizing the fact that Elting and Shawe once had an amorous relationship) while missing what is most important, the fact that the company is being forced to be sold and 4000 well- paying jobs could be lost.

Murdock further misses the boat here in that the American dream is being dashed because one of the owners appears to be willing “to cut off her nose to spite her face,” with total disregard for her employees’ well-being. On the other hand Phillip Shawe wants to maintain the company that he created and nurtured to where it nets over $500 million dollars per year.

The article mentioned the legislation sponsored by Senator Colin Bonini (R) in the Delaware Senate to prevent the sale of company’s like TransPerfect, however Mordock only interviewed the detractors and not the proponents portraying a negative bent on the whole issue. Although reporting on the real possibility that this decision in the Chancery Court could hurt Delaware’s profitable corporate franchise which brings in millions into its coffers if future entrepreneurs start incorporating in Nevada or Rhode Island instead of Delaware, Mordock has clearly missed the boat on the real essence of this important issue.

Intentional Disregard or Collusion?

This brings me to the disappointment I have in Senate Minority Leader, Gary Simpson (R), and House Minority Leader Dan Short(R) who oppose the legislation. I am surprised that they don’t get it.

In the News Journal article Mordock quotes Simpson who says, “He hasn’t received any e-mails about it”. Hello Senator-you are on my vast e-mail list and have received e-mails about it. Simpson further states, “We have a reputation in Delaware for having a Chancery Court where litigants and their attorneys know how Delaware law reads. To give uncertainty because a party may be able to persuade the Delaware Legislature to change things is just bad.” I vehemently disagree. Regardless of this reputation, when something is wrong, it’s wrong and if it is wrong, it needs to be changed. Delaware’s Chancery Court reputation and corporate franchise situation will be tainted by Chancellor Bouchard’s ruling and the law needs to be corrected to prevent this kind of hard core decision from being implemented.

Likewise, Representative Dan Short is quoted by Mordock as saying, “ The company’s dysfunction is the result of its own lack of corporate governance to resolve a bitter dispute between its leaders. The Chancery Court is using the tools available to it under Delaware law to untangle a knot TransPerfect tied for itself.” Again I disagree whole heartedly. Who said the court is responsible for untying a knot it never made. If Ms. Elting is unhappy there was nothing to stop her from selling her shares on the open market and there is still nothing stopping her today. Instead, it appears she consciously manufactured deadlock to use the court in an attempt to get a higher price than the market is willing to pay.

The law needs to be changed to prevent a litigant from using false and questionable evidence to manipulate the court. The judge in New York threw out her case; why didn’t Bouchard? Who clearly benefits by not settling? Certainly not Phillip Shawe!

The Truth that Media is Missing

The company is not dysfunctional, and although there was no agreement in place between the two owners to resolve disputes, there are more reasonable options available to the Court in lieu of selling a very well working company. Just because the Chancellor has the authority “to kill the goose that laid the golden egg”, doesn’t mean he has to do it. Elting is using the court and Bouchard has either fallen for it or is subconsciously working to help his buddies involved (the law firm, the custodian who spends $5 million each year of TransPerfect money, etc.)

The proposed law change makes sense. The problem here is, even though I respect Gary Simpson and Dan Short and consider them friends, they appear to have become “Establishment Politicians”. The entire Delaware Legislature should go to school on the amazing phenomenon of Donald Trump ( a bombastic, politically incorrect egocentric) and Bernie Sanders (a passionate Socialist) who both are resonating with millions of voters. People are hurting and they are sick of the “Status Quo” of the “Political Establishment” on both sides of the isle. Delaware is not exactly booming with a great economy or positive economic growth. This Chancery Court ruling by Andre Bouchard and rulings like it will only tend to hurt the State of Delaware economically. The law needs to be changed in this legislative session and there is a realistic bill on the table to do so. Delaware voters are watching and they are very frustrated. The election is coming up in November.

As always your comments are welcome and subject to being forwarded.

Respectfully submitted,

Judson Bennett-Coastal Network

 

 

About Judson Bennett

Captain A. Judson Bennett was a life- long resident of Lewes, DE. He served the maritime industry for 33 years, primarily as a Delaware River Pilot, guiding large ships to the Port of Philadelphia. Captain Bennett has been an active and consistent entrepreneur over the years.

He was elected as a Lewes City Councilman for 6 years. Afterwards he ran for the Sussex County Council as a Republican, and with 20 thousand people voting, lost Delaware’s closest election by 3 votes to an 8 year incumbent. Abandoning his personal political ambitions, he became the Republican District leader, advocating conservative values. Captain Bennett became a lobbyist in the state legislature advocating among many ideas, financial literacy concepts in education. He managed several political campaigns, including one for Governor of Delaware and one for the US Senate against VP Joe Biden. He is now the owner, operator, and writer for the Coastal Network which communicates regularly with over 6000 people throughout the State of Delaware.

Captain Bennett is a graduate of St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, DE (where the movie “The Dead Poet’s Society was filmed) and also graduated “Magna Cum Laude” from the University of Delaware with a BA in Criminal Justice and an MA in Liberal Studies.

He is now a Widower, living in West Palm Beach, Florida. Captain Bennett has one son, three grandchildren, and one great grand-daughter, all who live in Richmond, Virginia.