MacKinnon & Higgins Team Profile

Frank Higgins and Noel MacKinnon have felt the brunt of fire damage firsthand because their law offices suffered collateral damage from an arson crime committed against a nearby business. So if you have suffered a commercial fire, you can be sure that the attorneys at MacKinnon & Higgins can identify with how disruptive and far reaching the consequences of a fire can be. More importantly, they realize that its effects have to be minimized and the results of the claim process must be maximized, so that a crippling loss does not become a financially debilitating one.

What is more, both Frank and Noel have suffered devastating property damage losses to their respective homes, Noel by fire and Frank by water. So aside from the fact that the partners have been handling property damage claims for over 25 years, they know from firsthand experience the devastation and uncertainty that results from a catastrophic loss. More importantly, both Frank and Noel are intimately familiar with the ins and outs of the claim process from their collective experience. Consequently, they can make the process work for you.

Frank and Noel both approach the claim preparation process in the same way. They know that the key to success is hard work and preparation. And that certain questions must be answered: What are the circumstances of the loss? What does the policy provide? Would the services of a public adjuster be helpful? What should the insured do, if anything, in response to an insurer's positioning? What red flags are waving and how will the insurance company, its adjusters and attorneys attempt to exploit them? What can or should be done to ameliorate the problem? Should a cause-and-origin expert be hired? Should the appraisal process be demanded or should resort be made to the judicial forum? Is there a remedy should the insurer foot-drag on the claim? Did the agent book the wrong kind of coverage? These and other critical questions must be addressed. After all, good results are not the result of luck. They are the result of hard work and preparation. In short, the team of Noel MacKinnon and Frank Higgins makes money the old fashioned way: They work hard, and they earn it.

John Noel MacKinnon, BA, JD
Attorney and Counselor

Have you suffered a fire to your home? Noel MacKinnon has walked in your shoes. "When I meet people whose home or business has gone up in flames, believe me, I know exactly how they feel because my own home went up in flames after a storm took down power lines. I also know that no matter how sharp they are, or how great their memory may be and how hard they may work on their claim, they will never be fully compensated for the loss that's been suffered if they try to go it alone." Not hiring competent professionals may seem like a prudent way to economize and save money, but making a claim is so complex that professional assistance will not only pay for itself, it will maximize the outcome for the insureds.

Fighting for people is something MacKinnon has done ever since his time in Vietnam as an Army helicopter pilot. It was after his duty there that he attended the University of Michigan and earned his undergraduate degree, going on to study at Wayne State University where he earned his degree in law, with honors.

Starting out as a young attorney, MacKinnon witnessed first-hand how some insurance companies abuse their policy holders. More disturbing still, he witnessed how many attorneys are simply not attuned to the nuances, let alone the underlying principles, of property insurance law. As a consequence, he noticed that their clients often suffered because of a lack of legal sophistication and experience. There may be other attorneys who are competent and have knowledge of property damage and the discipline to stay on top of developments. The difficulty is distinguishing one from the other.

Noel has seen how the claim process has become even more complex as insurers have evolved tactics to maximize their profits: low ball offers, tricky contract provisions, sweetheart deals with "preferred" contractors and "restoration" specialists, and lengthy delays that break down insureds into accepting less than their due just to put an end to a frustrating and seemingly endless process.

For over 25 years, Noel MacKinnon has been advising and fighting for those who have suffered property damage to ensure that they make informed decisions and receive everything that they paid for following a loss. You can be absolutely sure that he will analyze your situation, offer rock-solid advice and battle for you whether on the phone, with your insurance company or its adjusters, attorneys, vendors and contractors, either in the courtroom or anywhere else your best interests may take him.

Francis W. Higgins, BA, JD
Attorney and Counselor

“Frank” Higgins knows a thing or two about fighting for his clients. After all, he spent much of his time early in his career as a criminal defense attorney. “Those years were invaluable to me as I learned how to research a case, formulate an argument and do battle for a client who was in desperate straits,” says Higgins.

Frank attended the University of Michigan as an Evans Scholar where he earned his undergraduate degree and then Wayne State University for his degree in law. Higgins’ career evolved in such a manner that he became immersed in property damage cases, and he began to understand the field from virtually every perspective—that of the homeowner, business owner, insurance company, repair contractor, public adjuster, etc. In fact, his overall knowledge of property damage issues became so respected and complete that he has often been called upon to function as an “umpire” or arbitrator to settle property insurance/appraisal disputes.

Since 1984, Higgins has partnered with Noel MacKinnon to build their firm’s considerable reputation as “the property loss attorneys.” Moreover, as an indispensable consultant to his wife’s 100-employee prototyping business, he has gained special insights into the unique needs of business clients in general and for those who have experienced commercial property losses in particular.

Frank stands ready to put his more than 25 years of property damage experience to work for you to advise you, and to prepare you for the struggle to get you everything that you paid for and is rightfully yours under the policy as the result of the loss.