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The SEC’s New Proxy Access Rule is Set to Take Effect

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s new proxy access rule was published in the Federal Register today.  The rule is effective on November 15, 2010 for all companies except smaller reporting companies, which have a three-year deferral.  That means if you mailed your proxy materials out on or before March 14, 2010, the 2011 window for shareholder submissions will have already lapsed by the November 15, 2010 effective date (with November 14, 2010 being the 120th calendar day before the one year anniversary of a March 14, 2010 mailing date) and the rule will not effect you until the 2012 proxy season.  If you mailed your proxy materials out on or after March 15, 2010 the rule will affect your 2011 proxy season (although for companies that mailed their proxy materials out between March 15, 2010 and April 12, 2010, the 2011 window for shareholder submissions will vary in length between 1 and 29 days, rather than the full 30 days prescribed in the new rule).

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