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One key resource available to try and answer these questions has now been updated. The fourth edition of “Directors’ Liability and Indemnification: A Global Guide” has now been released. This volume, edited by my good friend Edward Smerdon of Coverage Matters LLC, provides a useful and helpful country-specific overview of these issues.
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As the world begins to recover from the global pandemic, companies and individuals are faced with increasing risks and uncertainty. There are stock market fluctuations, heightened international tensions, and the full effects of Brexit which are yet to be felt, as well as India and China emerging as economic superpowers challenging for the first time the supremacy of the United States and EU. Coupled with this is the now daily occurrence of cyber attacks, enhanced scrutiny of cultural perspectives within the business world following the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, and ever-present threat of climate change, this issue now front and centre in boardrooms.
Amid all this directors are subject to more legal scrutiny than ever. In the six years since the last edition was published, companies’ laws and financial regulations have been updated, and there is more diligent and better resourced enforcement of bribery and corruption laws. Shareholders around the world enjoy more extensive rights to hold directors to account than ever before, and directors are less likely to be forgiven for ignoring their responsibilities. They are looking ever more closely at the protection available to them, through both indemnification and directors' and officers' (D&O) insurance, the latter having recently been through the “hardest” market for decades, with reductions in the amount of cover available and significantly increased premiums, partly as a result of the increase in volume and severity of directors’ claims.
Nonetheless, the exposures that directors face and the extent to which indemnification and insurance may provide protection around the world are still very nuanced; there can be no “one size fits all” approach. The fourth edition of this title features fully updated contributions from leading legal experts around the world on what directors need to be concerned about in 2022 and beyond, together with the protections available. Each chapter follows a set structure (updated for this edition) which includes commentary on the risks of civil, criminal and regulatory claims against directors, and addresses the availability of indemnification and D&O insurance. New features of this edition include greater scrutiny of criminal vs regulatory liability, forecasting of particular trends, and the insurability of fines and penalties in the jurisdictions covered. The fourth edition also includes new chapters on Jersey and Guernsey (Offshore) and Sweden (Nordics).
This title will be an essential reference guide for directors, officers, in-house counsel and private practice lawyers advising them. It will provide a starting point for their assessment of today’s legal exposures and assist with the management of their business risks.