Stephen C. Baker
Practice Areas

Steve Baker is a nationally recognized authority on the insurance and financial services industries, and the state and federal systems in which they operate. He advises insurers, reinsurers, insurance brokers and agents, risk managers, intermediaries, financial services institutions, and insurance industry trade associations, both on operational and compliance matters, and in dispute resolution. Steve has an in-depth knowledge of insurance, reinsurance, broker and agency issues, direct commercial litigation, workers compensation, insolvency, and rehabilitation proceedings, and is well-known for his experience in issues involving brokers, agents, and BGAs. He counsels clients across the insurance industry, including property/casualty, and life, health, and accident carriers. Over the course of his illustrious career, Steve has cumulatively spent more than a year exclusively on trial, advocating for his clients. He is a highly experienced litigator, having appeared in nearly every state in the country, in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate level, and before the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania and Maryland. He is sought after nationally by clients, trade associations, and legal publications, as a speaker, thought leader, and commentator on emerging insurance-related legal issues. It is not surprising that one Chambers survey respondent named him “the dean of the life insurance bar.”

Steve advises and defends insurers at the local and national level, protecting and shaping the law in the insurance industry. He has represented clients as national defense counsel before courts, trade associations and state legislative committees in connection with exposures stemming from viaticals, life settlements, non-recourse premium financing, and stranger-originated life insurance transactions. He has achieved verdicts, and reduced liability, for his clients in the millions and multi-millions. In a nine-week-long jury trial alleging fraud by a partner in a medical device supplier joint venture, Steve won a multi-million dollar verdict for his client, including over $1 million in punitive damages. Leading a team, including MBK Partner Jack Dempsey, Steve significantly reduced liability for a credit life insurer on claims of significant exposure in West Virginia. Despite the case coming in the wake of a nine-figure verdict against an insurer in a very similar matter, Steve’s team successfully minimized his insurer client’s liability to achieve a low six-figure verdict. Steve was also instrumental in the landmark United States Supreme Court decision in Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno, as the principal author of a successful petition for certiorari and a major contributor to a successful brief on the merits in the case.

Steve has earned a reputation as a lawyer who thinks outside the box. Since the 1990s, Steve, and teams under his leadership, have literally made the law on emerging insurance legal issues, including structured settlement factoring, viaticals, stranger-originated life insurance, and annuity sales practices. He has influenced the law by his advocacy before courts and legislative committees, and his advice to clients on how they can react to proposed legislation. He has impacted the way the industry does business by his practical risk avoidance advice, including the introduction of emerging exposure forums at which a client’s legal and business teams proactively identify and mitigate potential business exposures. With his deep connections and his innate understanding of the law and business of the insurance industry, Steve is an asset who creates value for each and every client.