Risk Update

Insurance News — Aon Exits a Legal Market Segment + Lateral Movement Coverage Dispute

Definitely eye catching: “Solicitors’ fury as insurer abruptly quits PII market”

  • “Sole practitioners and principals of small firms have reacted with shock and bewilderment to letters notifying them that their insurer has pulled out of the professional indemnity market. The letters, from broker Aon, state that its Maven MGA scheme can no longer offer cover. With most policies still lapsing on the old 30 September renewal date, this leaves them with little time to agree alternative cover.”
  • “[Andrew Lucas of AG Lucas and Co] told the Gazette: ‘No explanation is provided by Aon in the letter that they have effectively exited the professional indemnity insurance market and the reader is left with the impression that the inability to obtain a renewal quotation may be the firm’s fault. I telephoned Aon persistently yesterday to try and find out what was going on however, the direct line number provided at the foot of the letter was unobtainable whilst the main switchboard number was continuously engaged. I now have to try and find cover with another insurer and start the renewal process very late in the day.'”
  • “In a statement this morning, Aon said: ‘Aon UK Ltd provides professional indemnity insurance broking and advisory services to solicitors firms of all sizes. A number of insurers are withdrawing from the solicitors PI market including Maven Underwriters. A number of Lloyd’s capacity providers who have previously supported the Maven MGA have withdrawn their capacity as part of the Lloyds profitability review.”
  • Plenty of additional commentary and consternation in the Law Society Gazette comments.

Law Firm Gets Partial Win Over Insurer In Coverage Dispute” —

  • “A Massachusetts federal judge on Tuesday granted a partial win to a Boston law firm in its coverage dispute with Allied World Insurance Co., saying the insurer should have defended the firm against a counterclaim in a trade secret dispute with former employees.”
  • “In a court order, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns said Allied World was responsible for partly defending Governo Law Firm LLC in an underlying state matter dealing with a group of attorneys who left the firm and created a new Boston-based shop.”
  • “According to a second counterclaim by the departing attorneys, the lawyers accused Governo Law of, among other things, interfering with clients who wanted to continue working with them at their new firm. Governo Law argued that Allied World breached the insurance policy when it refused to defend the firm.”
  • “Allied World argued that Governo Law’s claim wasn’t covered under the insurance policy because the counterclaims brought by the attorneys in the underlying state court action ‘are either excluded from coverage or do not concern legal malpractice, and instead amount to a business dispute between plaintiffs and their former employees,’ according to court documents.”

 

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