Presentation on theme: "1 D&O LIABILITY INSURANCE: WHERE WE HAVE BEEN - WHERE WE ARE GOING David M. Gilfillan, Sr. V.P. – AIG Patrick M. Kelly - Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman."— Presentation transcript:
1 D&O LIABILITY INSURANCE: WHERE WE HAVE BEEN - WHERE WE ARE GOING David M. Gilfillan, Sr. V.P. – AIG Patrick M. Kelly - Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Paul Lefcourt, Senior V.P. – ECM Insurance Services, Inc. Management Liability Practice Liability Evan J. Rosenberg, Sr. V.P. Chubb & Son
2 OVERVIEW Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Evaluation of Public Company D&O Insurance Coverage and Exposure - An Historical Oversight Private D&O Issues Bankruptcy Issues
3 David M. Gilfillan - AIG EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC COMPANY D&O INSURANCE COVERAGE AND EXPOSURE 1994 and prior - D&O policies covered the Directors and Officers only; the corporation was not covered as a defendant. 1994 - Equity Coverage for Corporation - sold by endorsement. 1995 - Entity Coverage in D&O policies - Nordstrom and Safeway.
4 David M. Gilfillan - AIG 1995 - PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995 (“PSLRA”) Stayed discovery pending outcome of motion to dismiss. Allowed for sanctions for frivolous filings. Promoted process to have investors with largest financial stake in litigation become lead plaintiff instead of “race to court house” by law firms with stables of plaintiffs. Set high standard for “scienter” (intent to deceive).
5 David M. Gilfillan - AIG EFFECT OF PSLRA Rush to court house by plaintiffs in 1995; Slow filings in 1996; Average filing in 1997; and Record filings in 1998.
6 David M. Gilfillan - AIG D&O INSURANCE MARKET 1995 - 2001 Too much capital and competition in market led to: expanded terms, higher limits, and inadequate pricing.
7 David M. Gilfillan - AIG 2001 - WORLD TRADE CENTER LOSSES AND ACCOUNTING SCANDALS LEAD TO HARD MARKET AND GREATER REGULATION Large number of high profile accounting scandals (Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, Adelphia, IPO Laddering Litigation, etc.) and Increasing number of restatements by public companies (up every year between 1997 (116) through 2002 (270) Lead to loss of investor confidence in Corporate America and passage of Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
8 David M. Gilfillan - AIG SARBANES-OXLEY ACT OF 2002 Act mandates new and improved governance, infrastructure and controls to improve the accuracy and reliability of corporate financial reporting. Act focuses on public accounting oversight, auditor independence, corporate responsibility, and analysts’ conflicts of interest. SEC to improve its monitoring of financial reporting and stiffen its penalties.
9 David M. Gilfillan - AIG 2001 TO PRESENT, NET EFFECT - D&O COVERAGE HAS RESTRICTED Less Availability Narrower Coverage Higher Premium
10 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP FIVE YEAR COMPARISON: DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL, S&P, NASDAQ Copyright 2002 Yahoo! Inc.
13 TOP TEN LIST - MAXIMUM DOLLAR LOSS Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Maximum Dollar Loss Since January 1, 2000 Cisco Systems$ 330.52 B Intel Corp 231.47 B Bridgestone Corp. 163.63 B Lucent Technologies 114.75 B Oracle Corp. 98.40 B WorldCom Inc. 83.26 B Internet Infrastructure 78.53 B Nortel Networks Corp. 77.04 B Diamler Chrysler AG 63.35 B AT&T Corp. 61.44 B Source: Cornerstone Research
14 SHAREHOLDER LITIGATION DEMOGRAPHICS Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Highest percentage of cases are against computer, electronics and telecom companies -- 56% in 2001 (PwC) NASDAQ companies predominate -- 64% California and New York are the most popular venues Average market cap losses for companies sued in 2001: $6.3 billion
15 ACCOUNTING CASES AS A PERCENTAGE OF ALL CLASS ACTIONS Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Source: NERA Economic Consulting 1991 to 19951996 to 2002 Pre-PSLRAPost-PSLRA 60% 0% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 38% 51%
16 “ MEGA ” SETTLEMENTS Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Cendant (1999) 3.186 B Waste Mangt. I (1999) 220M 3Com Corp. (2000) 259M Waste Mangt. II (2001) 457M Bank of America (2002) 490M
17 AVERAGE SETTLEMENTS HAVE INCREASED SINCE PSLRA Filed Pre-Reform Filed Post-Reform Average Settlement$8.4 million$27.3 million Average Settlement (Excluding Cendant) $8.4 million$16.6 million Median$4.0 million$5.2 million Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Source: NERA Economic Consulting
18 LEGISLATIVE RESPONSE - SARBANES- OXLEY ACT OF 2002 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Increase SEC Enforcement New Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and accountant disciplinary scheme New liability for “improper influence” CEO/CFO certification requirements Code of ethics for senior corporate officers New D&O “bars”/disgorgement remedies New criminal penalties
19 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Why Is Sarbanes-Oxley Important To Private Companies? Indirect and long term effects Governance measures Requirements of business partners Increased liabilities Effect on going public Increased accounting standards
