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School of Law

D&O insurers grapple with ESG pressures

Dr Franziska Arnold-Dwyer comments on the UK’s approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) shareholder lawsuits for Insurance Day.


Companies and their directors are increasingly facing lawsuits from shareholders over their environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, mainly in the US and but also other jurisdictions. It’s not only companies that are affected; directors’ and officers’ insurers are facing increased payouts and losses.

According to Dr Franziska Arnold-Dwyer, Senior Lecturer in Insurance Law, Contract Law and Sustainability at Queen Mary University of London, it is much harder for a shareholder lawsuit to be successful over ESG commitments in the UK. She refers to the court’s judgement on the failed suit by ClientEarth against Shell: “… it is for directors to determine in good faith the weight to be attached to the non-exhaustive list of factors s172 of the Companies Act 2006 – which included environmental factors…”

Read the full article on Insurance Day (subscription required).

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