Category Archives: Directors & Officers

1 in 5 companies “Experienced an Investigation Involving Company Director”

Top-Risks-to-Businesses-&-Directors, Year Over Year

The annual Willis/Allen&Overy D&O Survey,“Blurring the Lines,”  is out today. This is our third annual survey and, with over 180 responses, our largest and most authoritative to date. We surveyed executive and non-executive directors, in-house lawyers, risk officers and compliance … Continue reading →

Is the Company’s Cloak of Legal Professional Privilege Always Strong Enough to Protect a Director?


I have blogged before on the vexed but vital question of the extent of legal professional privilege available to directors of companies who later become the focus of investigations and proceedings. As the Morgan Crucible case involving Mr Ian Norris, … Continue reading →

Another Example of the English Courts Flexing Their Muscles

British muscles

I blogged a while back on the long arm jurisdiction of the English courts. In that case, the English courts exercised jurisdiction over a foreign resident director of a foreign company which had submitted to the jurisdiction of the English … Continue reading →

The Most Profound Shift in UK Commercial Insurance Law Ever

sharp turn

It has been eight long years since The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission were asked to review UK insurance contract law. Much has been written and said on the subject of insurance contract law reform since then (including … Continue reading →

Who Pays When There Are Conflicts of Interest Between a Company and its Directors?

divergent paths

Reading between the lines it is not hard to see how a company's “extraordinary cooperation” might have led directly to the indictment of its directors. Continue reading →

Staggering Sovereign Debt Numbers!

money stack

Occasionally I see numbers in the press which are so mind-bogglingly large that I can’t help thinking they contain squadrons of chickens or maybe black swans waiting to swoop down on unsuspecting businesses. Continue reading →

Speaking of Exclusions, What About Professional Services?


In recent blogs I have addressed the vexed question of pollution exclusions in D&O policies.  What about another exclusion that occasionally gets wheeled out to potentially devastating effect? I have in mind the professional services or “PI” exclusions which tend … Continue reading →

Greenpeace Targets Directors, Officers, and Their Insurers

Greenpeace Campaign

On 28th May 2014 Greenpeace launched an interesting campaign from The Netherlands aimed at the senior executives of some of the largest fossil fuel and utility companies around the world and their D&O insurers. (It may be no coincidence that … Continue reading →

The Perils of a Public Listing for Professional Services Firms, or Just Bad Luck?

stocks plummet

Now a world of pain seems to be opening up for the UK’s only listed quantity surveyor Sweett Group. On 14th July it made a London Stock Exchange announcement confirming details of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) … Continue reading →

Corporate Manslaughter Has Not Gone Away

pall bearer

A £40,000 fine might not sound much to one of the largest container shipping companies in the world, operating in 58 companies. But in this case it is perhaps the very size of the company concerned and the nature of … Continue reading →