Paul L. Caron

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Trusts & Estates: The Next Big Thing In Big Law, Big Law Trusts & Estates Work Risky But Rising:

Trusts and estates work in Big Law is back in a big way. Large law firms are recognizing the demand associated with baby boomers passing along their wealth to the next generation, and the COVID-19 pandemic has also been a boon for estate planning efforts.

But the practice can also come with a hefty insurance price tag, as brokers say underwriters are skittish about the high-value claims that mistakes can generate. As a result, for this work to succeed within big firms, lawyers must be active producers, rather than simply stepping in to help other revenue generators.

Joshua Rubenstein leads the trusts and estates practice at Katten Muchin Rosenman, one of the few large firms that stuck with this work in the 1980s and 1990s, when many other firms were pushing these practitioners into boutiques because they weren’t generating returns that matched other lawyers. He’s been hearing from underwriters for years that trusts and estates is one of their highest areas of risk. ...

[F]irms that had shied away from these practices are reevaluating past decisions to exit, according to trusts and estates practitioners. “For everyone who’s getting out, two to three are getting back in,” Rubenstein said. “The pendulum has swung back in the direction of the full-service firm having a full-service private client practice.”

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