Stephen has chaired the ERISA and insurance coverage/bad faith litigation practices at two Boston firms, and has practiced extensively in commercial litigation for nearly 30 years. As head of the Wagner Law Group’s ERISA litigation practice, he represents plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, financial advisors, plan participants, company executives, third-party administrators, employers and others in a broad range of ERISA disputes, including breach of fiduciary duty, denial of benefit, Employee Stock Ownership Plan and deferred compensation matters.
Stephen has extensive experience in class action litigation and commercial arbitration, with substantial first chair trial experience in both state and federal courts. One federal district court judge described his work as class action lead counsel as “a very good job in all aspects.” Stephen was named one of the best 15 ERISA lawyers in the country in 2015 by the National Association of Plan Advisors, and is the sole author of an award-winning blog on ERISA and insurance litigation.
Stephen is also an experienced commercial and insurance litigator, with decades of experience representing clients in complex insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, director and officer liability, professional liability, patent infringement and copyright infringement disputes. He has tried patent infringement, product liability, director and officer liability, consumer protection, insurance bad faith, reinsurance and commercial insurance coverage cases to verdict in state courts, federal courts and commercial arbitrations.
Stephen frequently represents insurers and corporate policyholders in commercial liability, reinsurance, chapter 93A, and bad faith disputes, having litigated and arbitrated complex coverage disputes throughout the country and internationally. Stephen has tried multiple bad faith cases seeking millions of dollars in damages from insurers for alleged violations of Massachusetts’ unfair claim settlement practices act.
In addition, Stephen counsels clients on ERISA compliance and plan operation issues. He assists clients in correcting problems with ERISA plans and in drafting plan documents, counsels legal departments on the operations of ERISA governed plans, and serves as counsel to retirement plan committees. He regularly advises senior management, including senior executives and general counsel, on ERISA compliance and litigation. He is also often retained by start up and emerging technology and software companies to provide counsel on patent, copyright and software issues, including claims of infringement and contractual disputes with customers.
Stephen has been quoted extensively in the media concerning ERISA litigation, including by the Wall Street Journal, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, National Law Journal and Bloomberg BNA. He has published extensively on ERISA litigation issues, including articles on excessive fee disputes, and has lectured regularly on both ERISA and insurance issues at leading industry conferences.