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BEIS publishes audit reforms and corporate governance proposals – considerations for D&Os and their insurers
Following our article earlier this month (Directors & officers and their insurers await detail of UK audit reforms), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has recently published its white paper “Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance” which sets out proposals aimed at strengthening and improving the UK’s framework for audit, corporate reporting and corporate governance systems. The proposals are open for consultation until 8 July 2021.
In recent years, we have seen several examples of plaintiffs in a lawsuit before the Danish courts receiving financial support from a third party.
In this briefing, we consider the latest significant court decisions impacting claims arising from professional liability and financial lines policies and products. Issues covered include: the treatment of reliance and affirmation in strike out applications, limitation and the true date of loss, fundamental defects that render the appointment of administrators void, clarifying further the “Quincecare” duty, when a professional’s duty extends to the provision of both advice and information, when a court should exercise its discretion in requiring a claimant to provide security for costs, defining an abuse of process in strike out applications and determining the burden to discharge when securing an order for public examination of a company director.
A summary of recent global regulatory developments, including what to expect from the forthcoming white paper for the reform of UK corporate governance and audit oversight, the Climate Biennial Exploratory Scenario (CBES) stress test to be launched in June 2021 and the Danish corporate governance recommendations introduced on 1 January 2021.
On March 3, 2021, the Delaware Supreme Court issued an important opinion in RSUI Indem. Co. v. Murdock, 2021 WL 803867 (Del. Mar. 3, 2021), a Directors and Officers’ (D&O) liability insurance coverage dispute.
The government is set to publish a white paper with proposals for the reform of UK corporate governance and audit oversight. Accountancy firms are already splitting out their audit and consultancy arms and a new regulator, the Audit Reporting and Governance Authority, will replace the Financial Reporting Council.
The first shareholder class action ever to be brought in England and Wales has been defended successfully by Lloyds Bank and five of its former directors.
A recent decision by a New York trial court highlights the impact corporate structure has on the scope and availability of directors and officers (D&O) insurance. The Commercial Division of New York’s Supreme Court applied an insured capacity exclusion to preclude D&O coverage for American Realty Capital Properties and related entities (AR Capital) and their directors and officers. The opinion, issued on February 2, 2021, highlights the importance of confirming that alleged wrongful conduct was undertaken in an insured capacity for D&O coverage.
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provides the basis for further legal certainty to be agreed following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. It was, as we all saw, a fairly tortuous journey and securing a deal seemed impossible at times because both sides had very different aims in mind.