094aTasmania. Ten thousand miles away and about as far away from home as you can get. Tasmania — an island state off the southeastern coast of Australia and about an hour’s plane flight from Melbourne. Its capital city, Hobart, is located on the River Derwent and nestled below the rugged peak of Mt. Wellington. I was there for a brief two day visit this week. My visit to the city was short, but long enough to confirm that Tasmania is not just far away but beautiful as well.
Continue Reading Tasmania, Baby. (Seriously. Tasmania.)

030aThe D&O Diary is on assignment in Australia this week, for meetings and for a little bit of a look around. The first stop on this sojourn Down Under was in Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria, on the southeastern quadrant of the Australian continental landmass. Melbourne is a surprisingly large city. Its metropolitan area population of over 4.5 million makes it the country’s second most populous city. At about 37 degrees southern latitude, it is about as far south as Richmond, Virginia is north. A huge sprawling city like Melbourne is hard to sum up in just a few words, but here’s what you really need to know: in February, it’s summer there. What a great concept.
Continue Reading Melbourne

australiaClass actions have been a big deal in the U.S. for a long time now, but what is really interesting is that class actions (and other forms of collective action) are now becoming a big deal outside of the U.S. One place in particular where class actions have become a very big deal indeed is in Australia. As detailed in a recent study, class actions have in recent years become a well-established part of Australia’s litigation landscape. Recent judicial developments seem likely to make Australia an even more attractive jurisdiction for class action litigation.
Continue Reading Class Action Litigation in Australia Poised for Further Growth

rehana box
Rehana Box
marie vlassis
Marie Vlassis

As I have noted in several posts on this site (most recently here), one of the recurring D&O insurance coverage questions is the extent of the preclusive effect of the professional services exclusion. In the following guest post, Rehana Box and Marie Vlassis of the Ashurst law firm take a look at judicial developments in Australia regarding this issue. This article previously appeared in the LexisNexis Australian Insurance Law Bulletin. I would like to thank Rehanna and Marie for their willingness to publish their article 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 publish a guest post on this site. Here is Rehana and Marie’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Professional Services: What Does this Term Mean in an Exclusion Clause?

2016-08-31 01.11.52aThe D&O Diary was on assignment last week in Australia, to attend and participate in the annual conference of the Australian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG), in Sydney. As a result of my travels to the conference, I once again experienced the miracle of modern technology. You can leave your home in, say, Cleveland, and less than 24 hours later you can be walking on a beach in Australia. I have made this trip or its equivalent many times now, but it still never ceases to amaze me.
Continue Reading Notes from Sydney

chris smith
Christopher Smith

In our increasingly global economy, corporate boards are increasingly diverse, and among the diversities boards increasingly encompass are geographic and cultural diversity. However, while diverse directors may serve for many reasons, they still must be able to discharge their duties to the corporation. In the following guest post, Christopher Smith of the Sydney office of the the Clyde & Co. law firm, take a look at an interesting recent case from an Australian Court, in which the court held that directors who sign corporate documents must be able to read and understand the documents in order to discharge their duties. A copy of the August 11, 2016 Federal Court of Australia ruling to which Chris refers in his guest post can be found here. I would like to thank Chris for allowing me to publish this article as a guest post on this site. Readers interesting in submitting guest posts should contact me directly. Here is Chris’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Company Directors Who Cannot Read or Understand English Warned by Australian Court

ausmapAs I have noted in prior posts, in recent years, there has been a significant growth in shareholder class action litigation in Australia. There are a number of reasons for this development; among other things, Australia’s class action regime is, by comparison to the procedures available in many other jurisdictions, plaintiff-friendly. For these and other reasons, according to a recent law firm memo, Australia may be poised to become “the forum of choice for plaintiffs seeking redress in the world of securities class actions.” The June 27, 2016 memo, which is written by the Quinn Emanuel law firm and is entitled “Australia: An Increasingly Attractive Plaintiffs’ Forum for Securities Class Actions,” and raises a number of interesting questions, as discussed below, and can be found here.
Continue Reading Is Australia About to Become the Global Forum of Choice for Securities Class Action Litigation?

ausAustralia has long been in the vanguard when it comes to enforcement of duties of corporate directors. Australia was the first English-speaking jurisdiction to introduce statutory directors’ duties in 1896, and the first English-speaking jurisdiction to introduce criminal sanctions to enforce statutory directors’ duties in 1958. However, following the recent global financial crisis, questions were

slaterandgordonIn May 2007, Sydney-based plaintiffs’ law firm Slater & Gordon listed its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange, becoming the world’s first publicly traded law firm. On its website, the firm touts its “outstanding record” in class actions and group actions. As the firm’s website also highlights, the firm has been an active in pursuing securities class action lawsuits in Australia. More recently, however, the firm has recently experienced some financial turbulence, as a result of which its share price has plunged.  Now, in a twist that can only be called ironic, the firm may be facing a class action lawsuit of its own.
Continue Reading Publicly Traded Australian Plaintiffs’ Securities Law Firm Slater & Gordon Faces Possible Securities Suit