A Guide to Directors' and Officers' Liability and Insurance

The inaugural edition of A Guide to Directors' and Officers' Liability and Insurance examines the liability exposure faced by company directors and officers in Australia, and the extent to which that liability - and the associated costs of defending claims brought against directors and officers - can be indemnified.

It is generally accepted that Directors’ and Officers’ (D&O) insurance cover needs to be arranged by companies for the protection of their directors and officers, without which it would be much more difficult to secure their appointment. This is because claims against directors and officers often involve substantial damages or financial penalties and significant defence costs, and are amongst the most high profile and contentious aspects of third party liability insurance.
 
It can be argued D&O insurance is vital to an entrepreneurial society because without it, personal exposure would operate as a disincentive for the riskiest of business decisions on which innovation and success are often based. The contrary argument is that D&O insurance encourages too many risks to be taken, or encourages litigation against directors due to plaintiffs’ expectations any damages will be indemnified.
 
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Mark Brookes, Partner | mbrookes@carternewell.com
June 2014