Directors & Officers (D&O) more exposed in the time of GDPR
Insurance lawyers are predicting that GDPR will lead to many more D&O claims. While it might be tempting for company directors to delegate GDPR compliance to someone else in the business or an external consultant, if there is a breach then directors and officers of limited companies will be in the limelight for claims as responsibility stops with them.
Speaking to Insurance Times, Jane Childs, a partner in Mayer Brown specialising in D&O claims said: “In fact there is significant scope for regulatory action and civil claims against directors and officers who are responsible for breaches not just of the GDPR, but also wider obligations of their companies in relation to privacy and data.”
With the higher level of fines, requirement to advise clients of the breach (where relevant) and potential investigation, there is a greater opportunity for negative publicity that could have a similarly negative impact on the business and its bottom line. This too would leave the company directors/officers exposed to the real threat of a claim.
Duncan Sutcliffe, director, Sutcliffe & Co, commented: “Directors and officers need to take steps to first and foremost make sure their company is doing what it can to protect both the data they hold and their business from breaches. When this isn’t sufficient, then D&O liability insurance would be there to help.”
D&O insurance is designed to indemnify directors and officers from claims against them personally.
“We recommend D&O cover to all our limited company clients as an essential part of their insurance portfolio,” Duncan concluded.