Information Alerts For Law Firms

Summer 2014 Law Information Alert

Lawyers’ Professional Liability Claims Trends Survey: 2014

Although the frequency of law firm malpractice claims has begun to level off following a post-recession surge, their severity has continued to increase. A new study by insurance broker Ames & Gough finds most leading legal malpractice insurers had a continuing increase in claims in excess of $50 million.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this study, email info@amesgough.com. Please include your name, title, and company/affiliation.

Spring 2014 Law Information Alert

Court Rulings Offer Insights for Law Firms Using Advance Conflict Waivers

Law firms have become increasingly concerned about potential conflicts of interest in recent years. To protect themselves, growing numbers of law firms are including advance conflict waivers in their standard engagement letters. Yet, the waivers have grown increasingly controversial as court rulings varied on whether they are valid and enforceable. This Law Firm Information Alert examines two cases that show how courts have taken opposing views in deciding whether or not an advance conflict waiver in an engagement agreement allows a firm to represent a client that might be in conflict with another. We also discuss how law firms might structure waivers in light of these decisions.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of the Spring 2014 Law Firm Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Please include your name, title, and company/affiliation.

Winter 2014 Law Information Alert

Using ERM to Strengthen Your Law Firm

The array of exposures associated with the practice of law has become increasingly complex. Today, growing numbers of law firms recognize they need a more sophisticated process to identify, assess, quantify and manage the spectrum of complex risks they face. Many are adopting Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) to address this need. This Law Firm Information Alert discusses the emerging discipline of Enterprise Risk Management, including steps to implement ERM within an organization. We also discuss how ERM approaches might be applied to some of the more challenging exposures for law firms.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of the Winter 2014 Law Firm Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com. Please include your name, title, and company/affiliation.

Spring 2013 Law Information Alert

Lawyers' Professional Liability Claims Trends Survey: 2013

Although the frequency of legal malpractice claims appeared to be leveling off a year ago, most insurers of U.S. law firms now report the number of such claims is increasing, including those involving multi-million-dollar payouts. A study by Ames & Gough finds most leading legal malpractice insurers had more claims in 2012 than the prior year, including a significant increase in claims in excess of $50 million.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this study, email info@amesgough.com. Please include your name, title, and company/affiliation.

Winter 2012 Law Information Alert

No Auld Lang Syne For Data & Security Risk

As 2011 comes to a close, it's time for law firms to recognize the "good old times" of data and security protection are long over. Along with ringing int he New Year, law firms may want to take a closer look at their data and security risks and implement measures to strengthen their safeguards. Too many firms are learning the hard way that keeping their data and technology infrastructure secure while being watchful for possible theft are critical to reduce liability and exposure, as well as to control costs. This Law Firm Information Alert describes three significant data and security risks for law firms to consider in 2012 and outlines measures to manage them.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this study, email info@amesgough.com. Please include your name, title, and company/affiliation.

Spring 2011 Law Information Alert

Lawyers' Professional Liability Claims Trends Survey: 2011

Insurer Survey
The recent economic recession and prolonged real estate market slump are triggering a rise in the number of malpractice or professional liability claims lodged against law firms this year. A study by Ames & Gough finds lawyer's professional liability claim levels up in 2011 by as much as 20 percent at some of the leading insurance companies providing coverage for this exposure.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this study, email info@amesgough.com. Please include your name, title, and company/affiliation.

Spring 2011 Law Information Alert

Softening the Blow from EPL Lawsuits

Law Firms, like other employers, have not been immune from the growing number of employment-related lawsuits throughout the country. However, law firms often disregard this risk even though a single employment practices liability lawsuit can have debilitating financial consequences on a firm and consume a considerable amount of management's time. for this reason, Firms should strongly consider purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) coverage.
This InfoAlert discusses how to minimize exposure to Employment Practices Liability lawsuits; the role of Employment Practices Liability Insurance; and what to look for in an EPLI policy.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this study, email info@amesgough.com. Please include your name, title, and company/affiliation.

Winter 2010 Law Information Alert

2010 New Year’s Resolutions for Law Firms

With 2009 a particularly difficult year for many law firms, this Law Information Alert outlines several New Year's resolutions for law firms designed to guide them toward improved risk management practices through 2010.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include your name, title, and company/affiliation.

Fall 2010 Law Information Alert

Is Excess Baggage Increasing Your Risk and Driving Up Your Costs?

