US ambassador and governor in line of Hollinger legal fire
Sunday 05 September 2004
Former US ambassador Richard Burt and ex-Illinois governor James Thompson could face further legal action from shareholders of the fallen US media giant Hollinger International.
The two directors are most exposed to more legal action because they served on the audit committee during the reign of former chairman Lord Black.
A report into alleged "corporate kleptocracy" at the company, released last week by Richard Breeden, a former Securities and Exchange Commission regulator in the US, was heavily critical of the audit committee for failing to spot the alleged looting of millions of dollars of company funds by Lord Black.
It said the committee's performance was "ineffective and careless".
The rest of Hollinger International's directors, who include former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, are also under pressure. The mood among the board was said to be of "fatigue".
Many directors who served under the disgraced peer would like to resign but have not because they would lose the legal advice and liability insurance provided by the company, said a source close to the board.
The directors cannot be sacked because the findings in the report are allegations, which have not been proved.
Directors have personal liability insurance worth around $130m (£73m), which shareholders are seeking to recoup.
One shareholder, Cardinal Capital Management, had suspended its $300m claim against the company, former owner of The Daily Telegraph, pending the release of Mr Breeden's report.
"We may add things to the lawsuit," a source close to the fund said. "But the action is currently stayed. It allows mediation with everyone - the insurance companies, directors. There are lots of parties."
Hollinger International is also bringing a $1.25bn racketeering suit against Lord Black and his associates. Another shareholder, Tweedy Browne, wants the company to take action against former and current board members.
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
Syria's 'circle of hell': Aleppo residents describe children without heads, streets filled with blood and injuries never before witnessed by surgeons
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...
£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...