Francis Kean

In the following guest post, Francis Kean takes a look at the potential impact on COVID 19-related claims of standard D&O insurance policy exclusions. 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 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: Beware the Unexpected Consequences of “Standard” D&O Exclusions

californiaMost D&O insurance policies have conduct exclusions precluding coverage for fraudulent, criminal, or willful misconduct. However, mere allegations are insufficient to trigger this exclusion. If allegations alone were enough, then many claims that would otherwise be covered under the policy would be precluded from coverage, because many D&O claims involve allegations of fraudulent, criminal, or willful misconduct. These days, the conduct exclusions in most D&O policies require a judicial determination in order for the exclusion’s preclusive effect to be triggered. Exactly what is constitutes a sufficient judicial determination is a matter of policy wording. A recent California intermediate appellate court considered a policy that required a “final adjudication” in order for the exclusion to be triggered and determined that the exclusion did not apply to preclude coverage while the insured person’s appeal remained pending, despite the insured person’s criminal securities fraud conviction. The opinion provides an interesting insight into operation of the conduct exclusion with wording of a type found these days in many D&O insurance policies.
Continue Reading D&O Insurance: Convictions, Appeals, and the Conduct Exclusion

delawareIn an August 27, 2015 post-trial opinion (discussed here), Delaware Vice-Chancellor Travis Laster found that Dole Foods CEO David Murdock, and the company’s General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer, C. Michael Carter, had committed “fraud” in connection with a November 2013 “going private” transaction. However, according to a December 21, 2016 Delaware Superior Court decision in the subsequent insurance coverage litigation, because Laster’s findings of fraud were not part of the subsequent post-settlement final judgment in the case, the fraud exclusion in Dole’s D&O insurance program did not preclude coverage for the settlement. Anyone interested in understanding how the fraud exclusion in a D&O policy operates will want to read this opinion. A copy of the Delaware Superior Court opinion can be found here.

Continue Reading D&O Insurance: Despite Trial Court “Fraud” Determination, Fraud Exclusion Not Triggered

nystate1In the latest round in the long-running battle over whether there is D&O insurance coverage for the amounts Bear Stearns paid in settlement of an SEC enforcement action for alleged market timing, the D&O insurers may have finally found an issue on which they may be allowed to try to dispute coverage. Even though, in

An insured’s guilty plea to criminal charges relieved his professional liability insurer of its duty under the policy to defend him against related civil claims, according to a June 18, 2013 Order by Southern District of Florida Judge Daniel Hurley. Judge Hurley’s decision is interesting because it addresses the question whether the court can consider