Yesterday, the Delaware Supreme Court placed another nail (perhaps the final nail?) in the coffin of defenses to a claim for advancement of fees. In Homestore, Inc. v. Tafeen, download pdf file, the court rejected defenses of laches, unclean hands, undue financial hardship and several other defenses in light of the company’s belief that the officer seeking advancement of fees to defend himself in lawsuits hid assets (to make it unlikely he could ever repay the company if required to do so). The company also argued that the actions for which the former officer was sued were not done in his “official capacity” because he was allegedly enriching himself personally through the behavior for which he was being sued. Bottom line: when based on bylaws or other mandatory advancement provisions, a company may have no defense to a claim for advancement. Under the DGCL, this is a separate and summary proceeding with limited, if any, discovery, and is not subject to the same considerations as a claim for indemnification. (Also separate, though related, is the “third leg of the stool”, D & O Insurance.) The public policy behind these decisions, as explained yesterday by Vice Chancellor Noble at the ABA meeting in Washington, D.C., of the Business Law Section’s Business and Corporate Litigation Committee, is to encourage qualified people to serve on boards without undue fear of depleting or exposing their personal assets due to the high cost to defend suits in which they are named as a party. One must also keep in mind that “fees on fees” are an entitlement to one who prevails on a claim for advancement of fees. This decision is certain to be a high-water mark on this issue.