Stephen A. Serfass

Partner
stephen.serfass dbr.com
Phone: (215) 988-3313 (215) 988-3313
Fax: (215) 988-2757

About

Stephen A. Serfass is chair of the firm’s Insurance Practice Group. He is nationally recognized as a leader in the long-term care insurance community and, in addition to the practice group leadership role, Steve is the founder and co-leader of the firm’s 20+ lawyer Long-Term Care Insurance Team. Steve serves long-term care insurers on a wide range of issues including class actions and individual litigation, regulatory compliance (concerning information privacy and security issues and beyond), acting as counsel overseeing claims audits, reviewing proposed claim denials and related claims issues, policy drafting, fraud prevention, rate increase counseling, and other matters. Steve also has served as acting general counsel for multiple long-term care insurance community members. Beyond his work in long-term care insurance, Steve also has a depth of experience representing insurers on life insurance issues as well as environmental insurance issues. Before joining Drinker Biddle, Steve worked in-house for nearly three years for a leading insurer.

Experience

Steve leads the firm’s Long-Term Care Insurance Team and represents insurers on a wide range of issues including class action and individual litigation, regulatory compliance, product development and policy drafting, fraud prevention, rate increases, privacy and security, and other matters.

  • Led a team in an enterprise-wide compliance audit for a long-term care insurer, which included the provision of a report bench-marking the current compliance function and a road map of specific action items for an improved compliance function.
  • Assisted long-term care insurers in resolving complicated issues related to premium rate increases, care provider licensing and many other coverage issues.
  • Assisted carriers with antifraud issues including developing antifraud programs, providing related training and litigating against those who perpetrate fraud.
Steve represents a wide range of life insurers in litigation and compliance matters. Steve serves as national counsel for a number of major life insurers on certain issues, including stranger-originated life insurance disputes. He has worked as national counsel for one life insurer on a flat-fee basis, handling all individual life insurance litigation around the country. Steve is a member of the Association of Life Insurance Counsel.

Working with insurers and others who routinely handle personal information, Steve provides counsel on privacy and security compliance. He represents insurers, managing general agents, reinsurers, and the business associates of such entities in all facets of information privacy and security compliance, issues that arise in connection with breaches, as well as defending information privacy and security related claims and other insurance coverage matters.

  • Assisted clients by developing and implementing privacy and security compliance plans in connection with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HITECH, and other laws. These engagements included:
    • Conducting an initial evaluation of the ways the organization used, disclosed and otherwise interacted with personal information about policyholders, claimants and others.
    • Drafting policies and procedures compliant with applicable law.
    • Drafting privacy notices, authorization/consent forms, and vendor/business associate contracts/addenda.
    • Developing and providing initial training for the organization’s workforce.
    • Participating in the evaluation and improvement of the organization’s risk management/mitigation system with respect to information privacy and security issues.
  • Helped develop several identity theft prevention programs.
  • Led a team of Drinker Biddle lawyers in performing more than a dozen information privacy audits with respect to GLB, HIPAA, and other insurance-specific requirements for insurers.
  • Serves as counsel for a number of insurers on information privacy issues, and is often called upon to negotiate business associate contracts or similar confidentiality agreements, navigate issues concerning whether a new product is within certain privacy requirements, and to address other related issues.
  • For several clients, Steve is a go-to resource for counsel on information privacy and security matters on a daily basis.
  • He is proficient in a range of privacy related laws.

Steve represents environmental contractors, developers and owners of contaminated property in negotiating fixed price remediation contracts, environmental liability transfer agreements and the placement of related cost cap/remediation stop loss, and pollution liability insurance policies. In private practice, Steve has negotiated in the range of 100 cost-cap and PLL policies.

Recognitions

Chambers USA, Pennsylvania, Insurance, "Recognised Practitioner" (2019)

Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)

Credentials

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania

Education

  • Rutgers University School of Law - Camden, J.D., 1996, Rutgers Law Review
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.S., 1991

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

Organizations

  • Association of Life Insurance Counsel
  • Long Term Care International Forum, Board of Directors (Past President)