20 INCREASED SEC ENFORCEMENT Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP $776 Million for FY 2003 - At Least 200 Additional Staff – Worldcom Action One Day After It Restated Incentive Self-Policing / Self-Reporting “Real Time Enforcement” – “Segmenting” - Triage Approach - Identifying Wrongdoing - Seek Interim Relief – Civil Penalties Against Public Companies – Disgorgement Returned To Investors – Coordinating With U.S. Attorney In Criminal Matters Increased Scrutiny Of Attorney Conduct
21 NEW CRIMINAL EXPOSURES Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Securities fraud - 25 years Criminal conspiracy - 20 years Mail and wire fraud - 20 years Document alteration/destruction - 20 years Willful filing of false CEO/CFO certification - 20 years Willful/knowingly false statements in SEC filings - 20 years Audit workpaper destruction - 10 years
22 NEW LAWYER DUTIES? Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Sarbanes-Oxley authorizes SEC to bar attorneys from practice before the SEC SEC is directed to establish “minimum standards for professional conduct for attorneys” Must report material violations to senior management / audit committee. Attorney liability as “associated person” to accounting firm Attorney liability for “improper influence”
23 FUTURE EXPOSURES FOR OUTSIDE PROFESSIONALS Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Whistleblower claims under Sarbanes-Oxley Claims against disclosure counsel/deal counsel Claims against accountants for future restatements, deepening insolvency, and expanded third party claims Claims against research analysts and investment banks for “false” research reports, earnings forecasts, and recommendations Claims by SEC that accountants or lawyers “caused” violations – New requirements for accountants
24 SETTLEMENTS/PREMIUMS: 1996-2001 (courtesy AIG) Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Year 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 Number of Cases # of Cases (Stanford Law School) Settlements (NERA) Average Securities Class Action Settlement Value $16,000,000 $14,000,000 $12,000,000 $10,000,000 $8,000,000 $6,000,000 $4,000,000 $2,000,000 $0 D & O Premium Index Scale = 1 - 1.25
25 EPLI TYPICAL PRIVATE COMPANY CLAIMS Breach of Contract Wage & Hour Claims Claims by Investors Patent & Trademark Anti-trust ERISA (fiduciary coverage) Not For Profit Issues
26 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Claims by employees that their employer has retaliated against them for whistle blowing, complaints about hostile work environment, etc. - - specific EPLI sublimits. - - increased Self-Insured Retention for EPL claims. EPLI - RETALIATION D&O policies often are written with: California issues.
27 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Certain “regulatory” type wage and hour claims may be presented directly by the insured company’s employees: WAGE AND HOUR CLAIMS “off the clock” - typically class actions by employees for uncompensated work, i.e., Wal-Mart, Nordstroms, etc; Mis-classifying employees - incorrectly classifying employees as “management” to avoid paying overtime; “Deleting” overtime - managers “deleting” overtime actually clocked by employees to contain expenses. D&O policies often contain an exclusion for Fair Labor Standards Act claims that will be triggered by such claims. D&O policy will typically contain a Regulatory Exclusion barring coverage for claims by Federal and State agencies such as the FDIC.
28 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Typical policy language excludes Loss “based on or attributable to any actual or alleged contractual liability of the Company or any other Insured under any express contract or agreement...” BREACH OF CONTRACT CLAIMS Most often suits are between vendor and the insured company - expressly excluded; Suits by D&Os for stock options - usually outside the definition of Loss, which excludes employment benefits, stock options, etc.; Express contractual liability generally excluded - However, liability not arising out of express contract may be specifically excepted from the exclusion.
29 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP D&O policies cover only acts by officers and directors on behalf of the corporate entity. The D&O policy does not cover wrongful acts taken to protect their personal rights and interests. Olsen v. Federal Ins. Co. (1990) 219 Cal. App. 3d 252. CLAIMS AGAINST D&Os BY INVESTORS Loss within the meaning of an insurance contract does not include restoration of ill-gotten gain. Level 3 Communications, Inc. v. Federal Ins Co. (7th Cir. 2001) 272 F.3d 908 (applying Ill. Law)(amount paid by corporation to settle claim for rescission and restitution based on fraud not a covered “loss”)
30 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP IMPACT OF CORPORATE INSOLVENCY/BANKRUPTCY The duties of the D&Os run primarily to the creditors - not to the shareholders. When insolvency or liquidation is imminent, duties of D&Os are expanded to include fiduciary duties to creditors to protect the company’s assets from dissipation.
