In a recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the Court applied a broad interpretation of the phrase “arising out of” in an insurance policy’s insuring agreement—as opposed to an exclusion—to an insured’s benefit in order to trigger the insurer’s duty to defend. Shamoun & Norman, LLP v. Ironshore Indemnity, Inc., No. 14-CV-01340 (N.D. Tex. Oct. 28, 2014). The insured law firm, Shamoun & Norman, LLP, sought coverage for cross-claims filed against it as part of an underlying dispute with a former client over the alleged breach of a performance incentive bonus agreement. The professional liability policy at issue required the insurer, Ironshore Indemnity, Inc., to defend the firm against claims “arising out of the rendering or failure to render Professional Legal Services.” Upon receipt of the claim, Ironshore initially agreed to defend pursuant to a reservation of rights, then later retracted its defense arguing that under Texas law, fee disputes and billing collections do not constitute the rendering of or failure to render professional legal services. On cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court agreed that fee disputes and billing collections have not been held to constitute professional legal services under Texas law, but clarified that the appropriate question is instead whether such acts or omissions “arise out of” professional legal services as required in order to trigger Ironshore’s duty to defend under the relevant policy. The Court noted that Texas law broadly interprets the phrase “arise of out” to require only a causal connection between the act and the alleged injury, through not necessarily direct or proximate causation. Citing the allegations of the underlying complaint, which asserted that the firm had breached its fiduciary duties to its former client, the Court held that “[b]ut for the plaintiff’s attorney-client relationship with [its former client], there would be no claim for breach of fiduciary duty.” “Therefore, the claim has a ‘causal connection or relation’ to the [firm’s] provision of professional legal services” and arises out of those services. As a result, the court concluded that Ironshore had a duty to defend the firm against the cross-claims in the underlying action and breached that duty in refusing to do so.