Steuart Thomsen, with more than three decades of litigation experience, concentrates his practice in complex business litigation, including class action defense. Steuart’s clients include insurance companies (both life and property casualty) and others in the financial services industry. He has appeared in numerous state and federal courts and before regulatory agencies, including the International Trade Commission.
Steuart is the Washington office leader of Sutherland’s Litigation Group. He has represented and counseled clients in litigation and other proceedings in connection with insurance, unclaimed property, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), tax, intellectual property, false advertising claims, contract and other commercial disputes, securities fraud and Administrative Procedure Act challenges. He also advises clients in the pre-litigation phase of disputes in an effort to avoid or prepare for potential litigation.
Sutherland wins dismissal of ERISA fiduciary breach claims.
Sutherland successfully moved to dismiss ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims on the grounds that the conduct at issue involved plan design rather than a fiduciary function, and the dismissal was affirmed on appeal.
Sutherland represents more than 20 insurers in unclaimed property litigation in West Virginia.
In litigation against more than 50 life insurance companies, the West Virginia state treasurer alleged that insurers have an affirmative duty to search for information about possible deaths of policyholders and to seek out potential claimants. Sutherland attorneys are defending many of these cases and playing a key role in the litigation.
Sutherland wins dismissal of extra-contractual claims and summary judgment for homeowners' insurer in flood insurance case.
Sutherland successfully defended a homeowners' insurer in a class action involving flood insurance policies issued under the National Flood Insurance Program.
Awards and Rankings
Selected as a Washington, DC Local Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation (2011-2012)
Selected for inclusion in Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers® (2013)
Former Chair, Employee Benefits Law Committee, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association
Member, Litigation Section, American Bar Association
Chair, Legal Ethics Committee, District of Columbia Bar
Former Chair, Committee on Admissions and Grievances, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Member, International Trade Commission Trial Lawyers Association
Member, Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Former Chair of Governance Committee, Council for Court Excellence
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America