News >> Directors and Officers Liability

Litigation puts small businesses at risk

Small businesses are becoming more vulnerable in today’s litigious environment and are facing a range of legal threats, warns insurance company Vero.

Companies and their directors can be subject to lawsuits from regulatory authorities, shareholders, liquidators and even their own employees. Unfair dismissal cases, the most frequent type of employment dispute, often involve legal costs in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Sums of this size can be crippling to the small to medium enterprises (SMEs) involved. 

Proposed Directors' Liability Reforms Released for Public Consultation

Proposed amendments to directors' liability laws released 27 January 2012 will form the first part of the Commonwealth's implementation of the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) Directors' Liability reform project, said Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury.

Mr Bradbury today released an exposure draft of the Personal Liability for Corporate Fault Reform Bill 2012 for public comment.

A decision in the NZ High Court prompts a need to review of Directors' & Officers' Insurance Coverages

It is in the interests of all companies and directors to check on their current Directors and Officers policies to see if they have the right cover to respond in coverage to all claims arising against them. This is because a recent ruling in New Zealand has cast doubt on the extent to which directors can rely on their Directors' and Officers' (D&O) liability insurance cover to help fund defence costs. The decision is relevant to all directors of companies who have a single policy covering both defence costs and claims for damages.

The clause in question is in regards to any civil claim that happens to exceed the policy limit, then directors cannot rely on the policy to pay defence costs if the civil claim has not yet been filed, or if the chances of success are not certain. This is because the charge gives the civil claim priority over the director's entitlement to claim defence costs against the policy. 

Directors & Officers Liability and its effects globally

In Directors & Officers Liability Insurance, a lot is happening globally, but how is Australia going?

Read this article from Zurich for more of an insight.

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Australia underpricing D&O liability, says Zurich

Claims exceed premiums from directors’ and officers’ (D&O) liability policies in Australia, but the market will remain soft due to the amount of competition, says Zurich’s Global Chief Underwriting Officer for D&O Liability and Financial Institutions, Paul Schiavone.

He says rates keep falling here despite claims exceeding total premium income of around $200 million. 

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Centro case is another reminder of Directors Duties.

The Federal Court judgement against eight former and current Centro directors on Monday ruled that the directors had failed to exercise due care and diligence by signing off the financial reports for Centro Properties, Centro Property Trust and Centro Retail Trust for the year ended 30 June 2007. These incorrectly classified more than $2 billion in debt as non-current and did not disclose a $2.8 billion debt guarantee used to buy a US shopping centre portfolio. 

James Hardie Directors win an appeal

Seven former directors of James Hardie are now able to return to sit on Australian company boards, after they were successful appealing against their bans from company directorships and fines given to former chairman Meredith Hellicar, Michael Brown, Michael Gillfillan, Martin Koffel, Dan O'Brien, Greg Terry and Peter Willcox have been overturned.

Allco - another corporate collapse based on ambitious company executives.

Allco was put into administration in November 2008. The receivers are representing a consortium of 12 lenders, including Westpac which has a $200 million exposure. The Commonwealth Bank has a $170 million exposure.The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has also been investigating Allco's collapse.

Latest News

Finalists again in 2020

CPR Insurance Services was very pleased to be nominated again for this year's Insurance Business Magazine awards. Unfortunately the Awards night has been postponed until later due to COVID19, we very much appreciate the accolades this brings us. We have been nominated three years in a row now and won the the award the past two years. It was always going to be very hard to win three in a row.

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CPR Insurance Services Awarded Authorised Representative Insurance Business of the Year for 2019

Mandy and Robert Cooper were proud to receive the inaugural Authorised Representative Business of the Year from ANZIIF in the Australian Insurance Industry Awards for 2019.

We share this award with all our staff, Lauren, Guy and Sarah and thank them for their dedication in providing the best possible customer service. We also thank our clients who have made our business what it is today. We thank you all so much.

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