In the following guest post, Anne Catapano, VP Financial Lines Claims, Ascot Insurance Company, Christina Errico, VP, Professional Liability Claims Manager, Ascot Insurance Company, Elan Kandel, Member, Bailey Cavalieri LLC, James Talbert, Associate, Bailey Cavalieri LLC and Tyler Hopkins, Associate, Bailey Cavalieri LLC, review the past year’s key management and professional liability insurance coverage decisions. 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 site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ article.Continue Reading Guest Post: Year in Review: 2023 Key Management and Professional Liability Insurance Coverage Decisions
The SEC has been an active cop on the beat, as reflected in its recently released Enforcement Division statistics for the 2023 fiscal year, ended September 30, 2023. Both the total number of SEC enforcement actions and the number of “standalone” enforcement actions rose in FY 2023 compared to the prior year. The agency also filed the most enforcement actions against public companies since FY 2019. In addition, the SEC obtained the second highest annual amount of financial remedies in SEC history. Continue Reading SEC Stats Show the Agency is an Active Enforcement Cop
In the latest development a long-running D&O insurance coverage dispute, a Delaware Court has held that Verizon’s D&O insurance program covers the company’s $95 million settlement of a bankruptcy Trustee’s fraudulent transfer claim. In reaching this conclusion, the Court held, among other things, that the fraudulent transfer claim was a “Securities Claim” within the meaning of Verizon’s primary D&O insurance policy. The specifics of the court’s analysis of this issue underscores how complicated the question of what constitutes a “Securities Claim” can be. A copy of Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis’s October 20, 2022 opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Delaware Court Holds D&O Insurance Covers Fraudulent Transfer Claim Settlement
Yet another Delaware court has issued a noteworthy management liability insurance coverage opinion. In a detailed September 12, 2022 opinion in a dispute between Godiva Chocolatier and its management liability insurers over coverage for underlying consumer protection claims against the company, Delaware Superior Court Judge Mary M. Johnston rejected many – but not all — of the insurers’ coverage defenses. A copy of Judge Johnston’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Del. Court Narrows Godiva’s Insurers’ Defenses in Dispute Over Coverage for Consumer Protection Claims
In the following guest, Yaminah Williams, Assistant Vice President, Hiscox USA, Alicia Garcia, Claims Counsel, Hiscox USA, Katherine Hausmann, Senior Complex Claims Specialist, Hiscox USA, Elan Kandel, Member, Bailey Cavalieri LLC and James Talbert, Associate, Bailey Cavalieri LLC, review the key 2001 D&O insurance coverage decisions. 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: The Year in Review: 2021 Key D&O Insurance Coverage Decisions
In the latest development in the long-running saga involving the efforts by J.P. Morgan to obtain D&O insurance coverage for the $140 million “disgorgement” that its predecessor-in-interest, Bear Stearns, paid to settle SEC market-timing allegations, the New York Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) has reversed the intermediate appellate court’s ruling that the payment represented a “penalty” for which coverage is precluded. The Court of Appeals rejected the intermediate appellate court’s conclusion, made in reliance on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 Kokesh decision, that a “disgorgement” payment to the SEC is a “penalty.” The Court of Appeals held that Kokesh did not control, and that because the payment was compensatory in nature, it did not represent a “penalty” for which coverage is precluded under the policies. The Court’s November 24, 2021 opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading New York’s Highest Court Holds SEC “Disgorgement” Payment Not a “Penalty”
In recent years, the SEC has established itself as an active cryptocurrency enforcement agency, according to a new report from Cornerstone Research. The report, entitled “SEC Cryptocurrency Enforcement: Q3 2013 – Q4 2020,” details that between July 2013 and year end 2020, the agency initiated a total of 75 enforcement actions and 19 trading suspension orders against respondents involved with digital assets. The report also shows that the agency’s cryptocurrency activity has steadily increased throughout the 2013-2020 period. A copy of the report can be found here. Cornerstone Research’s May 11, 2021 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading SEC Establishes its Cryptocurrency Enforcement Credentials
Commercial enterprises sometimes are organized in complex structures consisting of multiple, legally separate legal entities. The legal separation between the various entities can be significant in a variety of ways. One particular context within which these separate legal identities can be very important is in the D&O insurance context, as the insurance may be structured to apply to specified entities (and therefore not to others).
In the D&O insurance context, the availability of coverage for individual directors or officers may depend on the entity within the structure on whose behalf the individuals were acting – that is, the coverage question will depend on the “capacity” in which the individuals were acting. A recent decision by the New York (New York County) Supreme Court Commercial Division highlights the importance of these capacity issues and underscores that the capacity in which an individual was acting can be coverage determinative. The court’s February 2, 2021 opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading D&O Insurance Coverage Barred for Execs Not Acting in an Insured Capacity
In the following guest post, David H. Topol of the Wiley law firm reviews the important legal and regulatory developments affecting private investment funds during 2020. I would like to thank David 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 David’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Private Investment Funds: Major Developments from 2020
In the following guest post, Christopher Bannon of the Aronberg Goldgehn law firm takes a look at a recent ruling in which the court addressed the question of whether a lawsuit seeking the return of an administrative fee is a suit for “damages” within the meaning of the applicable insurance policy. A version of this article previously was published as an Aronberg Goldgehn client alert. I would like to thank Chris 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 site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Chris’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Restitution of Administrative Fee Does Not Represent Covered Damages