Phillip E. Stano

Phillip E. Stano: Attorney with Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Attorney Awards


Phillip Stano relies on more than 30 years of experience-as a regulator, then as counsel for a life insurers’ trade association and now as a defense attorney-to achieve positive outcomes in class action suits, other complex financial services litigation, and regulatory and compliance counseling. Phil’s clients are some of the nation’s largest corporations, including annuity, life, long-term care, health and title insurers. Combining a thorough knowledge of class action procedure with an understanding of current regulatory developments, Phil represents his clients in state and federal courts nationwide on issues such as unclaimed property, contractual obligations, privacy/cyber risk, adequacy of disclosure and regulatory compliance.

Before joining Eversheds Sutherland (US), Phil served as chief litigation counsel at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), where he filed more than 350 briefs on significant issues affecting insurers' marketing life, annuity, disability, long-term care and health insurance products. He organized and directed ACLI’s class action, state tort/judicial reform, insurer legal privileges, arbitration and insurance anti-fraud legislative reform efforts. Prior to ACLI, he was assistant attorney general and general counsel of the Alabama Insurance Department, where he litigated numerous civil matters at the trial and appellate levels. He has extensive experience in insurer rehabilitation and liquidation proceedings and unclaimed property/market conduct audit defense and advice.

Awards and Rankings

Recognized as a stand-out lawyer by Acritas Stars: Independently Rated Lawyers (2018)

Named the American Tort Reform Association’s Legal Reform Champion (2005)

Selected Experience

Won summary judgment for a major life insurer against a putative class claim that a universal life policy was defectively designed.
Secured motion to dismiss in a New Mexico RESPA case affirmed by Tenth Circuit.
Won summary judgment for life insurer in retained assets action affirmed by Ninth Circuit.


Legal Alerts

Legal Alert: Supreme Court strengthens enforceability of arbitration provisions (January 11, 2019)
In his first Supreme Court opinion, Justice Kavanaugh, writing for a unanimous court, held that when a contract delegates to arbitrators gateway questions regarding arbitrability of disputes, courts ...

Legal Alert: 2018 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - embracing technology and promoting judicial efficiency (December 4, 2018)
On December 1, 2018, four amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure became effective. The amendments to Rules 23, 5, 62, and 65.1 by no means constitute earth-shattering changes to existing ...

Legal Alert: Delaware jury finds retailer liable for gift card breakage in qui tam escheat litigation (September 28, 2018)
After four-plus years of litigation in a long-running dispute over unredeemed gift cards, a jury returned a verdict against, finding that the company violated the Delaware False Claims ...

Legal Alert: The impact of Langan v. Johnson & Johnson on nationwide class actions (August 15, 2018)
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently closed the door on a potential argument for defendants fighting multi-state class certification. In Langan v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer ...

Legal Alert: Escheated funds from IRAs subject to federal tax reporting and withholding (May 31, 2018)
The payment of a traditional individual retirement account or annuity (IRA) over to a state unclaimed property fund will now be subject to federal tax withholding and reporting, according to Rev. ...

Legal Alert: Supreme Court rules in favor of class action waivers contained in employee arbitration agreements (May 22, 2018)
The Supreme Court of the United States handed employers a huge win with respect to employee class and collective actions. In Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis, the Court actually resolved three cases-Ernst ...

Legal Alert: Block and tackle-unclaimed property and cryptocurrency (May 15, 2018)
Introduction As promoters of cryptocurrencies and digital-asset exchanges face intense scrutiny from tax, securities and other financial services regulators, they will soon have to contend with ...

Legal Alert: Retroactive application of unclaimed property law for life insurance deemed unconstitutional in Florida (April 26, 2018)
Legislation requiring the life insurance industry to conduct searches of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF) and set the trigger for the escheatment dormancy period at the ...

The Final Rule: Next Steps After Vacatur (April 5, 2018)
The nationwide vacatur of the Department of Labor “investment advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on March 15, 2018, does not bring an ...

The Final Rule: DOL Fiduciary Rule Affirmed and Revoked (March 21, 2018)
During the week of March 12, two federal appeals courts separately upheld and vacated the DOL fiduciary rule under the Administrative Procedure Act, and DOL suspended enforcement of the rule pending ...


States vs. Uncle Sam: Federal Bonds as Unclaimed Property (September 5, 2017)
States are continuing to assert claims against the federal government over unredeemed federal savings bonds under their respective unclaimed property statutes. Billions of dollars are at stake, and ...

Broker-Dealers and Securities: Top Five Unclaimed Property Issues (Summer 2017)
First published in the Summer 2017 edition of Keanotes While securities have long been a hot spot for unclaimed property issues, the past several years have seen a continued expansion of audit ...

