directors and officers liability

tenWhile the world of directors’ and officers’ liability is always dynamic, the D&O liability arena was particularly eventful during 2016, with significant implications for what may lie ahead in 2017 – and possibly for years to come.  With full awareness that a complete inventory of key 2016 events could actually be much longer, here is a list of the Top Ten D&O stories of 2016.
Continue Reading The Top Ten D&O Stories of 2016

dandowhattoknowAfter attending the PLUS D&O Symposium  some years ago, several colleagues at Partner Re thought it might be worthwhile to provide D&O insurance professionals with historical overview of the evolution of Directors and Officers insurance (D&O) in the US marketplace.   As a result, Brian Sabia, SVP Senior Underwriter Specialty lines; Catherine Rudow, SVP Senior Underwriter Specialty Lines; and Nicholas DeMartini, AVP Senior Underwriter Specialty Lines, all of Partner Reinsurance Company, drafted the following article, which starts with the Securities Act of 1933 and progresses through the relevant Acts, key court rulings, and the ups and downs that have driven the D&O insurance market and the evolving features of the D&O insurance policy. Their complete paper can be found here.

I would like to thank Brian, Catherine and Nicholas 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 submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ guest post.

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This paper provides an historical overview of the evolution of Directors and Officers insurance (D&O) in the U.S. market since 1933, taking you through the relevant acts, key court rulings, ups and downs of the market, as well as the evolving coverage features of D&O insurance. This paper is intended for the insurance professional as an additional introduction to this increasingly relevant and ever evolving management liability product. 
Continue Reading Guest Post: D&O What to Know: A Guide to the Evolution of Directors and Officers Insurance from 1933 to the Present

federal depositFollowing the recent bank failure wave, the FDIC filed liability actions against the former directors and offices of many of the failed banks, as detailed here. But the FDIC did not sue the former executives of every failed bank. Why did the FDIC sue the executives of some failed banks but not others? Was it because the failed banks the agency targeted had engaged in qualitatively different conduct? Or was it merely because the ones the FDIC sued had D&O insurance in force from which the agency could extract a monetary recovery?
Continue Reading Does the FDIC Target Only Failed Bank Directors and Officers That Have D&O Insurance?

plusOn Thursday, January 21, 2016, I will be participating as the speaker in a Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) webinar to discuss this past year’s top stories in the world of directors and officers’ liability and insurance. The webinar will be based on my recent blog post, The Top Ten D&O Stories of 2015. This webinar, which is free for both PLUS members and non-members,  is a lead-in for the 2016 PLUS D&O Symposium, to be held February 3-4, 2016, in New York. The webinar will begin at 11 am EST and last one hour. Information about the webinar, including registration instructions, can be found here.
Continue Reading PLUS Webinar This Thursday: “The Top Ten D&O Stories of 2015”

top tenIt was an eventful year in the world of directors’ and officers’ liability in 2015. Many of the year’s key events significantly changed the D&O liability environment, while other developments during the year could alter the D&O insurance marketplace itself. Many of 2015’s developments have important implications for 2016 – and possibly for years to come. The list of the Top Ten D&O Stories of 2015 is set out below with an eye toward these future possibilities.
Continue Reading The Top Ten D&O Stories of 2015

homedepotIn early 2014, when plaintiffs initiated data breach-related derivative lawsuits against the boards of Target Corp. (here) and Wyndham Worldwide (here), there was some speculation that these cases might be the first of what could become a wave of data-breach related D&O lawsuits. But then the Wyndham Worldwide case was dismissed (refer here) and no new data breach-related D&O lawsuits followed, even though there were several high profile data breaches after that time (including Sony Entertainment, Anthem and Home Depot). Although many predicted that more D&O lawsuits were to come, the suits themselves did not materialize. There were, however, some suggestions that a lawsuit against Home Depot might eventually arrive, as a plaintiff initiated a books and records action in Delaware Chancery Court against the company.

The wondering and waiting about whether or not there will be a Home Depot data breach-related D&O lawsuit is now over. A Home Depot data breach-related shareholder’s derivative lawsuit has been filed in the Northern District of Georgia. On September 2, 2015, a plaintiff shareholder filed a redacted complaint in a lawsuit against Home Depot, as nominal defendant, and twelve Home Depot directors and officers, alleging that the defendants breached “their fiduciary duties of loyalty, good faith, and due care by knowingly and in conscious disregard of their duties failing to ensure that Home Depot took reasonable measures to protect its customers’ personal and financial information.” The redacted version of the plaintiff’s complaint can be found here. (Please see below for further explanation about the timing of the filing of the plaintiff’s lawsuit and the redactions to the complaint.)
Continue Reading Data Breach-Related Derivative Lawsuit Filed against Home Depot Directors and Officers

wywoSeptember is here. Labor Day has come and gone. That can mean only one thing – time to put away the surf boards, bungee cords, fencing foils, pogo sticks, nunchuks, hula hoops, light sabers, and unicycles, and get back to work. Yes, it is time to answer all those emails and return all of those phone messages. And most important of all, it is time to catch up on what has been happening in the world of directors’ and officers’ liability and insurance. Here is what happened while you were out.
Continue Reading While You Were Out

floridaAt a time when cyber liability and other hot topics dominate the discussion, potential corporate liability arising from environmental disclosures often does not receive the attention it should. However, as I have previously noted on this blog, environmental issues have been and remain an area on which plaintiffs’ lawyer have been focused. A recently