UN considers law for ‘climate change refugees'; law firms benefit from bust city

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UN considers law for ‘climate change refugees’ after dismissed New Zealand case... law firms benefit from bust city... a healthy report for Morgan Lewis... and malpractice claims rise from law firms...

UN considers ‘climate change refugees’ after rejected NZ case
A case considered by the New Zealand Court of Appeal in May has given new cause for thought by the United Nations. The matter concerns a man from the Pacific island of Kiribati who moved his family from the island to New Zealand claiming that his homeland was sinking and too dangerous to live on. Had his case been upheld he would have become the world’s first climate change refugee. The UN is now considering whether it needs to seek an update to refugee agreements to include those fleeing climatic danger rather than war or persecution. José Riera, Senior Advisor in the UN refugee agency’s Division of International Protection, concurred, “In the case of cross-border movement, we’re looking at a gaping legal hole.”
Law firms benefit from bust city
Detroit USA, famous for motor cars and Motown, hit the headlines last year for another reason; the city was bankrupt. It filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which is exclusive to municipalities and allows them to restructure debts; in Detroit’s case around US$20 billion. New figures show that, as well as being the largest municipal debt in US history, it has also become the most expensive for professional fees. Figures show that along with accountants and other professionals, two law firms are among those to benefit from the bankruptcy filing. In less than a year, Jones Day (the City’s lead counsel) has billed $26 million and Dentons is in line for $7.7 million, and there is likely to be more before the matter is concluded.
Morgan Lewis get clean bill of health
Morgan Lewis has been ranked one of the largest U.S. law firms in the healthcare industry by leading healthcare business and policy news magazine Modern Healthcare, coming in at No.2 of 69 on its annual “Largest Healthcare Law Firms” list. The list comprises law firms that are members of the American Health Lawyers Association and spent at least 50 per cent of their time on health law in 2013.
Insurers see increase in malpractice suits against law firms
In its fourth annual survey of US lawyers’ professional liability claims, insurance brokers Ames & Gough polled eight of the leading Lawyers’ Professional Liability insurance companies that on a combined basis insure more than 80 per cent of the 100 largest firms. Four insurers either paid or participated in paying a claim of US$100 million or greater; two others had a payment between $50 million - $100 million. Among specific practice areas, real estate law continues to see the largest number of malpractice claims, albeit not to the extent as in prior years. Meanwhile, corporate and securities received an equal number of responses from insurers (63 per cent), an increase from last year.