Practice Areas

Practice Areas

Professional Liability

When professionals face allegations that standards of conduct or care have been breached, it is always serious business. Reputations can be ruined; exposures can be staggering. The weight and complexity of these claims require lawyers with experience and knowledge equal to the task, and Mendes has it.

For more than four decades, we have provided insightful, strategic counsel on professional liability matters to the world’s leading reinsurers, insurers and their insureds. We have teams dedicated to the particular liability issues faced by lawyers, accountants and healthcare providers. Our attorneys have also handled many professional liability claims involving architects and engineers.  By way of example:

  • Mendes was involved in representing the insurers of Ernst and Young, KPMG and Deloitte in their global settlements with the U.S. government during the Savings and Loan crisis. 
  • Mendes is currently representing the professional liability carriers of many of the largest U.S. law firms as these firms navigate the claims arising from the current worldwide financial crisis.

Comprehensive counsel
We analyze and monitor claims, interpret coverage documents, provide policy wording advice, advise on potential exposures and work with insureds and their carriers in developing strategic resolution plans to help demonstrate the absence of liability or minimize damages. For direct insurance and reinsurance clients, we provide risk evaluation and assessment of insureds. 

Our lawyers are adept at directly resolving claims early through negotiation, motion practice and mediation. When litigation is unavoidable, we work with insureds and their carriers to formulate a defense strategy to resolve the problem at the least expense. Mendes has tough, effective trial lawyers who have litigated coverage disputes and successfully defended hundreds of professional liability claims over the past three decades in state and federal trial courts, and on appeal. We also have a vast network of relationships with highly qualified defense counsel across the U.S. and in many foreign jurisdictions.

Steady guidance through economic turbulence
The frequency and complexity of professional liability claims always increase during economic downturns. We have helped our clients through previous declines, and we are helping them respond to issues arising from the current one.

24/7 Web portal to share information and handle claims
Mendes provides clients 24/7 access to claims information, policy information, reserve detail and an array of other financial and other data relevant to particular matters. The system ensures efficient, cost-effective claims management and supports a close working relationship between insureds, insurers and their counsel.

Accountants professional liability
Mendes represents a preeminent international reinsurer of the multinational accounting firms and works regularly with their captive insurance companies based in Bermuda and in the U.S. In the case of the captives, we not only offer claims advice, but assist in key communications with their reinsurer.

Historically, Mendes represented the commercial insurers of the large, multinational accounting firms.  As a result, we have played a key role in the significant accountants’ professional liability cases of the past 20 years.  While domestic litigation and claims are our primary focus, we also have extensive experience outside the United States. Multinational litigation is common in the current environment, so we often travel to foreign jurisdictions to provide advice or oversight.

Lawyers professional liability
Mendes represents Lloyd’s and other London market insurers, as well as insurers in the United States, Bermuda and Europe who provide legal malpractice coverage to law firms. We also frequently review and analyze lawyers’ liability issues for reinsurers. Our team has handled every type of significant claim against law firms. 

With defense costs escalating, defense expense exposure has to be considered in addition to any loss payments that may have to be made. We help clients budget and manage expenses throughout the life of a case. Mendes has a long track record of dealing comfortably and constructively with both our insurer clients and their insureds.

Healthcare professional liability
Whether the matter involves a major institutional exposure for a large healthcare system, or a lapsed license for a school nurse, Mendes has seen the issue and managed it. For nearly three decades, we have advised insurers, reinsurers and insureds on exposures arising from the provision of medical care across the U.S. 

The risks we handle include hospital professional liability, physician malpractice exposures, nursing home litigation, managed care, long-term care and allied health programs. Mendes represents excess underwriters that provide protection to hospitals both on a direct excess basis and as a facultative reinsurer of off-shore captives formed by the hospital groups. (We represent the off-shore captive of a healthcare system, which in turn purchases facultative reinsurance through broker markets to protect its captive surplus.) Our lawyers handle claim reviews and reserve assessments on approximately 30 physician-owned mutual companies throughout the United States. Our portfolio of physician business spans three decades with significant loss experience data.