Practice/Industry Group Overview
Managing risk in the context of today’s hyper-competitive, largely unpredictable marketplace can mean the difference between a business’s success and failure. From powerful “acts of God” to more commonplace – but no less devastating – human negligence, risks vary widely in scope and kind, but share surprising commonality in their consequences. The insurance industry, inherently engaged in the business of risk, is faced with especially intense pressures. Risk management protocols practiced by insurers and insureds alike are undergoing close scrutiny, frequently in an effort to stanch unprecedented losses.
Having litigated arguably more insurance claims than any other law firm in the United States, we appreciate the fundamentals of strong risk management protocols and the menacing repercussions of their absence.
Wilson Elser understands risk analysis and mitigation. The legal prism through which we view these disciplines gives us – and our clients – a practical perspective on how exposures are best identified and managed. Having litigated arguably more insurance claims than any other law firm in the United States, we appreciate the fundamentals of strong risk management protocols and the menacing repercussions of their absence. This is part of our culture and among our greatest strengths. Whether serving our clients directly or in collaboration with client-designated risk management specialists, we add value by bringing to bear more than 30 years of experience handling every conceivable type of liability claim. It is precisely because of this experience that our attorneys know how to develop and implement the processes and procedures designed to allow our clients to stay ahead of – rather than react to – the risks that otherwise would generate claims or even undo their businesses.
Our services begin with a thorough understanding of our clients’ specific requirements and areas of potential exposure. Placing the highest premium on reducing claims, we conduct audits designed to help clients understand their risk profile and potential liability exposure. Our comprehensive resources allow for immediate assessments of an organization's business, legal position and needs. The depth and breadth of our knowledge of many industries and commercial enterprises flattens the learning curve and allows us to concentrate our efforts on minimizing our clients’ risks as well as protecting their brand. As appropriate, we assist in the development of company policies, contracts, site modifications or processes designed to reduce risk and liability exposure. Directly leveraging our litigation experience, we routinely advise on potential claim scenarios with respect to underwriting certain classes of business and perform claim audits designed to evaluate loss exposures. We also publish frequent and timely alerts in an effort to keep our clients informed of key legal decisions and developments that impact their respective businesses and risk profiles.
Once engaged on risk management matters – often as part of a client-designated team of strategic partners – we conduct a vulnerability assessment designed to explore the nature of a business, inherent exposures including those arising from third-party vendors, and crisis preparedness. We then identify how risk can best be reduced or eliminated and execute against the resulting objectives, which frequently include putting appropriate systems and protocols in place and conducting employee training. We also explore methods of shifting risk downstream, such as the judicious use of carefully crafted indemnity provisions.
Throughout, we are committed to helping our clients recognize, confront and contain risk. When identified risks are mitigated or eliminated, companies are better positioned to weather uncertain economic times, increase bottom-line profitability and protect their brand and public image.