Since our last update in June 2019, we have continued to see important developments in:
- regulatory activism;
- class action litigation;
- the insurance market and insurance law;
- the whistleblower regime; and
- climate change litigation.
The trend towards increased regulatory activism in the wake of the Banking Royal Commission has continued as predicted and put increased pressure on companies and their directors and officers.
The community concerns and issues arising from the recent and tragic bushfires are also likely to maintain the past momentum for increased levels of community activism, corporate accountability, investigation and regulation of Australian corporate and public life.
These trends have meant D&O liability insurance claims have continued to be on the rise, with claims far exceeding the insurance market premium pool. As a result, and coupled with a hardening insurance market in general, we are seeing major increases in premiums and restrictions on the scope of coverage.
But it is not all bad. Two landmark decisions handed down last year in the class action sphere have created undesirable uncertainty; but have the potential to slow down the rising numbers of shareholder class actions and the ready availability of litigation funding.
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