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McGriff Hosts Third Annual LegalEdge Law Conference


The annual
McGriff, Seibels & Williams LegalEdge conference was held in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 21-23, 2014, at the Four Seasons Resort, Troon North.  Sponsors of the conference included Paragon International Insurance Brokers, Ltd., Axis Pro, Beazley Group, Berkley Select, Ironshore and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.

Conference attendees included representatives of large law firms, insurers, and legal industry professionals.  Topics addressed were intended to provide a strategic perspective of various issues and challenges facing law firm management.  The venue and conference format afforded attendees the opportunity to interact with one another as well as industry experts during the conference sessions and social activities.     

The keynote speaker was Indiana University School of Law Professor,William Henderson. As a nationally recognized commentator on the legal profession and legal education, Professor Henderson provided his perspective on the forces affecting law firms today and, in particular, how technological advances and third party legal services providers are disrupting the traditional law firm model.  Among other insights, Professor Henderson likened the intersection of these disruptive mediums to the advent of “hybrid corn” production in the United States in the mid-twentieth century, suggesting that early embracers of change benefit from a strong competitive advantage.              

The panel discussions included law practitioners, consultants to law firms, third party legal services providers as well as Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity insurers. Bios of these speakers can be found here.   

Importance of technology within the legal field as both a support function and a competitive differentiator was examined.  It was suggested that law firms need to continue to look at re-engineering processes in order to create the efficiencies that sophisticated purchasers of legal services expect.  Critical as well to law firms is technology infrastructure and maintaining a secure environment at a time when firms are under increasing cyber attacks and viewed as a weak link. Roger Marks of McGriff, Seibels & Williams introduced the line-up of panelists. Panelists included Michael Kraft, General Counsel at Kraft & Kennedy, Inc., Michael Mills, CEO at Neota Logic, and Kenneth Grady, CEO at SeyfarthLean Consulting, LLC.

Another panel addressed how to create a positive sales culture within the attorney ranks. One of those panelists discussed his firm’s evolution which has driven growth as well as greater personal satisfaction on the part of firm attorneys. Panelists included Mo Bunnell of Bunnell Idea Group, Mike Kevin Duffy of King & Spalding, and Paul Wendler of McGriff, Seibels & Williams.      

Enterprise Risk Management for law firms was discussed and included the perspective of two firm’s treatment of emerging and existing risk issues and use of insurance. Mary Guzman of McGriff, Seibels & Williamsmoderated the panel which included Ray LaDreire of Locke Lord, LLP and Brent Kidwell of Jenner & Block.

Conference attendees gained valuable insight from various domestic and international insurers of large law firms. They offered their perspectives on the large law firm professional liability environment including the factors that influence law firm premiums. Moderated by Paul Wendler, the panel included Todd Hampton of Berkley Select, Ian Rose of Beazley, Adam Sharaf of Axis, Sue Fredericks of Ironshore and Terry Caden of SwissRe.

Please visit the LegalEdge website for additional conference information.

Presentation slides and articles can be found here.