Lateral hires, attorney relationships, and office sharing carry malpractice risks. Managing these exposures and controlling related costs starts with careful planning. This Law Firm Information Alert discusses how to avoid some of the costs and potential pitfalls related to lawyer mobility, attorney relationships, and firm office arrangements.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Winter 2009 Law Information Alert

Law Firm’s Duty to Report Potential Claims Gets Further Defined by the Courts

This Law Firm Information Alert focuses on two court decisions involving whether or not a firm should have reported a potential claim. It also reviews risk management practices that encourage the reporting of claims and potential claims to your Lawyers' Professional Liability insurer so your firm is not at risk for being denied coverage under its insurance policy.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Spring 2009 Law Information Alert

Honesty is the Best Policy

This Law Information Alert explains why Honesty is the Best Policy when completing your Lawyers' Professional Liability Insurance application, outlines risk management practices that encourage a candid application process, and provides examples that demonstrate why firms that aren't' fully honest may no longer have an insurance policy For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Winter 2008 Law Information Alert

Who is An Insured Under the Lawyers’ Professional Liability Policy?

Lawyers' Professional Liability Insurance (LPLI) policies have numerous definitions, endorsements and provisions that may change or alter who is insured. Law Firms need to be aware of differentiations when determining which policy to choose. This Law Firm Information Alert discusses "Who Is An Insured" under your firm's LPLI policy and what to look for to make sure you have the coverage your firm requires. For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Fall 2008 Law Information Alert

Minimizing Risk in a Downturn Economy

In 2008, the challenging economy placed financial pressures on law firms that stemmed from various factors, including a decline in structured finance, M&A and transaction work; and demands from corporate clients for rate freezes or discounts. In a downturn economy, law firms need to pay close attention to risks that give rise to malpractice claims. this Law Information Alert provides insights on major drivers of malpractice claims and describes ways to minimize risk.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Summer 2008 Law Information Alert

Law Firm Management Liability Update

This Law Firm Information Alert examines the expanding management liability exposure for law firms, including recent litigation, and discusses various coverages provided under Management Liability insurance policies and lists some key considerations for law firms purchasing these policies.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Spring 2008 Law Information Alert

Guide to Claim Reporting Under the Lawyers’ Professional Liability Policy

This Law Firm Information Alert outlines how firms can identify claims and potential claims, describes reporting requirements of most LPLI insurers, and reviews how your firm should respond if it becomes aware of a claim or potential claim, so you can avoid losing coverage.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Fall 2007 Law Information Alert

What Your Law Firm Needs to Know About Limits of of Liability, Deductibles, and Self-Insured Retentions

This Law Firm Information Alert discusses what your firm should consider and understand in structuring its Lawyers' Professional Liability Insurance program, in particular the limits (the maximum the insurer will pay) and deductible or retention (the maximum your firm will have to pay before the insurer starts footing the bills).

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Summer 2007 Law Information Alert

LPLI Semi-Soft Market Conditions For Large Law Firms & 4 Discriminating Factors That May Set Your Firm Apart

This Law Information Alert outlines strategies for large law firms maximize their results in the semi-soft commercial insurance market of summer 2007, including four factors that helped these firms distinguish themselves in the underwriting process and achieve significant rate reductions given market conditions at the time. For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Summer 2007 Law Information Alert

Professional Duty of Lawyers May Increase & What You Can Do to Prepare

With rising malpractice litigation against law firms pointing to a possible expansion of the professional duty of attorneys, this Law Firm Information Alert examines a series of illustrative malpractice cases and discusses strategies for law firms to manage their potential exposures to related suites.

For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

Spring 2007 Law Information Alert

Avoiding Malpractice Traps & Preventing Gaps in Lawyers Professional Liability Coverage

This Law Information Alert examines the three main legal malpractice traps and discusses ways to avoid them. It also describes two key ways to address gaps in your firm's Lawyers' Professional Liability Insurance coverage. For a complimentary copy of the full text of this Information Alert, email info@amesgough.com.  Please include name, title, and company/affiliation.

  • Ames & Gough's expertise in insurance and risk issues important to our association has been obvious. They have been quick to identify issues and opportunities and follow-through to improve our coverage and save us money. We highly recommend Ames & Gough to any association seeking a professional insurance broker partner.

    David Fitzsimmons, VP of Finance & Accounting, National Association of Chain Drug Stores
  • Beazley has had a close trading relationship with Ames & Gough since their formation in the 1990s. We consider them to be one of the real pros in their market niches of architects, engineers, and law firms. We appreciate their professional representation of their clients; as well as their integrity and attention to detail.

    Jerry Sullivan, Head of Professionals, Beazley Group
  • I believe we were Ames & Gough's first client. In those 25 years, they have never failed to provide us with exceptional service, well beyond being only our A/E broker. Their depth of service, their technical expertise, and their responsiveness to our requests set them apart and account for our long-term relationship.

