Volkswagen, several former executives –including Martin Winterkorn, the former Chair of the company’s Board of Management–  and the company’s D&O insurers have reached an agreement to settle damages claims the company asserted against the executives relating to the company’s “Dieselgate” scandal. In March 2021, following a years-long investigation of the scandal by an outside law firm, the company filed the claims, in which the executives were alleged to have breached their duties to the company. The settlement, worth in the aggregate approximately $351 million in U.S. dollar terms, includes substantial payments both by the individual executives and by the company’s D&O insurers. The D&O insurers’ contribution reflects a separate settlement between the company and its insurers with respect to insurance coverage issues. A copy of VW’s June 9, 2021 press release describing the settlement can be found here.
Continue Reading Former Execs, Insurers Settle VW Dieselgate D&O Liability Claims

A court in the Netherlands has ruled that a collective investor action against Petrobras and related entities pending in the court can go forward, notwithstanding the arbitration clause in Petrobras’s articles of association. The defendants had sought to argue that because of the arbitration clause the foundation that was pursuing the Dutch action on behalf of investors had no standing to pursue the claims. The Dutch court’s May 26, 2021 ruling rejecting the defendants’ argument will now permit the action to go forward. A copy of Petrobras’s May 27, 2021 press release about the court’s ruling can be found here. A June 3, 2021 Law360 article about the Dutch court’s ruling can be found here.
Continue Reading Dutch Court Rules Petrobras Collective Investor Action May Proceed

Readers of this blog are well aware that the D&O insurance in the U.S. and the U.K. has been in a hard market since late 2018. The hard market has apparently affected D&O insurance conditions in other regions as well. According to a May 5, 2021 article on the NewDawnRisk website entitled “Where Next for D&O in the Middle East?” (here), written by Nicky Stokes, Head of Management Liability and Financial Institutions at NewDawnRisk, the current hard market conditions have also had an impact in the Middle East region as well. As a result of overall conditions in the global insurance market and a changing liability exposure environment, Middle Eastern D&O insurance buyers are also facing increased pricing, reduced insurer capacity, and an uncertain insurance landscape.
Continue Reading Changing Market for D&O in the Middle East

On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, I will be participating as a panelist in a webinar sponsored by the PLUS Singapore Chapter entitled “State of the Market for D&O: The View from Across the Globe.” This free, 90-minute session will take place at 9 am Singapore time/ Monday May 17, 2021 at 9 pm EDT. The

One of the more interesting developments in recent years has been the global rise of collective procedural mechanisms for aggrieved investors to seek redress from corporate parties for disclosure misrepresentations or omissions. In that vein, the recent revision of the securities laws of the People’s Republic of China are particularly interesting.

As discussed in a recent memo from AIG, presented in conjunction with the Shanghai-based JunHe law firm, the revised Chinese securities laws include among many other changes new provisions allowing for collective investor actions. According to the AIG memo, entitled “Securities Class Actions under the New Securities Law in China” (here), the revised law introduces “western-style class actions to China.”
Continue Reading Chinese Securities Law Revision Introduces “Western-Style Securities Class Actions”

Francis Kean

In the following guest post, Francis Kean examines the proposed new U.K. National Security and Investment Bill, which creates a new enforcement regime and carries substantial new risks for fines and even imprisonment. Francis is a Partner, Financial Lines, at McGill and Partners. A version of this article previously was published as a McGill client alert. I would like to thank Francis for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Francis’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: New Source of Potential Fines, Penalties and Imprisonment for Directors

The massive U.K. collective lawsuit against Mastercard will return to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for further proceedings as a result of the December 11, 2020 Judgement of the U.K. Supreme Court. The high-profile lawsuit is the first under the U.K.’s recently adopted opt-out collective action procedures for consumer protection claims. The case is also the first collective action proceeding to reach the U.K Supreme Court. The Court’s judgment sets out important guidelines and principles for collective action proceedings. The Court’s December 11, 2020 Judgment can be found here. A written summary of the Court’s Judgment can be found here, and a video summary of the Judgment delivered by Lord Michael Briggs can be found here.
Continue Reading U.K. Supreme Court Ruling Clears Way for Massive Opt-Out Collective Action Proceeding Against Mastercard

Francis Kean

In the following guest post, Francis Kean takes a look at the new UK Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act and the Act’s potential implications for D&O insurance coverage. Francis is a Partner, Financial Lines, at McGill and Partners. A version of this article previously was published as a McGill client alert. I would like to thank Francis for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Francis’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: The New UK Insolvency Act Exposes a Gap in Cover for D&O Insurance

Francis Kean

In the following guest post, Francis Kean takes a look at the possibilities for director prosecutions under the UK Fraud Act and explores the possible D&O insurance implications of future prosecutions. Francis is a Partner, Financial Lines, at McGill and Partners. A version of this article previously was published as a McGill client alert. I would like to thank Francis for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Francis’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Fraud Act Prosecution of Directors: How Likely and What Are The D&O Implications

Securities litigation observers know that class action securities lawsuit in the U.S. rarely go to trial. The same is true in Australia as well. However, in a recent ruling in only the second-ever securities lawsuit to go to trial in Australia, a Federal Court Justice has ruled in favor of the defendant company, the first ever trial verdict won by a defendant in Australia. The recent ruling has a number of interesting and important implications, as discussed below.
Continue Reading Rare Australia Securities Class Action Trial Results in First-Ever Defense Verdict