Directors & Officers
In today’s increasingly litigious society, being a company director carries risk, given the set of duties and responsibilities that come with the role. If it is believed the director has breached these or has failed to safeguard the interests of a variety of stakeholders, they can find themselves in court facing legal action.
A claim doesn’t even have to reach court for a director to find him or herself out of pocket. Where a regulator or a body such as the Health & Safety Executive or HM Revenue & Customs suspects a failing within a company, it can launch an investigation. This can be costly and time consuming.
A Directors and Officers policy affords protection against personal liability incurred as a result of any covered wrongful act committed in this capacity.
A Director’s personal assets are at risk if they breach their duties as a Director or if they are in breach of an Act of Parliament, including:
The Companies Act 2006 The Employment act 2008
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
The Equality Act 2010
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (Whistleblowing)
The Bribery Act 2010
The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008
Or if they face an investigation from regulators, including:
The Financial Conduct Authority
The Health & Safety Executive
HM Revenue & Customs
The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (Formerly the DTI).
A Director’s personal Liability is unlimited.
Examples of the Directors and Officers claims include;
– Claims from shareholders (e.g. drop in share price or mismanagement)
– In the event of insolvency if allegations of wrongful trading claims from creditors (e.g. if the Director or Officer knew or ought to have known that there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid going into insolvent liquidation)
– Prosecution by regulatory agencies (HSE, HMRC, Dept of Trade and Industry – wrongful trading).
Pension Trustees Liabiltiy
Effectively Directors & Officers cover for the trustees of a company’s pension scheme. The policy provides cover for damages, costs and expenses incurred responding to claims made against pension plan trustees, the company and any sponsored pension plan.