As part of a continuing series, I have been participating in sessions that the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) has organized addressing the potential D&O liability and insurance issues arising out of the COVID-19 outbreak. I have been joined in these recorded sessions by my good friends Carl Metzger of the Goodwin Procter law firm

One of the features of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is intended to make governmental funds available in the form forgivable loans so that small businesses can keep employees on their payroll. The CARES Act was passed in a rush and the PPP funds were dispersed in a hurry, so it is hardly a surprise that some problems might emerge. The U.S. Department of Justice has already said that as a result of a preliminary inquiry, the agency has already found possible fraud among the businesses seeking PPP funds. As discussed below, the possibility of further PPP investigative, regulatory, and enforcement actions raises a number of questions.
Continue Reading Next Up: PPP Investigations, Enforcement Actions, and Criminal Proceedings?

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

Francis Kean

As the coronavirus outbreak has unfolded , one of the steps that insurers have been taking in response is to try to add coronavirus or pandemic exclusions to policyholders’ go-forward policies, in some instances included with respect to D&O insurance. In the following guest post, Francis Kean takes a look at an example of this type of exclusion. Francis is a Partner, Financial Lines, at McGill and Partners. A version of this article previously was published as part of 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: The Dangers of COVID-19 Exclusions in D&O Policies

For many years, U.S.-listed companies based outside the U.S. have enjoyed a relatively advantageous pricing environment for their D&O insurance. Because many D&O insurance underwriters based outside the U.S. used a different pricing model than their U.S. counterparts, pricing for these foreign filers was in many instances lower than the pricing available to equivalent U.S.-based companies. In recent months, however, as a result of surging claims frequency and loss costs, foreign filers’ D&O insurance costs have jumped significantly. These developments and the claims-related factors causing the changes are detailed in an interesting March 20, 2019 article by Jane Njavro of Woodruff Sawyer entitled “Why D&O Costs Are Soaring for Foreign Filers” (here). The article includes detailed statistical analysis of the relevant U.S. securities class action litigation trends.
Continue Reading The Deteriorating D&O Insurance Environment for Foreign U.S.-Listed Companies

Stanford Law School

On Tuesday, March 5, 2019, it was my distinct honor and pleasure to be one of the invited speakers at Professor Joseph Grundfest’s corporate and securities litigation class at Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, California. Along with Priya Cherian Huskins of the Woodruff Sawyer firm, I was invited to address the students on the topic of the role of D&O insurance in securities and derivative litigation.
Continue Reading Corporate and Securities Litigation at Stanford Law School

As I noted at the time (here), on December 19, 2018, Delaware Vice Chancellor Later held that under Delaware law, a corporate charter provision specifying that liability actions under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1934 must be brought in federal court are invalid and ineffective. A copy of Laster’s opinion in Sciabacucchi v. Salzburg (referred to below as the Blue Apron decision) can be found here. In the following guest post, Paul Ferrillo, Robert Horowitz, and Steven Margolin of the Greenberg Traurig law firm take a look at the Blue Apron decision and examine whether or not Congress will act to eliminate concurrent state court jurisdiction for state court claims. The authors also examine the steps companies should take now in light of the possibility of facing litigation in both state and federal court. I would like to thank the authors for their willingness to allow me to publish their article as a guest post. 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 an article. Here is the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Section 11 Claims May Remain in State Court; How Will Companies and D&O Carriers Respond?

The Gateway of India

The D&O Diary’s Asia Pacific itinerary continued this week with a stop in India’s largest city and financial capital, Mumbai. My primary reason for traveling to Mumbai was to participate in a professional liability insurance program co-sponsored by PLUS and the local Indian professional liability insurance organization, Bima Gyaan. Despite the travel distances involved and the time required, my visit to India was relatively brief. My opportunities to explore Mumbai were limited. I had just enough touring time to be reminded what an amazing place Mumbai is.
Continue Reading A Visit to Mumbai