Legal malpractice claims and disciplinary proceedings against attorneys have undergone explosive growth. The recent economic downturn has further exaggerated this trend, with clients especially sensitive to unproductive litigation and frustrated by adverse outcomes.

Our national team comprises more than 20 attorneys, each contributing considerable experience in this area along with a keen understanding of the underlying matters at the heart of malpractice claims.

Since its inception in the 1970s, Wilson Elser has been at the forefront of defending attorneys from allegations of legal malpractice. Our national team comprises more than 20 attorneys, each contributing considerable experience in this area along with a keen understanding of the underlying matters at the heart of malpractice claims. Such claims can range from the most basic services to the most sophisticated, including complex securities transactions, environmental claims, intellectual property disputes and more. Whatever the scope and nature of the underlying claim, Wilson Elser leverages its collective experience and vast resources to effectively defend against legal malpractice claims, while seeking alternative paths to resolve them quickly and effectively.

Our defense of an attorney begins with an immediate and comprehensive assessment of both the underlying matter and the malpractice claim, with a focus on early dismissal through pre-answer dispositive motions. While these pre-answer motions are frequently successful, we simultaneously formulate early resolution strategies such as ADR, consistent with our clients’ objectives.

Suits initiated by attorneys to collect fees can be especially perilous, as they frequently result in counterclaims for malpractice. In these situations, we often seek early “global” resolution by informally “mediating” the fee claim through a review of the quality of service provided, the results obtained and the total fees outstanding. The purpose of this aggressive “all-in” approach is early resolution and avoidance of fruitless litigation.

Beyond the courtroom, our team represents attorneys in countless disciplinary proceedings before local grievance committees, disciplinary committees and licensing boards as well as regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Of course, the best way to counter legal malpractice claims is to prevent their occurrence. Experience helps us recognize where an attorney’s practice can be modified to reduce the risk of professional liability claims. In certain instances, our attorneys serve as general counsel to firms in addressing ethical or practice-related questions that arise when representing clients. In fact, leading legal malpractice insurers employ us to furnish risk management services at firms they insure. We also counsel and are requested to lecture extensively on the topic of professional liability exposures and risk management. In addition, our attorneys are members of various bar association committees that address the ever-increasing exposure faced by the legal profession.

For more than three decades, lawyers and their insurers have trusted their reputations to Wilson Elser and have been pleased with the handling of their sensitive matters and the results achieved.

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 At Wilson Elser, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is a foundational value, critical to the success of our firm and central to the integrity and vitality of the legal field. Bringing together people of different backgrounds and beliefs, people with diverse perspectives, fosters the innovative and creative thinking that enhances our response to the needs of our clients. Wilson Elser’s commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and training as well as the organizations to which we belong and the programs we sponsor.

We believe in creating a work environment free of barriers and bias, where individual outlooks and talents are respected and valued. Our firm’s policy is to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by the law. 

Beyond legal compliance, our firm strives to mirror the rich diversity of the communities in which we practice, to respect the diversity of our clients and their workforce and to employ best practices to identify, select, hire, retain and promote qualified individuals without boundaries or limitations, other than those imposed by their own choices and capabilities. This allows us to better represent our clients in today’s diverse, multicultural society. 

Wilson Elser is also committed to promoting diversity through the selection of vendors. We actively seek certified minority- and women-owned businesses and provide them with the opportunity to partner with us to provide services to our firm and our clients.