Risk Update

Magic Quadrant Conflict? — Gartner Alleges Its Firm’s on Other Side of $340m, Covid-cancellation Conflicts Square (Unwaived Conflict)

For those of you not so much in the technology world, IT analyst firm Gartner is famous for its “Magic Quadrant” framework for evaluating plays in market categories along two axes (completeness of vision versus ability to execute). We’ll see how vision and execution play out in: “Gartner Seeks To DQ Norton Rose In $340M Coverage Suit” —

  • “Global research firm Gartner Inc. has moved to disqualify Norton Rose Fulbright LLP from representing U.S Specialty Insurance Co. in three federal disputes over up to $340 million in insurance coverage for events canceled because of COVID-19, saying that Gartner is a client of the law firm and did not consent to the conflict.”
  • “Gartner said Saturday in a New York lawsuit against U.S. Specialty that Norton Rose attempted to modify its guidelines agreement with Gartner rather than advise Gartner of the conflict and seek a waiver in an above board manner.”
  • “‘NRF’s representation of defendants in a matter directly adverse to Gartner, its client for over a decade, violates prevailing Second Circuit law, ethical rules, and the Gartner Guidelines,’ Gartner wrote in the New York motion.”
  • “According to Gartner, it has been a client of Norton Rose’s Australia office, or one of its predecessor firms for 15 years, and the firm has advised Gartner in matters throughout the Pacific region, including in Beijing and Singapore. The firm has also done significant work for Gartner recently as the research firm was forced to lay off staff during the pandemic, the motion said.”
  • “Despite the longstanding relationship, Gartner alleged, Norton Rose did not openly disclose the conflict when it chose to represent U.S. Specialty in filing the Texas lawsuits. Rather, the firm tried after the fact to amend the agreement with the firm, which expressly forbids conflicts of interest, to make the agreement more amenable to such arrangements, Gartner said.”