The D&O Diary is on assignment in Europe this week, with the first stop in Frankfurt, the German financial capital. The spring weather in Frankfurt was mild and pleasant while I was there, though I was in Frankfurt all too briefly.

The purpose of my visit to Frankfurt was to participate in the DRRT

On March 13, 2024, the European Parliament approved the adoption of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act, legislation that the Wall Street Journal, in a front-page article, called the “World’s First Comprehensive AI Law.” The sweeping law, the effectiveness of which will be staged-in over the next several years, will affect all companies deploying or using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the EU. As discussed below, the passage of the Act, which has been several years in the making, could have significant implications for the adopting and deployment of AI worldwide, and could also have significant liability risk implications as well. A copy of the EU’s March 13, 2024, press release about the Act’s adoption can be found here. The Act’s text as adopted can be found here.Continue Reading EU Adopts Sweeping AI Law: What Does it Mean?

In recent posts on this site (for example, here), I have discussed the developing ESG-related litigation phenomenon in which claimants file suits not against ESG laggards bur rather against companies that have taken the initiative on ESG-related matters. However, the existence of this trend, while noteworthy, does not negate the possibilities for litigation involving the ESG laggards, as well. There are in fact noteworthy instances of this latter type of litigation, much of it in Europe, as is well-detailed in a December 2022 white paper from the Jones Day law firm entitled “ESG – Climate Change and Related Litigation Takes Center State in Europe” (here). The white paper not only catalogs recent European ESG-related litigation but also identifies regulatory developments and other trends that could contribute to further litigation in the future.
Continue Reading Lessons from Climate Change-Related Litigation in Europe

europeOne of the vestiges of the global financial crisis is that company directors and officers now face more scrutiny than ever. This scrutiny, in turn, has led to a greater liability exposure for corporate officials, as well.  This increased scrutiny and amplified liability exposure applies not only in the U.S., but in other countries, including, in particular, in Europe, according to a recent report. The report, issued earlier this week by the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations (ecoDa) in conjunction with AIG and entitled “Guide to Directors’ Duties and Liabilities” (here) examines the risks facing directors of European countries and highlights the specific risks in a number of countries. As the report details, the nature of directors’ duties and liabilities and the manner in which they are enforced can be affected by the differences in legal environments and board structures across Europe. The report also discusses the role of D&O insurance in helping to address these risks. The October 5, 2015 press release from ecoDa about the report’s publication can be found here.  
Continue Reading A Guide to Directors’ Duties and Liabilities in Europe