A Surge In Legal Malpractice Claims
June 7, 2019
Pressure to “do more with less” and contamination by laterals are said to be contributing to a surge in high-stakes legal malpractice claims, as reported in a survey by insurance brokerage Ames & Gough. Laterals can be a problem in cases where their previous work at their old firm becomes the basis for a conflicts allegation. Seven of 11 insurers that were queried cited conflicts either as the first or second leading cause of legal malpractice claims. The survey found an increase in both the number and the cost of major claims, as well as a marked increase in the cost to defend them. Where the claim arises after a business transaction it’s often because attorneys have strayed outside their area of expertise, according to an Ames & Gough official. She recommends that lawyers make a point of sticking to what they know well and that they continuously document which aspects of a matter they are working on.
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