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.

The importance of D&O insurers’ commitment to advance defense costs

close up of gavel on judge's desk

The problem One of the most important provisions in any D&O policy is the commitment by insurers to advance defense costs pending the resolution of the claim. That’s because many large and complex claims, including U.S. securities claims, take many … Continue reading →

A new U.K. Corporate Governance Code will require directors to look beyond shareholders’ interests

business man sitting at his desk working on a tablet

The long-awaited consultation by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) on revisions to the U.K. Corporate Governance Code was published in December 2017. The Code has been revised many times since it was first introduced in 1992, but these changes are … Continue reading →

Should insurers settle a directors’ obligation to repay defense costs after criminal conviction?

gavel and open book

With the threat and reality of high profile white-collar criminal proceedings being brought against directors of very large companies in the U.K., it’s worth highlighting one extension of cover under directors and officers (D&O) liability policies that may not receive … Continue reading →

Greater criminal liability ahead for U.K. company directors involved in data breaches

hands typing on a laptop in the dark

The Data Protection Bill is currently making its way through the legislative process. This Bill will replace the current Data Protection Act and will provide a comprehensive framework for data protection in the U.K. The resulting legislation will supplement the … Continue reading →

Seeking cover in the new senior managers’ regime

Despite all the talk about personal accountability at board-level by politicians and regulators, there have been very few instances of prosecutions or enforcement against the senior managers of banks and other financial institutions. So, is there really any reason for … Continue reading →

Survey results show uptick in liability concerns for U.K. Directors

The results of our fifth annual survey of directors’ liabilities, which we run together with international law firm Allen & Overy, are now available. We’ve looked not only at the risks and exposures facing business leaders, but also at how … Continue reading →

Tackling tax evasion: It’s not the “what” but the “who” that’s worrying directors

The Criminal Finances Act received Royal Assent on April 27 and is expected to come into force sometime in 2018. It’s already a crime to evade tax and assist taxpayer intent on evasion. So what’s the big deal and why … Continue reading →

A House of Commons Select Committee spells trouble for company directors, and joy for the plaintiffs’ bar

A little while ago, I blogged about the Financial Reporting Council’s (“FRC”) proposal that it be given the power to impose sanctions on all listed company directors who preside over serious accounting irregularities. Now it seems these proposals not only … Continue reading →

Directors’ liability – Entering uncharted territory

Directors and Officers liability insurance is often the final safety net for senior executives who find themselves directly involved in an underlying loss event or caught up in consequent shareholder litigation. An unprecedented focus by legislators and regulators on personal … Continue reading →

Financial Conduct Authority: Imbalanced accountability

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fines total more than £3 billion in the five years up to April 2016 – with only a minuscule proportion levied on individuals. But the accountability imbalance is set to change. Mark Steward, Director of Enforcement … Continue reading →