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Afternoon Briefs: Jenner & Block in COVID-19 rent dispute; more malpractice claims likely

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Jenner & Block is sued in dispute over rent during pandemic

The Chicago landlord for Jenner & Block has filed a lawsuit alleging that the law firm owes more than $3.7 million in unpaid rent. Jenner & Block’s co-managing partner, Randy Mehrberg, says the firm doesn’t have to pay under a lease provision that provides for rent abatement during situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. (Law360)

Increase in legal malpractice claims is likely to intensify

The volume of legal malpractice claims increased last year for six out of 10 leading legal liability insurance companies polled by insurance broker Ames & Gough. The polled companies insure about 80% of America’s top grossing law firms. The situation isn’t likely to improve, according to Anthony Davis, a professional responsibility expert with Clyde & Co. “Last year’s rise in the number of claims, compared to the next few years, is likely to look like a Sunday picnic in the park,” he told the American Lawyer. Expect increased claims over contracts drafted by law firms that failed to shield businesses from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. (The American Lawyer)

Which top law firms are the most diverse?

Immigration law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden has taken the top spot on the American Lawyer’s 2020 diversity scorecard, which looks at the share of minority attorneys at the nation’s top law firms by head count and gross income. Another immigration firm, Fragomen, took second place. Next in line were Wood Smith Henning & Berman, White & Case, and Kobre & Kim. Since 2010, the total share of minority lawyers in the scorecard increased by an average of 0.9% per year. (The American Lawyer here and here)

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