Tag Archives: Indemnification

Guest Post: Do You Know Who Your Corporate Officers Are? An Overlooked Issue That Can Have Serious Consequences

Directors and Officers liability insurance policies of course protect corporate directors and officers. Similarly, advancement and indemnification typically are available to corporate directors and officers. But who is an “officer”? As I have discussed in prior posts on this site (more recently here), this is an important question that can have significant implications. In the … Continue Reading

D&O Insurer Must Continue Defense Expense Reimbursement Post-Merger

An acquired bank’s D&O insurer’s defense cost obligation to the bank’s directors and officers in connection with merger-related litigation continued after the merger transaction closed and was owed to the acquiring bank, a federal district court judge has held, rejecting the policy-based arguments on which the insurer relied to contend that its payment obligations ceased … Continue Reading

Book Review: An Updated Global Guide to Directors’ Liability and Indemnification

In an increasingly global economy, questions arising from cross-border activities are an increasingly common part of day-to-day business activities. Among other things, these circumstances mean that companies frequently must contend with the legal requirements in multiple jurisdictions and deal with the associated legal exposures as well. The potential liability issues in turn raise sometimes difficult … Continue Reading

A Particular Vice: Job Titles, Indemnification, and Insurance

Individuals serving as corporate officers take on significant potential liability exposures in the course of their performance of their duties. As a result, most companies indemnify their officers for liabilities incurred while acting as corporate officers. A recurring issue is the question of who is entitled to indemnification. In particular, a particular issue that courts … Continue Reading

Corporate Indemnification and the Yates Memo

Although it is not something that is often considered, D&O insurance is in many ways a financial tool allowing companies to manage their indemnification obligations to their directors and officers. The D&O policy’s reimbursement coverage recompenses the company when it honors its indemnification obligations to its corporate officials, and the policy’s individual coverage (usual referred … Continue Reading

The “Myth” of Outside Director Liability and the Critical Importance of D&O Insurance

In the world of corporate governance, there are a number of common presumptions about board structure and practices. However, according to a recent paper, many of these presumptions may in fact represent corporate governance “myths.” In their September 30, 2015 paper entitled “Seven Myths of Boards of Directors” (here) Stanford Business School Professor David Larcker … Continue Reading

Who is an “Officer”? A Critical Inquiry for Indemnification and Insurance

Many companies provide advancement, indemnification and insurance benefits and protection for their officers and directors. However, it is not always clear who is an “officer” for purposes of claiming the benefits and protection. The long-running and high-profile saga of Sergey Aleynikov, the former Goldman Sachs computer programmer and company Vice President accused of stealing proprietary … Continue Reading

Goldman Sachs Must Advance Criminal Defense Fees of Former Employee Accused of Stealing Computer Code from the Company

In an October 22, 2013 opinion (here) that underscores the important distinction between indemnification and advancement and that highlights the sometimes surprising extent to which corporate officials are entitled to advancement of their attorneys’ fees when claims are filed against them, District of New Jersey Judge Kevin McNulty held that Goldman Sachs must advance the … Continue Reading

Protection for Public Company Directors and Officers: Indemnification and Insurance

In an environment where public company directors and officers face increasing scrutiny and expanding liability exposures, the indemnification and insurance protections available to them are increasingly important. A July 15, 2013 memorandum from the Gibson Dunn law firm entitled “Director and Officer Indemnification and Insurance – Issues for Public Companies to Consider” (here) takes a … Continue Reading

More Thoughts About Corporate Officials’ Defense Cost Advancement Rights

An important accessory to the indemnification rights of directors and officers is their right to have their defense expenses advanced while the claims against them are pending, before their ultimate right to indemnification has been determined.  A frequently recurring issue is the question of when the company may withhold advancement. This issue often arises when … Continue Reading

Thinking About the Limits of Corporate Officials’ Defense Cost Advancement Rights

In addition to indemnification, corporate directors and officers also may have the right under applicable law and corporate by-laws to have their costs of defense advanced before the ultimate right to indemnification has been determined. A question that often arises is whether a corporation may withhold advancement. A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court … Continue Reading

ABA Business Law Section’s Corporate Counsel Checklist for Executive Protection

In the August 2012 issue of Business Law Today, the ABA Business Law Section published an article entitled “Training for Tomorrow: Corporate Counsel Checklist for Supervising Creation/Renewal of D&O Protection Program” (here). The article describes the critical components of a comprehensive executive protection program. A detailed description of the article and an explanation of the … Continue Reading

Director Protection: Advancement and Indemnification

One of the most important sources of director protection is corporate  indemnification. But as significant as indemnification is for the protection of directors, the directors’ first line of defense, literally, is their right to advancement of their costs of defense. All too often, these two terms – advancement and indemnification – are used interchangeably, but … Continue Reading

Taking a Look at the Limits of Indemnification

Indemnification is the first and most important line of defense for the protection of directors and officers. But corporate officials are not always entitled to indemnification. For example, under Delaware law, they cannot claim mandatory indemnification if their defense is not successful. And they cannot seek permissive indemnification is they did not act in good … Continue Reading

Executive Protection: Indemnification and D&O Insurance – The Basics

My primary objective on this blog is to address important developments in with world of directors’ and officers’ liability as they occur. From time to time, however, readers contact me with more fundamental questions about executive liability and protection, particularly regarding the basics of indemnification and D&O insurance. In response to these recurring questions, I … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit: HealthSouth Settlement Appropriately Eliminated Scrushy’s Indemnification Rights

In a June 17, 2009 opinion (here), the Eleventh Circuit upheld the district court’s entry, in connection with the $445 million partial settlement of the HealthSouth securities action, of a bar order that extinguished Richard Scrushy’s contractual claims both for indemnification of any settlement he may enter in the case as well as for advancement … Continue Reading

Private Eq. Reps. on Portfolio Co. Board: Indemnity and Insurance

Private equity firms and the funds they organize frequently place individuals on their portfolio companies’ boards. However, all too frequently, it is not until a claim has arisen that the various entities consider how the potentially implicated indemnities and insurance will interact. Unanticipated interactions sometimes can produce unintended consequences, particularly from the perspective of the … Continue Reading

Former Directors, Advancement Rights, and D&O Insurance

It is generally understood that under Delaware law, directors enjoy broad rights of indemnification and advancement. The Delaware statutory regime does allow corporations a great deal of flexibility in how they adapt these provisions to their own circumstances. But while these principles are generally understood, it may nevertheless come as a surprise to many that … Continue Reading
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