S.C. Supreme Court Rejects Assignment of Legal Malpractice Claims

In a unanimous decision issued July 15, 2015, the South Carolina Supreme Court joined the majority of jurisdictions across the country in holding that purported assignments of legal malpractice claims are void as against public policy.  The case, captioned Skipper v. ACE, Op. No. 27647 (S.C. Supreme Court filed July 15, 2015), was before the court on a certified question from United States District Judge Michelle Childs.  The underlying case involved a confessed judgment of $4.5 million and purported assignment of legal malpractice and other claims in a matter initially filed in Allendale County.  The SC Supreme Court ruled that “in South Carolina, the assignment of a legal malpractice claim between adversaries in litigation in which the alleged malpractice arose is prohibited.”  The decision marked a significant victory for attorneys and insurers subjected to claims such as those brought by the Skipper plaintiffs. GWB shareholder Gray Culbreath argued the case before the South Carolina Supreme Court.  Shareholder Ron Wray worked with attorneys at the Susman Godfrey firm in Houston on the brief.  For the full case summary and opinion, please click the link below: