Mendes & Mount has been representing the world’s insurers in all facets of professional liability for decades. When professionals face allegations that standards of conduct or care have been breached, it is serious, complex business. Reputations can be ruined; firms can be thrown into chaos; and 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. We provide insightful, strategic counsel on professional liability matters to the world’s leading insurers, reinsurers, and their insureds. We have teams dedicated to the particular liability issues faced by lawyers, accountants, healthcare providers, directors and officers, and architects and engineers.
Comprehensive Claims Evaluation
Mendes evaluates liability, monitors claims, interprets coverage documents, provides policy wording advice, advises on potential exposures, and works with insureds and their carriers in developing strategic resolution plans to help demonstrate the absence of liability or minimize damages. We provide risk evaluation and assessment of insureds and insurers for both direct insurance and reinsurance clients.
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 four 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. Mendes has been through it all and has helped guide insurers and insureds through the final resolution of complex, serious claims.
Policy and Coverage Analysis
Whether the objective is to cover or exclude risks, we find the correct policy language for the project. We analyze policy terms and endorsements and craft policy and endorsement wordings to accomplish clients’ precise intentions. Mendes is acutely aware of the perspective domestic and international courts bring to policy wordings, and we apply this knowledge to our analyses and our writing. Past experience often has current application, and we use that vast experience to assist our clients. Mendes also maintains indexed files with policy wordings, policy wording questions, and endorsements for all carriers and following markets.
Experience with Serious Risks
Experience has honed our evaluation skills. Our views on the likely course of claims are well-informed, and we are practiced in cost projections on a wide variety of claims across several jurisdictions. Mendes maintains easily accessible files of past settlement agreements and other documents relevant to current cases. In reporting to our clients, we focus upon the future path of the claim, not the minutiae of past legal maneuvering. Our clients depend on us for reserve estimates in most cases. We have dealt with “front page news” cases and other significant claims, but we avoid the easy path of proposing full-limits reserves merely because a case is financial news or involves significant players or amounts. Instead, we carefully evaluate the insureds’ defenses to the claim, identify the proper coverage issues, and estimate reserves and resolution strategy accordingly. Professional Liability cases involve sophisticated insureds and often have far-reaching impact and we understand that each one of these cases is unique and that the outcome of these cases can have existential consequences to both insurers and insureds.
Maintaining the Insurer-Insured Relationship
Our lawyers also have excellent relationship skills, so we know how to deal with all involved parties, whether we are upholding an insurer’s interests or liaising with an insured and/or their broker to bring clarity and understanding to play when it is necessary to limit or deny coverage. Ideally, insurance is a continuing relationship, and we know that our insurer clients, even when engaged in a dispute or facing a loss, will likely want to continue the insurance relationship, and we keep that in mind. We approach cases with not only a lawyer’s eye but also with an idea about our clients’ long term relationships,.
24/7 Client Web Portal
Mendes provides clients with a unique claims portal that provides 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.
Mendes frequently conducts on-site and remote claims audits for reinsurers. We carefully review insurers’ files related to a particular program or class of business for a given time period, retrieve relevant information, analyze it, and load it on to our state-of-the-art data management system. All data retrieved is then shared with reinsurer clients through the firm’s secure, 24/7 Web portal. The information is useful for judging how claims on reinsurers’ books are likely to unfold, and it also helps determine if reserves are adequate.