Risk Update

Risk Grab Bag — Risk Webinar, Deadline Risk, and Dam Analysis

A little bit of everything, and everything new today. First, an interesting webinar from Clyde & Co: “Where next for the professions? Unintended consequences and unexpected opportunities in the new era: a keynote lecture

Tuesday June 8 (12pm EDT)

  • “This event should be of interest to senior management, GCs and those in risk roles at professional service firms and to GCs running in-house teams, as we all reflect on the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.”
  • “Professor Laura Empson [is] one of the world’s leading academic specialists in the management of professional services. Professor Empson is a Director and Professor at Cass Business School, Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Law School, was formerly an Independent Non-Executive of KPMG LLP and acts as an advisor to many of the world’s leading professional organisations. She is the author of books including ‘Leading Professionals: Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas,’ presenter of a BBC Radio 4 documentary ‘Insecure Overachievers’ about elite professionals and she co-hosts the podcast series ‘Empson & Morley – Leading Professional People.'”
  • “Her speech will examine the changes to professional life and work which were prompted or accelerated by the pandemic. While many practical changes were made of necessity – and with speed and agility – by professional service firms in response to the lockdown, their unintended consequences present a profound challenge to some established ‘truths’ about professionals and the way they work together. Laura will explore the implications for both organisations and individuals, focusing on issues of knowledge, ethics, governance, organisational culture, and what it means to be a professional. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A facilitated by Simon Konsta, our global Head of Clients and Markets and former Senior Partner.”

Next a reminder that calendaring, docketing and deadline risk is real: “Milberg Clients Get Cert. In Recently Revived Malpractice Row” —

  • “U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins said in an order filed Wednesday that the negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by plaintiff Philip Bobbitt could proceed with class status on behalf of investors who hired Milberg years ago to represent them in a securities suit against an AIG subsidiary, only to lose class certification in that case after their attorneys missed the deadline for disclosing expert witnesses.”
  • “‘In the very least, the factual basis for all the putative plaintiffs’ claims is the same,’ Judge Collins said. ‘For the legal malpractice allegations, defendants’ offensive actions are applicable to all putative plaintiffs: Milberg missed the expert witness deadline, so the class was decertified, and Milberg failed to notify the putative class.'”
  • “First filed in 2009, the lawsuit claims Milberg dropped the ball on an underlying investor class action against AIG subsidiary Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co. Investors had accused Variable of illegally selling them tax-sheltered annuity contracts to be included in individual retirement plans that already qualified for favorable income tax treatment, such as a 401(k).”

And, unrelated to law firm risk but an interesting story about risk management, mitigation, and more, I found this video a fascinating exploration and analysis, for those who might be interested on engineering risk: “What Really Happened at the Oroville Dam Spillway?” —

  • “February 2017 saw one of the most serious dam-related engineering incidents in history with the failure of the service spillway at Oroville Dam. Whether they realized it or not, the people living and working downstream of Oroville Dam put their trust in the engineers, operators, and regulators to keep them safe and sound against disaster. In this case, that trust was broken. This video provides a summary of the event, including an explanation of the engineering details behind the failure.”