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Heavy 2015 M&A activity drove legal malpractice claims increase

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Legal malpractice claims increased in both frequency and severity last year, according to a survey issued by specialty broker Ames & Gough.

Five of the nine insurers participating in the annual survey, which was conducted during this year's second quarter and issued Wednesday, indicated the number of claims filed in 2015 was higher than in 2014.

Six of the insurers said merger and acquisition activity accounted for the largest sources of legal malpractice claims, according to the survey by the McLean, Virginia-based specialty broker.

The nine insurers included in Ames & Gough's sixth annual survey, “Lawyers' Professional Liability Claims Trends: 2016” were: American International Group Inc. and its Lexington Insurance Co. unit; Richmond, Virginia-based Markel Corp.; Pembroke, Bermuda-based Axis Capital Holdings Ltd.; London-based Brit P.L.C.; Hamilton, Bermuda-based Catlin Group Ltd., a unit of XL Catlin; Chicago-based CNA Financial Corp.; Garden City, New York-based Huntersure L.L.C.; Hamilton, Bermuda-based Ironshore Inc.; and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Ltd., a unit of Swiss Re Ltd.