Professional Liability Litigation |
Perkins Coie has been representing national, regional and local accounting firms and law firms for more than 50 years. We bring not only a mastery of the specialized state and federal laws regulating professionals and the practice standards imposed by their self-regulating boards, but also the experience of successfully preparing for, and trying, complicated cases in state and federal courts throughout the country.
Based on our breadth of substantive experience, we are uniquely equipped to address those and other aspects of professional liability claims. Our professional liability attorneys consult with clients to keep them apprised of developments in the law related to professional liability, help them avoid being sued in the first place, where possible, and position themselves to assert the best defenses when litigation is imminent.
Perkins Coie's litigation approach focuses on early control of the facts and using effective early evaluation. This early focus allows us to shape strategy and determine the most efficient way to dispose of a case or issue.
Our litigation teams are staffed appropriately with lawyers and other professionals at all levels, with our partners involved in the defense of the case on a day-to-day basis, ensuring that each matter receives experienced decision making at all phases, and that our clients have immediate access to the informed judgment of the most senior lawyers. Our attorneys are approved both by Attorneys' Liability Assurance Society, Inc. (ALAS), and other professional liability insurers.
In addition to defending clients against professional malpractice claims in court, our lawyers regularly represent clients in federal and state bar or other regulatory investigations and proceedings, and in proceedings brought by organizations like the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Only as examples, our attorneys have handled significant malpractice claims arising from:
Audit and other assurance services
Tax planning, advice, tax shelter creation and opinion
Merger and acquisition agreements
Stock purchase and other business agreements
Trial practice and strategy
Trusts and estate planning
- Insurance bad faith
- Patent licensing agreements
- Energy supply agreements
- EEOC actions
- Catastrophic personal injury
- Product liability
- Improper billing practices
Representative Experience The following examples illustrate the breadth and depth of the experience we offer clients:
Standard Chartered PLC v. Price Waterhouse LLP
Counsel for Price Waterhouse in post-trial proceedings, on appeal, and on remand in case involving questions of first impression under the Arizona Securities Act and various common law theories. The Arizona Court of Appeals overturned a $338 million accountant malpractice verdict and directed judgment in favor of Price Waterhouse on all but a single claim, which was settled on remand.
Amerco, et al. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, et al.
Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers in defense of professional malpractice and other claims seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages; case settled.
Sell v. Sewell, et al.
Counsel for regional accounting firm and two of its partners in action alleging Arizona Securities Act claims, breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation claims. All claims dismissed except for aiding and abetting alleged Arizona Securities Act violations and negligent misrepresentation claims; summary judgment motion pending.
Case filed against Am Law 100 law firm
Defense counsel for a national (Wall Street) law firm in a suit by the Trustee for the bankruptcy estate of a national restaurant chain seeking more than $2 billion in damages. Case settled in 2006.
Case filed against Am Law 100 law firm
Lead trial counsel for defendant in a successful trial involving negligence in the drafting of a natural gas supply agreement.
Case filed against lawyer from Chicago law firm
Represented lawyer from major Chicago firm in defamation charges brought by corporate CEO arising from disputes related to mismanagement of corporate assets.