For years the absence of an insured’s equity listing on a US public exchange meant an easy(er) night’s sleep for most public company D&O underwriters. The US class-action system, active plaintiff bar regime and significant defense costs spend was unmatched in the European and global litigation environment. As a result, our international clients enjoyed discounts on premium and broadened coverage features such as unlimited reinstatements of limits, widened corporate investigations cover, and limited exclusions in the corporate D&O policy. However, this trend is changing as European shareholders have increasing options in pursuing recoveries against corporations and their senior management. Further, those European companies that previously were unconcerned with US forum class-action regimes due to a low-level American Depository Receipt listing (ADRs) are now facing case law challenges that dramatically increase their financial and insured risk.
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