Delaware Re-Ups Dubious Unclaimed Property Audit Rules (April 18, 2017)
In last year's Temple-Inland v. Cook decision, a federal district court held that Delaware violated a holder’s constitutional due process rights by issuing an unclaimed property assessment. The ...

Rule 41 - A Hacking by Any Other Name... (Spring 2017)
Partnering Perspectives
In their article for the Spring 2017 edition of Partnering Perspectives, Eversheds Sutherland (US) attorneys Mark Herlach, Robert Owen, Phillip Stano, Mary Jane Wilson-Bilik, Trevor Satnick and John ...

What the Supreme Court Giveth, the CFPB Taketh Away (July 18, 2016)
New York Law Journal
On May 5, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its much-anticipated and highly controversial proposed regulation on restricting the use of class action waivers and ...

The Final Rule: DOL’s Expanded Definition of Investment Advice Fiduciary Under ERISA and Revised Complex of Exemptions (April 12, 2016)
Just less than a year since its proposal, and just more than six months after receiving thousands of pages of commentary, petitions and hearing testimony, the Department of Labor finalized its ...

“Based on” What? Courts Split over Cost of Insurance Rates (Winter 2016)
The Brief - American Bar Association Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section's quarterly magazine
Over the past several years, a number of courts have considered the scope of insurer discretion to set cost of insurance (COI) rates for life insurance policies, and have reached different results. ...

2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (November 24, 2015)
The Litigation Practice Group of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has published “2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” This publication reflects important changes to the Federal ...

Broker-Dealers - New Targets of Unclaimed Property Audits (April 10, 2015)
Following on the heels of multimillion-dollar unclaimed property settlements involving more than 20 large life insurance companies, unclaimed property auditors have shifted their focus to ...

Did Pennsylvania’s High Court Just Open the Class Action Door? (February 2, 2015)
In Braun v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a $187 million jury verdict in favor of class action plaintiffs. In their article for Law360, Sutherland attorneys Philip ...


Partnering Perspectives: Insights from Inside and Outside the Corporate Law Department (Spring 2017)
We are pleased to present the Spring 2017 edition of Partnering Perspectives, which provides insight into a number of developing legal issues with important multinational implications. Articles ...


“A key issue facing insurers is policy disclosure. The venue or forum in which it arises can vary, but the basic question is, ‘Did the insurance policy disclose regarding the issue I’m now complaining about, or did the insurer try to hide something from me?’”


Webcast: Unclaimed Property Audit or VDA Program: The Delaware Dilemma (November 28, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland (US) attorneys Phil Stano, Mary Jane Wilson-Bilik, Wilson Barmeyer and Liz Cha host a webcast with Alison J. Iavarone, Delaware’s SOS VDA Administrator, about Delaware’s ...

Webcast: Unclaimed Property at the Crossroads (September 19, 2017)
2017 has been a year of transition for high-stakes unclaimed property audits that continue to hit all economic sectors. While states continue to press forward on audits, legislation across the ...

The Hottest Litigation Topics From the Year in Review (June 12, 2017)
IRI Government, Legal & Regulatory Conference
Eversheds Sutherland (US) attorneys Phillip Stano, Brendan Ballard and Wilson Barmeyer present “ The Hottest Litigation Topics from the Year in Review at the IRI Government, Legal & Regulatory ...

Webcast - Holders Strike Back: The Future of Unclaimed Property Audits (October 6, 2016)
With high-stakes unclaimed property audits hitting all economic sectors, holders are pressing auditors and state legislators to respect their constitutional rights and curb regulators' enthusiasm for ...

Litigation and Enforcement under the DOL Fiduciary Rule and the BIC Exemption (June 6, 2016)
IRI Government, Legal & Regulatory Conference
Sutherland attorneys Phillip Stano, Gail Westover and Wilson Barmeyer present Litigation and Enforcement under the DOL Fiduciary Rule and the BIC Exemption at the IRI Government, Legal & Regulatory ...

Webcast: DOL Fiduciary Rule - Implementation Planning and Timetable (May 10, 2016)
Sutherland Partners Susan Krawczyk, Carol McClarnon, Brian Rubin, Mark Smith, Phillip Stano, Gail Westover and Mary Jane Wilson-Bilik present DOL Fiduciary Rule - Implementation Planning and ...

Roundtable Discussion: Final DOL ERISA Fiduciary Definition and Related Exemptions (May 3, 2016)
Sutherland hosts a roundtable on the “Final DOL ERISA Fiduciary Definition and Related Exemptions” on May 3, 2016, in St. Louis, Missouri. The program is an in-depth discussion regarding the U.S. ...

