Baltimore Insurance Litigator Jeffrey Wothers on Why the Recession Hasn't Led to Fraud Claims in Property

Jeffrey-Wothers.jpgJeffrey A. Wothers, an insurance coverage and business litigation lawyer in Baltimore, is also the young managing partner at Niles, Barton & Wilmer, the oldest law firm in Maryland. We spoke to him for our Q&A, "Insurance Exchange," in the 2012 issue of Maryland Super Lawyers.

In this blog exclusive, Wothers talks about managing a firm during the global financial meltdown.

How has the global financial meltdown affected property insurance?
Historically, when the economy slows down, fraud claims in property go up. If you have a business you're trying to sell, and you can't, a way to convert it to cash is to burn it down.

This time around, not so much. You tended to see people walking away from the businesses. The values went down so dramatically that even if it got burned down, even if they were inclined to do that, there would be no equity in it. So they just give up and walk away.

So I didn't see any impact one way or the other.

And how has it affected your firm?
What we're dealing with in tough economic times is the same thing our clients are dealing with in tough economic times. So their expectations change, too. I think we've had a deepening relationship with some of the clients, as they see us taking some of the same steps they're taking-being more efficient, doing more with less-and that way we can keep a lid on rates and help them save money.

More than ever, clients are looking for practical solutions to business problems. They're not interested in full-bore litigation for the sake of litigation. Instead, there's a problem: How do we find the solution?

NEXT: Wothers on midsized firms in the global age.