COMPETITIVE LEDGE - There’s healthy competition and then there’s… whatever the heck the legal industry talent wars have turned into. As’s Lizzy McLellan writes in this week’s Barometer newsletter, frenzy and even paranoia are beginning to drive law firms’ moves to attract and retain top talent, resulting in risky maneuvers. Many of these increasingly desperate measures, from extra special bonuses to extravagant counteroffers, are likely to age about as well as guacamole. “Leaders who are too reactive in a quickly changing environment might find themselves paying too much for talent without enough return on investment, especially if that talent finds the grass wasn’t much greener, and leaves,” McLellan writes. Still, all this madness could result in an evolutionary leap for the fittest firms. As McLellan notes, organizations “that grow or rework their business models strategically during this time could come out ahead. Those that find ways to address clients’ needs without just adding more bodies stand to strengthen those relationships and improve their own processes in the meantime.” To receive the Barometer directly to your inbox each week, click here.

POLICY DECISIONS -  For more than a year and a half, the tables have not stopped turning in COVID-19 business interruption litigation. Every time it seemed like insurers were gaining the upper hand, a crop of rulings would come down in favor of policyholders—and vice versa. But the past few months have produced some major victories for insurance companies, including the first federal jury trial on the issue ending in a decisive defense verdict. Still, these cases are far from finished. According to the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s COVID Coverage Litigation Tracker, there are currently 222 pending appeals in federal circuit courts and another 65 pending in state appellate courts. As we explore in this week’s Litigation Trendspotter column, the momentum appears to favor defendants in these cases, but insurance recovery lawyers have signaled that they have no intention of throwing in the towel. I’m interested to hear your thoughts: Do policyholders in these cases still have a fighting chance or has the insurance industry now emerged as the decisive winner in business interruption litigation? Let me know at [email protected].

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