Blogger Archives: Francis Kean

Francis Kean

Francis is an Executive Director in Willis Towers Watson's FINEX Global, where he specializes in insurance for Directors & Officers (D&O) of companies. He joined Willis in 2010 and has 25 years of experience as a leading litigation lawyer specializing in professional indemnity, financial institutions and directors and officers liability in the London insurance market.

Global Disputes: Payday for the Lawyers but Less Good for the Board


With the economies of the world becoming ever-more intertwined, it should perhaps be no surprise that there has been a corresponding growth in global disputes.  Sometimes, this trend can be difficult to detect since the majority of such disputes are … Continue reading →

Can Ignorance be a Defence for Directors?

This headline in the Los Angeles Times of 28th August 2013 caught my attention: Toyota executive testifies in acceleration case: “I am not very technical”. The article is about the testimony of Toyota’s US CEO, James Lentz in a suit brought … Continue reading →

Fostering Transparency & Trust?

UK business, department for business innovation and skills, UK share register

In July 2013 the UK government published a discussion paper entitled Transparency & Trust: enhancing the transparency of UK company ownership and increasing trust in UK business. The paper contains some far-reaching proposals which, if implemented, would have some profound … Continue reading →

Whistleblowing in the UK

whistleblowing, Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998,

Whistleblowing is one of those subjects that the US seems to be better at, or dare I say to make more noise about, than the UK. As my colleague Ann Longmore recently wrote, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has … Continue reading →

You And Whose Army?

D&O, directors and officers insurance, Ukraine, insurance, risk,

Ukrainian insurance companies, in common with other insurers in the new fledgling States of what used to be the USSR like Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, are turning their minds to the potential market for D&O insurance. A most basic and yet … Continue reading →

Are They Out to Get You? Some Sobering Statistics on Extradition


Statistics suggest that extradition to the US is much less likely to occur than extradition to Europe under the system of European Arrest Warrants. It also seems to be the case that the UK does indeed seem to attract a … Continue reading →

An Obligation on Accountants to Advise Their Clients to Avoid Tax?

tax, Starbucks, Google, UK tax, HMRC, tax avoidance,

The recently published judgment of High Court Judge Mr Justice Silber in Mehjoo v Harben Barker considers whether accountants are obliged to advise their clients to avoid tax and if so, so how does it sit with all the criticisms … Continue reading →

The Insurance Policy That’s Afraid to Speak its Name – Do Companies Need a D&O Guru on the Board?

D&O insurance, financial and executive risk, D&O policy, directors and officers insurance

Given the headlines surrounding financial scandals, eye-watering fines levied by regulators, the threat of extradition or being roasted by a House of Commons Select Committee, now is a good time to engage with the key stakeholders of D&O insurance: the senior … Continue reading →

The Last Word on Piercing the Corporate Veil

piercing the corporate veil, D&O insurance, directors and officers, English law, Yasmin Prest, Prest v Petrodel Resources Limited and others

On 12 June 2013, The Supreme Court handed down a judgment in a matrimonial case, Prest v Petrodel Resources Limited and others, which clarifies English law on the extent to which, and circumstances in which, a Court may be prepared … Continue reading →

Spotlight on Cyber – Boards Lack Understanding of Vast Cyber Risk

World Cyber Risk

So far as directors’ and officers’ liability is concerned, there is a whole universe of potential cyber risk not understood at board level. Continue reading →