As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), the current coronavirus outbreak presents corporate boards with a number of challenging issues. In the following guest post, Nick Goldin, Eric Swedenburg and Brad Goldberg of the Simpson Thacher law firm review the considerations that corporate boards should take into account as their companies grapple with the challenges that the pandemic poses. The authors extend their appreciation to Sarah Eichenberger for her substantial contributions to this piece. A version of this article previously was published as a Simpson Thacher client memorandum. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their 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 the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Considerations for Corporate Directors As Their Companies Confront COVID-19

Francis Kean

One of the questions for companies facing financial difficulties both in the U.S. and in the UK is the extent to which the boards of the companies owe duties to creditors to try to avoid creditors’ losses as the companies approach insolvency. I discussed the state of the law in Delaware regarding these issues in a recent post. In the following guest post, Francis Kean, a partner in the financial lines team at McGill and Partners, takes a look at the recent suspension in the UK of “wrongful trading’ legislation   A version of Francis’s article previously was published on LinkedIn. I would like to thank Francis for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on my site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly of you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Francis’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: UK’s Wrongful Trading Laws Suspended: Good News for Company Directors?  

The current disruption to normal business operations across the country means that many businesses will soon be under significant financial pressure, if they are not there already. As their companies edge toward insolvency, directors are going to have to make significant decisions about the companies and their operations. Boards may be concerned, as they make critical and difficult decisions, that creditors or others may later attempt to claim that they violated their legal duties.  This concern in turn leads to the question about exactly what duties directors face as their companies approach insolvency.
Continue Reading Cash-Crunched Companies Face Insolvency; Will Directors Face Claims?

A recent judicial ruling out of the U.K. provides an interesting perspective on directors’ duties under applicable law when a bankrupt company is in liquidation. As discussed below, the Court held that a director’s duties continue in relevant respects even if the director’s powers cease as of the date of the bankruptcy filing. The circumstances of the case provide an interesting example of a claim that arose against a former director post-liquidation. As discussed below, the circumstances also provide an illustration of why the purchase of post-liquidation run-off coverage is advisable. Though the circumstances arose under U.K. law, the situation bears enough similarities to what might arise under equivalent U.S. law that the liability and insurance lessons are instructive even in the U.S. context.
Continue Reading Directors’ Duties in Insolvency and the D&O Insurance Implications

Francis Kean

In the following guest post, Francis Kean, Executive Director FINEX Willis Towers Watson, reviews some interesting recent historical academic research on directors’ duties and the business judgment rule in the U.K.  A version of this article previously was published on the Willis Towers Watson Wire blog (here). 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 thig 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 Truth about Directors’ Duties in the UK and the Business Judgment Rule

David Fontaine
John Reed Stark

As I noted in a post at the time, on February 21, 2018, the SEC released its cybersecurity disclosure guidance for publicly traded companies. In the following guest post, David Fontaine, CEO of Kroll, Inc. and its parent, Corporate Risk Holdings, and John Reed Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, take a look at the SEC’s guidance, with a particular focus on what the agency’s statement has to say about the duties of corporate directors. A version of this article originally appeared on The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (Here). I would like to thank David and John for their willingness to allow me to publish their 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 David and John’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Cybersecurity: The SEC’s Wake-Up Call to Corporate Directors

David M. Furbush
David M. Lisi

Cybersecurity issues are currently at the top of the agenda for corporate boards. In the following guest post, David M. Furbush and David M. Lisi of the Pillsbury law firm review what corporate directors should understand about their companies’ cybersecurity risks and how boards can go about proactively participating in decisions about what to do to mitigate these risks. I would like to thank David and David for their willingness to allow me to publish their 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 David and David’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: What Corporate Directors Need to Know about Cybersecurity

Swanson_Joseph
Joseph Swanson
Kirk_Donald
Donald Kirk

An unfortunately frequent part of bankruptcy proceedings is the assertion of claims against the directors and officers of the failed company. In the following guest post, Joseph W. Swanson and Donald R. Kirk of the Carlton Fields law firm take a look at the kinds of claims these officials face, as well as the steps these individuals can take to try to avoid the claims in the first place. I would like to thank Joe and Donald for their willingness to publish their article as a guest post on my 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 Joe and Donald’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Playing the Blame Game: Fiduciary Duty Litigation in Bankruptcy Proceedings

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

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