Litigation and Regulatory Compliance

Professional Liability Defense

For decades, lawyers, accountants, auditors, consultants, brokers and other professionals have called on Wiggin and Dana when faced with claims of malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, conflict of interest, fraud or professional misconduct. Our in-depth knowledge of the unique issues presented by such claims allows us to develop creative and cost-effective approaches to resolve them. At the same time, we recognize that the defense of such claims often requires clients to stand on principle. We stand with them and are known for our ability to try cases to successful conclusions.

Unique among many firms, Wiggin and Dana frequently represents professionals in government and regulatory proceedings and has successfully resolved matters with the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, state attorneys general, and professional licensing boards.

Our experience, careful preparation, and seasoned strategic judgment are why some of the most prominent firms in the country turn to us for counsel in complex matters. Our attorneys have been at the forefront of many closely-watched cases involving significant issues facing professionals. For instance, we represented Arthur Andersen in the Colonial Realty Limited Partnership securities litigation and related governmental proceedings, and thereafter served as co-counsel to Arthur Andersen in the obstruction of justice investigations and federal criminal trial in Houston arising from the Enron matter. We have represented each of the four largest global auditing firms in complex litigation matters, including matters arising out of the Madoff ponzi scheme and multi-district litigation relating to an elaborate fraud at a health care finance company. In conjunction with attorneys from our White-Collar Defense, Investigations and Corporate Compliance Group, we represent auditing firms and individual auditors in state, federal, PCAOB and AICPA investigations, including the AIG/Gen Re and other finite reinsurance matters, and stock options backdating investigations.

We have also achieved success for our law firm clients at both the appellate and trial court levels. For example, we obtained reversal of a $20 million legal malpractice jury verdict in the Utah Supreme Court (the then-largest verdict in that state) on behalf of a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm. We also successfully represented a major regional law firm in class action litigation and related governmental investigations arising out of its representation of a client in Enron-related transactions. We regularly represent law firms and individual lawyers in professional responsibility matters.

The Group is led by Bill Prout, a trial lawyer for 40 years, who has served as counsel to the Federal Grievance Committee, as a member of the Committee on Professional Ethics, the Public Service and Trust Commission, the Lawyer's Defalcation Task Force and the Complex Litigation Task Force, and authors the Connecticut section of the 50 State Survey of Legal Malpractice Law, published by the Professional Liability Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation. Bill is a Past President of the New England, Connecticut, and New Haven County Bar Associations.