Photo of Stewart Landefeld

Stewart Landefeld, partner and immediate past co-chair of the firm's Corporate practice, has counseled corporations and board of directors for 30 years in the areas of corporate governance, securities compliance, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private equity investments and venture capital.

Stewart has provided corporate governance and other general corporate counsel to dozens of leading companies, including Microsoft Corporation, Costco Wholesale Corporation, T-Mobile, Tribune Publishing Company, Taylor Morrison Home Corporation, PetSmart Inc., Orbitz (Audit Committee), Aircastle (Independent Directors), F5 Networks, Intermec Inc., Outerwall Inc., The Seattle Mariners, The Tacoma Rainiers (Baseball Club of Tacoma, LLC) and The Seattle SuperSonics among others. Clients benefit from the valuable insight he gained after serving for nearly a year as interim Chief Legal Officer, of Washington Mutual Inc. during the financial crisis, as well as his decade of board leadership, including the Pike Place Market PDA, The Seattle Foundation, Plymouth Housing Group and the Seattle Art Museum.

Director behavior is at the essence of a director’s fiduciary duties. This is what Delaware courts love to write about in their opinions. That’s easy for all the lawyers in the room to understand. But the notion of “fiduciary duties” is not a topic typically foremost on a director’s mind. At least not until something

When your friends and family learn that you have some background in corporate governance, you might get that request to help them out by joining their non-profit board. Since it is your area of expertise, your understandable kneejerk reaction may be just what mine so often is, “of course, I’m happy to help.”

But should

“I can’t sleep at night.  I don’t agree with much of what is being said and done. I want to be responsible, but I am just not comfortable.” Over the years, I’ve heard this story from a lot of my director clients.

I get asked: “What is my moral obligation to stay on the board?”