31 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP IMPACT ON CLAIMS AGAINST D&Os In Chapter 11 “reorganization”, the corporation becomes “Debtor-in-Possession” -- D&Os take on duties of a bankruptcy trustee with fiduciary duties to the creditors. In Chapter 7 “liquidation”, the bankruptcy trustee ousts existing management of the debtor. The trustee, on the estate’s behalf, may pursue claims against the D&O for breach of fiduciary duty, self- dealing, waste and gross mismanagement.
32 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP ACTIONS AGAINST D&Os Automatic stay does not apply to non-debtors, such as D&Os. Thus, insurer may pursue a coverage action against the D&Os -- as their rights under the D&O policy are not property of the estate. See: In re Pintlar Corp., 124 F.3d 1310 (9th Cir. 1997); In re Spaulding Composites Co., Inc., 207 B.R. 899 (9th Cir. 1997). The court can “extend” the stay to enjoin third-party actions against the D&Os. See: § 105(a); A.H. Robbins Co. Inc. V. Piccinin, 788 F.2d 994 (Dalcon Shield Litigation); In re Johns-Manville Corp., 26 B.R. 420 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1983) (Asbestos Litigation).
33 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP “Estate” includes virtually any legal or equitable interest the debtor may have in tangible or intangible property, including the debtor’s insurance policies. In re Minoco Group of Companies Litd., 799 F.2d 517 (9th Cir. 1986); A.H. Robbins v. Piccinin, 788 F.2d 994 (4th Cir. 1986); Matter of Vitek Inc., 51 F.3d 550 (5th Cir. 1995). PAYMENT OF THE D&Os’ LEGAL COSTS The automatic stay bars proceedings against assets of the estate.
34 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Split of authority: IS THE D&O POLICY AN ASSET OF THE BANKRUPTCY ESTATE? Proceeds of D&O policy not property of the estate. See: In re Louisiana World Exhibition, 832 F.2d 1391 (5th Cir. 1987) -- because the policy provided coverage only to the directors and officers and not to the debtor. See also: In re Daisy Systems, 132 B.R. 752 (N.D. Cal. 1991); David v. Gleason, 1990 WL 261364 (N.D. Cal. 1990).
35 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Other courts have limited Louisiana World to its facts -- i.e., where the debtor-corporation had no interest in the policy proceeds. See: A.H. Robbins v. Piccinin, 788 F.2d 994 (4th Cir.) cert. denied, 479 U.S. 876 (1986); In re Johns- Manville Corp, 26 B.R. 420 (S.D.N.Y. 1985); In re Sacred Heart Hosp. Of Norristown, 182 B.R. 413 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1995); Matter of Vitek, Inc., 51 F.3d 530, 534 n.17 (5th Cir. 1995)(limiting its holding in Louisiana World to its facts). Proceeds are property of the estate.
36 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP SEEK RELIEF FROM STAY Acts taken in violation of the automatic stay are void ab initio and may result in a claim for actual damages by an injured party. The Insurer should seek relief from the stay before paying fees, thereby avoiding a finding that it acted as volunteer - and avoid “double payment” of Loss. Bankruptcy Code § 362(d)(1) provides that upon motion, the court may grant relief from the automatic stay “for cause.” See: In re Sonnax Industries, Inc., 907 F.2d 1280 (2d Cir. 1990).
37 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP APPLICATION OF INSURED v. INSURED EXCLUSION TO CLAIMS BY THE TRUSTEE Is an action by the Trustee against the D&Os for pre-petition claims of the estate excluded from coverage because the Trustee stands in the shoes of the corporate entity?
38 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP Majority position: the Insured v. Insured exclusion will not bar coverage for suits by the Trustee against the D&Os. The Bankruptcy Estate is a separate entity from the debtor/DIP - with its own rights and duties - therefore not as “Insured.” Rationale: Minority position: I v. I exclusion bars coverage. Rationale: Trustee brings action on behalf of the Corporation/Debtor.
39 Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP IMPACT OF BANKRUPTCY AUTOMATIC STAY ON COVERAGE ACTIONS Bankruptcy Code § 362(a)(1) provides that the automatic stay precludes “the commencement or continuation … of a judicial, administrative or other action against the debtor …” The automatic stay does not apply to actions or proceedings brought by the debtor. Debtor may sue the D&O insurer for a declaration of coverage. Where the D&O insurer is the defendant -- it may assert its coverage defenses without violating the automatic stay. In re Financial News Network, 158 B.R. 570 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) The automatic stay will prevent the D&O insurer from either commencing a coverage action or continuing with a pending coverage action against the debtor-corporation. See: In re Minoco Group of Companies Ltd., 799 F.2d 517 (9th Cir. 1986).
46 Managing Clients’ Expectations in a Hard Market Meet with client early and often Set realistic Premium/Retention Increases Explain coverage changes Preserve Coverage on Renewal Discuss challenges of “Moving” Coverage (i.e. Continuity Issues) Explain Marketing Efforts
47 How to obtain positive D&O terms Start Early Submit complete submission Use a theme Determine priorities Underwriter meeting / conference call Don’t hide problems Emphasize Relationships