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Severity of legal malpractice claims surges: Report

legal malpractice

The frequency of legal malpractice claims remained relatively flat last year, but claims severity continued to spike, says a report released Monday.

Of the 11 leading insurers writing lawyers professional liability insurance surveyed, seven reported claims frequency similar to 2020, according to the report issued by specialty broker Ames & Gough.

However, the report said, “The last several years have been the worst on record for legal malpractice claim payouts.”

“In the last two years alone, the insurance market (including mutual insurance companies, Lloyd’s of London; and commercial market insurers) has seen at least five claims settle for over nine figures,” the report says. 

The largest number of claims stems from three key practice areas: trust and estates; business transactions; and corporate and securities.

 The report says also there have been a rising number of legal malpractice claims against insurance defense lawyers.