We regularly serve as monitoring counsel assisting insurers in working with defense counsel and the insured in evaluating potential exposure and effectively handling and resolving claims for which a defense and/or coverage is being afforded.
As the insured is adequately represented in claims for which coverage has been afforded, our function on behalf of the Excess insurer expands to include that of monitoring counsel. In this role, it is our responsibility to: (1) establish a meaningful dialogue with both the insured and defense counsel; (2) follow the progress of the claim; (3) evaluate the underlying facts and circumstances; (4) assess the insured’s liability and damage exposures; (5) estimate the costs that would be incurred in defending the claim to a litigated conclusion; and in collaboration with defense counsel, (6) develop and implement a cost-effective resolution strategy that is in the best mutual interests of the insured and the insurer.
In conducting an investigation and analysis as monitoring counsel, an “on-site” inspection of the insured’s facility may be conducted, and meetings with the insured’s representatives and defense counsel may be scheduled. We review pleadings and motion papers, and analyze deposition testimony, as part of our continuing investigation. Oftentimes, we will be asked to serve as the insurer’s representative at mediations and settlement conferences. The goal as monitoring counsel always is to encourage the economic adjustment of the claim in a manner that is consistent with the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions for which the insured and insurer have contracted.