The combination of macroeconomic conditions and legislative reform have made for an increasingly challenging environment for company boards. Coupled with the recent rise in shareholder activism, class actions and notable high-profile director disqualification proceedings, it is more important than ever that business leaders receive the right advice when faced with potential personal liability.
We routinely advise company boards and individual directors on governance and risk management issues, both in business-as-usual settings (including insurance planning and other risk mitigation measures) and when matters become contentious. Should a dispute arise, we are on hand to guide clients through the relevant legal and regulatory issues, drawing on our vast range of expertise across the firm to ensure our advice is tailored to suit the specific circumstances.
Our involvement in some of the most high-profile company law and director-related actions in recent times has meant that we are uniquely placed to provide the level of insight that our clients need. We recognise that acting for individuals, often involving corporate distress scenarios, presents its own considerations ranging from managing claims involving insurance and other funding arrangements to understanding the professional, reputational and emotional impact that typically accompanies legal and regulatory proceedings. We ensure those considerations are at the centre of our thinking, working closely with our clients to achieve an outcome which meets their objectives.
As with all our contentious offerings, our ability to collaborate between offices and to mobilise quickly cross-practice specialist teams means that our clients benefit from immediate and round-the-clock attention on time-sensitive matters. Having worked consistently with some of the leading barristers in company law matters, we are also able to draw on our extensive experience in this field when it comes to instructing counsel.
Certain of the former directors of Carillion in relation to all aspects of the insolvency of the Carillion Group including the subsequent Insolvency Service and other investigations and inquiries and disqualification proceedings brought by the Secretary of State for BEIS.
RBS and its former directors in their defence to a high-profile class action concerning the bank's 2008 rights issue
Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds Banking Group (as well as five of its former directors) in defending a high profile claim brought by around 6,000 shareholders in relation to the acquisition of HBOS at the height of the financial crisis. The claim was heard in a 19 week trial in late 2017/early 2018. Judgment was handed down in November 2019 and Lloyds was successful in having all claims dismissed.
Phoenix Venture Holdings
Phoenix Venture Holdings, various other companies in the MG Rover group, and present and former directors and officers of companies in the MG Rover group as part of the ongoing investigation by the UK Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (now the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) into the collapse of the car company in early 2005
Insights and updates
Anna is Joint-Managing Partner for Dispute Resolution globally, head of Disputes in Australia and an experienced and strategic commercial litigator, specialising in the financial services and energy and resources sectors.