Professional liability and directors’ liability
When can a director or a professional be held liable, and which actions or omissions are covered by his or her liability insurance? These issues are often at the core of liability disputes.
Liability disputes frequently involve large claims and can be experienced as very stressful for those seeking to defend themselves against such claims before the courts. The persons named as defendants will normally have insurance, but there are for example a significant number of directors without insurance cover.
In cases involving claims for damages against professionals – such as lawyers, auditors, appraisers, etc. – and cases concerning personal liability for directors, the facts are often extensive and complex. We use digital project management and document processing tools to ensure workflow efficiency and appropriate client involvement. Thommessen has developed digital dispute resolution tools, which are used in all major disputes. The solution is based on our extensive dispute resolution expertise, in combination with our project management experience and new technology.
Thommessen’s broad practice and specialist expertise make us especially well-suited for handling various forms of liability disputes. It is of major importance to not only be on top of procedural rules and the provisions governing, for example, directors’ or auditors’ liability, but also to understand the relevant industry and related areas of law. Thommessen therefore tailors interdisciplinary teams which combine the required areas of expertise. The team in a directors’ liability case in the shipping industry will for example also include lawyers with an in-depth understanding of that industry, and it will in a prospectus liability case be very important to include lawyers with extensive capital market experience. There will often also be a need for clarification of insurance law issues, and especially whether a potential liability is covered by liability insurance. We will in such cases draw on Thommessen’s insurance team.
Minority shareholders of DNO
Thommessen assisted some of the directors of DNO, as well as the main shareholder, in connection with the legal action brought by some minority shareholders in the wake of the merger between DNO and Rak Petroleum. The legal action ended with our clients prevailing on all counts.
Thommessen is assisting the former directors of RenoNorden in the legal action brought by SJI Equities against the Board of Directors and the shareholders. The Oslo District Court found in favour of our clients on all claims, while the appeal hearing before the Borgarting Court of Appeal is scheduled for the spring of 2020.
Thommessen regularly assists a number of the major audit firms in legal actions brought against them and/or the auditor in charge.