    Jim Fagan, Chairman of the Board, Hazen and Sawyer
  • Effective risk management is an integral part of our company's productivity goals. Ames & Gough provides the support we need to help us understand and implement good risk management practices. Their professional seminars and outstanding support have helped us to keep our insurance costs down as well as to maintain high standards. We value our relationship with them, are happy that they are part of our team, and thank them for their contributions to our success.

    Mark Teden, Executive Vice President/Treasurer, Bruner/Cott & Associates, Inc.
  • Ames & Gough's expertise in insurance and risk issues has been invaluable to LeClairRyan. Our law firm's needs have been consistently met with their top of the line client service. Ames & Gough has been quick to identify gaps in coverage while reducing our insurance costs and saving us money. We highly recommend Ames & Gough to any law firm looking for senior-level professionals that can help contribute to your firm’s success.

    Bruce Matson, Chief Legal Officer, LeClairRyan
  • We have a lot of vendors, but Ames & Gough is not a vendor, they are our partners!

    Kevin Kokal, Founder & Owner, Alliance Engineering, Inc.
  • Ames & Gough has proven, in a short time, to be a responsive, knowledgeable partner for AIR. Everyone on the team is quick to get back to us whenever we have a question. Importantly, they are also well-versed in the issues and possible solutions that confront our organization and have always been able to solve or prevent a problem. Better yet, they've saved us money and improved the coverage under our various insurance policies.

    Larry Trapuzzano, Director of Facilities & Administration, American Institutes for Research
  • We rely on Ames & Gough as our portal to the commercial insurance market for law firms. Their knowledge and service are exemplary, and we thank them for their contributions to our success.

    Phil Sunshine, General Counsel, Finnegan
  • Ames & Gough has gone above and beyond in delivering on all their promises and commitments to AGC of America and its Chapters. Their responsiveness and insurance acumen have set them apart from other brokers we've worked with.

    Monique T. Valentine, CPA, CFO, , Associated General Contractors of America
  • For years, Hogan Lovells has relied upon Ames & Gough’s deep understanding of the professional liability issues faced by law firms. Our firm’s needs are consistently met by responsive, friendly senior-level professionals with an unyielding focus on client service and putting our needs at the fore.

    Warren Gorrell, Jr., Former Co-Chairman, Hogan Lovells
  • Everyone at Ames & Gough has tremendous depths of knowledge about both design professionals and managing risk in the construction process. We refer firms to Ames & Gough because their professionalism is obvious from the first conversation. Their client focus, nationwide reach, and high level of services makes Ames & Gough an outstanding broker for any design professional. We've given Ames & Gough our 'Elite Broker' designation signifying that they are truly dedicated experts.

    Duane S. Repko, Vice President and Underwriting Manager-AE National Accounts Division, Victor O. Schinnerer & Company
  • The expertise of the individuals at Ames & Gough has been invaluable to Hoyle Tanner. Over the course of many years, they have consistently provided Hoyle Tanner with knowledgeable advice and excellent service.

    James D. Boothroyd, P.E. , President, Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc.
  • I've worked with Ames & Gough for years regarding our firm's professional liability insurance. Ames & Gough has some of the most knowledgeable insurance professionals that I have met. They understand our business and apply their very deep insurance knowledge to help us. They are customer-focused and always put our firm's needs ahead of their own. Ames & Gough is out to save us money while also looking out for our best interests.

    Donald P. Nims, Jr., PE, Quality Assurance & Risk Manager, Bergmann Associates, Inc.
  • Ames & Gough has always been very responsive to our queries, large or small, for contract review and situations regarding potential liability. They have provided immediate answers to quick questions, offering clear advice and direction, and have responded promptly on the more comprehensive requests.

    Suzette Bois , Controller , SMRT, Inc.
  • Ames & Gough has worked closely, proactively, and successfully with our law firm. They have been very effective at obtaining the best insurance coverage for the best price. Additionally, the personnel have been extremely responsive on all our risk management issues. They are very knowledgeable and we are glad they are an integral part of our team.

    Steve Leonard, Chief Operating Officer, Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP
  • During our more than five-year relationship with Ames & Gough, we have grown to depend heavily on their experience in the A/E industry. Their skill at identifying risk exposures, skill in reviewing our contracts, and personal approach to insurance brokerage have made Ames & Gough indispensable to our firm. As contract negotiations become more complicated and the risk of litigation greater, there is no price our firm can put on having Ames & Gough and a good lawyer on our team.

    Ms. Polly Brazelton, Senior Associate, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates