Insurance Law and Professional Liability
McKenna Long & Aldridge has a long-established reputation for its practice in the insurance industry. The firm features a nationally preeminent Insurance Law and Professional Liability practice that represents a wide range of companies – from some of the largest international insurers to smaller companies offering specialty policies. This extensive experience representing insurers in all areas of insurance and coverage provides a strong foundation for the particular knowledge practice members possess in the areas of general liability, class action, environmental coverage, insurance “bad faith,” and reinsurance. In addition, many of attorneys in the practice handle insurance coverage issues relating to directors & officers, employment liability and professional liability.
The Insurance Law and Professional Liability Practice Group covers virtually all the major legal issues faced by insurers today. More than 25 attorneys devote either a large portion of their practice or their entire practice to insurance law. In order to provide comprehensive service to the firm’s insurer clients, the attorneys frequently tap lawyers and professionals from across the firm, including complex litigation, regulatory, and environmental, corporate, employment, and antitrust attorneys.
Lawyers in the Insurance Law and Professional Liability practice are highly-skilled professionals that have been working with insurers to address the major issues that confront the industry. Attorneys in the Insurance Law and Professional Liability practice have handled matters in state and federal courts across the country, and they have achieved landmark court decisions in the areas of mass tort, environmental coverage, and general liability. Additionally, the team works with several insurers who offer policies to specialized industries such as health care and media.
We handle complex coverage and bad faith litigation across the United States MLA attorneys are familiar with the unique challenges faced by insurers and other financial institutions in today’s litigation environment, and we proactively work with clients to develop strategies to minimize risk and to achieve rational resolutions to difficult legal issues. We have handled coverage litigation and issues in numerous substantive areas, including D&O claims, professional malpractice claims (accountants, attorneys, financial planners, insurance brokers, real estate professionals and others), employment practices claims, environmental claims, and construction defect claims, among others. We also monitor and report on insurance bordereaux and large liability claims that may involve excess liability policies.
Our attorneys have deep experience in handling the varieties of bad faith claims that may be asserted against insurance companies. We defend “set up” claims arising from settlements made by a claimant and the insured. Although we recognize the potential risks posed by such claims, we also understand the ways in which they can be successfully resolved.
Many matters affecting financial institutions involve class action litigation. We have experience in handling and monitoring class action litigation; as a matter of fact, MLA has recently been successful in defeating class certification in a number of class actions. Some of our attorneys even creatively utilize class action as a method of settling claims against financial institutions.
Alternative dispute resolution has become increasingly important in the prompt and efficient resolution of claims against financial institutions. Our attorneys mediate successful resolutions to complex claims before nationally known mediators. We also have extensive experience in arbitration.
In addition to our own professional resources and depth of experience, we are able to utilize, when necessary, the extensive resources of the firm’s entire Litigation department.
We represent clients before state insurance commissioners in matters relating to rate and form filings, licensing, examinations, enforcement and disciplinary actions. We attend and monitor meetings of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”). We also have an Investigation Response Team that represents clients before a variety of agencies, including state attorneys general and the Securities and Exchange Commission, regarding insurance related investigations, such as those involving contingent commissions and finite reinsurance. Some MLA attorneys recently submitted comments to the NAIC in regard to the contingent commission issue.
We frequently assist clients in dealing with federal and state legislatures, and have assisted clients in adopting legislation to reduce potential liability, such as the federal SAFETY Act.
Our attorneys handle a variety of matters involving potential professional liability. For example, our attorneys represent lawyers and law firms in the defense of legal malpractice claims and advise and counsel lawyers concerning allegations of malpractice, ethical violations, and breaches of duty. Our attorneys are also well versed in matters involving other professionals including accountants, engineers, travel agents, and others.
Our attorneys are frequent writers and lecturers on issues related to legal malpractice and ethics, including Georgia Legal Malpractice Law and California Legal Malpractice Law, which address the intricacies and nuances of Legal Malpractice law and issues that confront the new millennium lawyer, and The Lawyer's Handbook: Ethics Compliance and Claim Avoidance, which is an easy-to-use desk reference offering practical solutions to real problems in the modern law practice for every attorney throughout the United States.
Climate Change Risk Assessment
MLA counsels insurance clients on the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. We advise insurers about the potential impacts of climate change in the claims, underwriting, and product development contexts and organize and conduct climate change enterprise risk assessments. We also assist client with participation in voluntary and mandatory climate risk disclosure requirements for insurers, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project, NAIC, and other state requirements. Given our experience with insurance and environmental litigation and counseling, we are well poised to handle climate change-related litigation.
For corporate clients, we provide assistance with corporate compliance and in the evaluation and selection of directors and officers liability insurance. For professional firms, such as attorneys, accountants, architects and financial planners, we can provide auditing and consulting services to assist in reducing the risks of ethics problems and malpractice claims.
Our group also works on matters with MLA’s Corporate department. The firm has handled substantial corporate matters for financial institutions, including acquisitions of insurance companies, the demutualization of a large health insurer, and in such matters, has worked with the insurance commissioners of various states in order to obtain necessary regulatory approvals.
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