Well, not quite but I recently spotted the latest edition of the 2012 Towers Watson Directors and Officers Liability Survey which is, of course, a heavily US-centric report. Larry Rachioppo, Vice President of Towers Watson and author of the report summarises by saying:
“Directors and Officers and their respective organisations continue to be susceptible to a much wider range of claimants than in years past. Increasing claim activity, including D&O and employment litigation, coupled with inadequate pricing and retentions in the private and non-profit space, are all driving insurers’ need for pricing increases.”
This report is published just when we are about to publish our own UK-based Directors and Officers Liability survey conducted, as we did last year, in association with leading law firm Allen and Overy.
Without wishing to give the game away on our, as yet, unpublished survey, there are likely to be some interesting parallels especially with respect to the incidence of reported claims and the extent to which regulatory issues continue to be a major source of D&O liability concerns. Indeed, if one considers liability and regulatory exposures on a global basis, and after all we are increasingly operating in a global economy, some interesting overall comparisons can be made.
As my recent blog on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act demonstrates, it is not safe to assume that just because you are sitting on the board of a foreign company you have no exposure to the US. Also, the fact that as from April 2013 we are about to introduce in the UK damage-based agreements (contingency fees by another name) is likely to add further fuel to any smouldering fires. But that’s the subject for another day…