United States: Insurance Recovery Law Firms: Choosing The Right Firm (Video)

Last Updated: May 24 2017
Article by Mark Miller

In today's blog post, Miller Friel attorney Bernie Bell addresses one of the most important decisions in-house counsel make when addressing corporate insurance needs, namely, selecting the right kind of insurance recovery law firm.  With more than 30 years of insurance recovery experience at a number of global law firms, Bernie is uniquely qualified to address this issue.  In this video, Bernie highlights why many clients believe that the practice of insurance recovery law is best practiced in a boutique law firm setting.

Three things are important to our corporate insurance recovery clients.  First is Experience.  All Miller Friel attorneys are former-large law firm insurance recovery lawyers, who successfully practiced at the highest levels of the profession. Second is Focus.  Our sole and exclusive focus is insurance recovery law.  We don't cross sell other practice areas, because our main goal – our only goal — is to maximize client recoveries. Third, practicing exclusively in the area of law leads to better Results.  Many clients have come to the realization that with insurance recovery, the best solution is to retain a conflict free law firm with a proven track record of exceptional insurance recovery results.

We have included a transcript of the video below:

Insurance Recovery Law Firms: Choosing the Right Firm

My name is Bernie Bell. I recently joined Miller Friel, effective at the start of 2017. I've been practicing for more than 30 years now, and most of that time, except for my government service, has been in global, very well regarded, law firms. And I had great experience there. But I'm really excited for this new opportunity to do something that I haven't done before, which is practice in a boutique with guys that I know, and respect, and have known for a long time who do exactly what I do, and that's all they do. There's a shift in the marketplace, and there has been a shift since 2008, where it's no longer sufficient just to have a name brand law firm, and the days when it could be said, and was said, "No general counsel ever got fired for hiring x," fill in your law firm brand name, I think those are now gone.

I think people need to find value, and I think we offer the best value. We're experienced, we're focused entirely on this. This is all we do. We're not trying to cross sell.

Insurance recovery lends itself to a boutique for several reasons. One is it requires a great deal of expertise and experience in handling claims. Although at its bottom it's a contract case, and many general litigators will say, "I can litigate a commercial contract case," there are literally centuries of precedent on some of these things, especially when you get into the old school boilers and fire insurance claims, and things of that nature.

Boutiques, I think, can exist now in two ways primarily. One is to have work that is of the most sophisticated nature, which is what we do. And secondly, you can perform commoditized functions at scale for companies where you can compete on price. That's not what we're trying to do. If you are general counsel of a firm that has revenues of between $10 million and $500 million, those are arbitrary numbers, but I'm going to call that middle market, I think there are some special considerations that render Miller Friel a good fit for you. We don't have a threshold revenue that we expect to make from a case. At many firms, an insurance recovery partner who wants to intake a case and serve a client has to justify to his or her management an expected level of revenue from this matter, and this client. We don't have that. That's not the way we're set up. We're not interested in cross selling because we can't cross sell. This is all we do. So we're not looking to establish a relationship with you for the purpose of selling you product liability defense, or securities defense, or environmental defense.

Another reason that Miller Friel may be a good fit for you is the relative importance of your claim, both to you, and to us. And what I mean by that is, relative for a middle market firm that has revenues of $10 million to $500 million dollars, an individual claim might be of much greater consequence to that firm than it is to a global 100 firm. Now, we represent the global 100 firms, and we're happy to do that, we have a lot of experience with that. We can bring that to bear on a claim that is quite a bit more important on a percentage basis to you, than it is to the global 100 firm. So that's the importance to you. And the importance to us is, it really doesn't matter to us whether you're a firm of $10 million in revenue or $10 billion in revenue, we want to get your claim paid, and we're happy to do that for you. So we are going to give you a level of responsiveness, and a level of client service, regardless of the size of your firm, that you may not be able to get in a firm that has to justify you as a client.

Miller Friel, PLLC is a specialized insurance coverage law firm whose sole purpose is to help corporate clients maximize their insurance coverage. Our Focus of exclusively representing policyholders, combined with our extensive Experience in the area of insurance law, leads to greater efficiency, lower costs and better Results. Further discussion and analysis of insurance coverage issues impacting policyholders can be found in our Miller Friel Insurance Coverage Blog and our 7 Tips for Maximizing Coverage series.

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