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The new California law requiring gender balance on companies’ boards of directors likely sets up a showdown with Delaware over which state’s law takes precedence, legal experts said this week.

The California legislation, signed into law on Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown, mandates that all publicly traded corporations headquartered in the state have at least one woman on their boards by the end of 2019. By 2021, companies with five directors would need to have at least two female directors, and companies with more than six directors would be required to have three women on their boards.

The law has so far faced pushback from California businesses, which argue that it violates the state and federal constitutions on the grounds of gender discrimination.

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Tom McParland

Tom McParland of New York Law Journal can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TMcParlandALM.

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