Brent Stevens

In the following guest post, Brent Stevens analyzes and summarizes the findings from the 2024 Claims Litigation Management Defense Counsel Study. Brent is a Senior Director at Consilio and leads Consilio’s Insurance Vertical, serving Consilio’s Insurance Industry clients, including carriers, brokers, and their law firms. I would like to thank Brent for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to the site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Brent’s article.


The 2024 Claim Litigation Management (CLM hereafter) Defense Counsel Study offers a wealth of insights into the evolving dynamics of our industry.  The study is an annual “State of the Union” report, this year reflecting a survey of 375 defense attorneys.  In the wake of its publication, I’ve digested the study myself and discussed it informally and formally with esteemed industry experts.  I’ve consolidated the study’s findings down to 4 key takeaways:

1. Talent Shortage in Insurance Litigation: The scarcity of attorneys specializing in insurance litigation presents a formidable challenge for law firms, carriers, and alternative legal service providers (ALSPs hereafter) alike.  The study revealed that 91% were finding the recruiting and retaining of attorneys to be More Difficult and 66% Much, MUCH more Difficult.   Acknowledging this shortage as a collective industry concern is crucial. By recognizing the impact of guidelines, billing rules, and audits on talent recruitment and retention, firms and carriers can collaborate to attract the next generation of insurance defense attorneys. ALSPs are also adjusting their recruitment strategies to address this talent shortage, highlighting the necessity for innovative approaches to talent acquisition across the insurance industry. Firms and carriers must explore ways to enhance their appeal to prospective talent to remain competitive in the evolving legal landscape.

2. Alleviating Pressure to Lower Rates: The pressure from carriers to lower rates has strained relationships between carriers and law firms. This tension is exacerbated by increasing requirements and administrative burdens imposed on counsel.  “Clients don’t seem to value my work” scored fifth overall on the list of top five recurring friction points.  For non-associates, it was the fourth top friction point.  Strategic partnerships offer avenues for alleviating this pressure by fostering collaboration, streamlining processes, and enhancing efficiency. By maintaining strong relationships and leveraging strategic partnerships, all parties can benefit from improved communication, cost-effectiveness, and overall satisfaction.  For an ALSP, it’s apparent that there’s very little room left for cost reductions when it comes to hourly labor costs and data hosting.  It’s paramount for the industry to focus on driving value and efficiency via leveraging technology and more creative pricing models then focus on said efficiencies. 

3. AI in the Insurance Industry: Despite the widespread enthusiasm surrounding AI, achieving true artificial intelligence remains elusive in the insurance sector with only 6% of respondents confirming the use of AI tools and the remainder saying No or I don’t know.  The study found that nonetheless, technology and analytics driven by human expertise are proving to be invaluable assets. ALSPs are playing a pivotal role in bridging the gap between technology and practical application, assisting carriers and law firms in optimizing workflows and reducing costs. By embracing technology as a means to augment human decision-making processes, the industry stands to unlock unprecedented levels of efficiency and effectiveness. The CLM study reflects the prevailing sentiment among law firms, highlighting a lack of comprehensive understanding regarding the practical applications of AI within the legal domain. Commonly cited examples, such as the NY attorney’s misuse of ChatGPT for case law, have contributed to skepticism surrounding AI adoption. However, it’s imperative for the legal community to collectively embrace AI in a judicious manner. This underscores the potential of AI to drive meaningful advancements, albeit not as a panacea for all challenges.

4. Importance of Data Management: With eDiscovery now constituting a significant portion of litigation budgets, a firm grasp of eDiscovery matters is indispensable. Effective eDiscovery management not only ensures budgetary control but also serves as a vital shield against cybersecurity risks. Firms and carriers must find ways to, or find a partner that can, navigate the complexities of eDiscovery, ranging from identifying optimal technology solutions to aligning long-term expectations between carriers and vendors for budgeting, pricing, and reporting.  The 2023 CLM Litigation Management Study revealed that 34% of participants reported experiencing at least one cyber event with their law firms in the past 12 months.  Drawing from the Forbes industry study, the “insurance/legal” sector witnessed a staggering surge in cyber threats. In 2022 alone, a record 636 weekly attacks were documented, representing a concerning 68% escalation from the previous year.  The following 2024 study indicated a noteworthy shift, with almost 80% of respondents indicating changes in their firms’ stance on data retention. These changes in data retention are likely firms opting NOT to hold client data.  These findings underscore the urgent imperative for law firms to fortify their cybersecurity defenses and proactively safeguard sensitive client data. 

In conclusion, the insights gleaned from the 2023 CLM Study underscore the importance of collaboration, innovation, and adaptability in navigating the evolving landscape of the legal and insurance industries. By embracing these key takeaways, stakeholders can position themselves for success in an increasingly complex environment.  If you’re interested in reading the study in full, it can be downloaded here and a recording of a webinar panel discussing the report can be viewed here.