Webcast: BICE and Other Four-Letter Words: Litigation and Enforcement Under the DOL Fiduciary Proposal (February 24, 2016)
Sutherland attorneys Olga Greenberg, Brian Rubin, Larry Polk, Mark Smith, Phil Stano, Gail Westover, Wilson Barmeyer and Carol McClarnon present BICE and Other Four-Letter Words: Litigation and ...

Webcast: Insurance Litigation Trends to Watch in 2016 (February 18, 2016)
Sutherland attorneys Tom Curvin, Kym Kochis, Lewis Wiener, Phil Stano, Valerie Sanders and Wilson Barmeyer present Insurance Litigation Trends to Watch in 2016 on February 18, 2016. Litigation ...

Class Actions and Complex Litigation: Update on Latest Filings and Theories (January 25, 2016)
American Conference Institute’s National Advanced Forum on Life Insurance Litigation Regulatory Enforcement and ERM
Sutherland Partner Phillip Stano presents “Class Actions and Complex Litigation: Update on Latest Filings and Theories” at the American Conference Institute’s National Advanced Forum on Life ...


In the News

Shops Face Tight Deadline With New Texas Unclaimed Property Rules (August 30, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland Partner Phillip Stano is quoted in this Ignites article regarding a new piece of Texas legislation slated to go into effect on September 1, which requires fund companies to ...

Unclaimed Property: 2016 in Review (January 5, 2017)
Tax Notes
Sutherland’s legal alert, Ten Things You Should Know About the 2016 Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, is mentioned in this Tax Notes article.

Prepare Forcefields Against DOL Lawsuits, Lawyers Say (June 8, 2016)
Insurance News Net
Sutherland attorneys Phillip Stano and Wilson Barmeyer are quoted in this Insurance News Net article regarding potential litigation risks and class action lawsuits that will inevitably arise under ...

State Taxation: West Virginia High Court Hears Life Insurance Unclaimed Property Arguments (June 2015)
Insurance Tax Review
Partner Phillip Stano is mentioned in this Insurance Tax Review article for representing the life insurance companies in Perdue v. Nationwide Life Ins. Co.

California Fines 60 Insurers for Late Life Payments (May 7, 2015)
Insurance News Net
Sutherland’s legal alert, “Eureka: California Controller Discovers New Source of Revenue from Insurers,” was mentioned in Insurance News Net.

Retained Asset Account Class Action Proceeds Versus MetLife; Policy Terms Critical (April 24, 2015)
Bloomberg Law - Class Action Litigation Report
Partners Phillip Stano and Thomas Curvin are mentioned in this Bloomberg Law article for representing MetLife.

West Virginia High Court Hears Life Insurance Unclaimed Property Arguments (April 14, 2015)
State Tax Today and State Tax Notes
Partner Phillip Stano is quoted in articles for State Tax Today and State Tax Notes regarding oral arguments heard in Perdue v. Nationwide Life Insurance Company, a case that centers on whether an ...

Broker-Dealers Next Likely Target for Unclaimed Property Contingent Fee Audits, Panel Warns (March 27, 2015)
State Tax Today
Partners Phillip Stano and Holly Smith are featured in this State Tax Today article regarding third-party auditors, such as Verus Financial and Kelmar, switching their focus to the securities ...

‘Cash-Starved’ States Ratchet Up Unclaimed Property Audits (March 16, 2015)
Partner Phillip Stano is quoted in an Ignites article regarding state regulators using third-party auditors to help aggressively pursue unclaimed property held by mutual fund providers and their ...

Panel Proposes Rules for Unclaimed Insurance Policies (March 5, 2015)
Insurance News Net
Sutherland’s legal alert, “Unclaimed Property Issues Under Debate as Uniform Law Commission Rewrites the Uniform Act,” is featured in Insurance News Net.

Press Releases

Acritas Stars Recognizes 17 Eversheds Sutherland (US) Attorneys for Outstanding Client Service (March 20, 2018)
Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is pleased to announce that 17 attorneys have been recognized as stand-out lawyers in the 2018 Acritas Stars: Independently Rated Lawyers report. The annual report, ...


Webcast: Insurance Litigation Trends to Watch in 2016 (February 18, 2016)
Sutherland attorneys Tom Curvin, Kym Kochis, Lewis Wiener, Phil Stano, Valerie Sanders and Wilson Barmeyer present Insurance Litigation Trends to Watch in 2016 on February 18, 2016. Litigation ...

Webcast: Insurance Litigation Trends to Watch in 2015 (February 10, 2015)
Litigation is never off the radar screen in a sector as heavily regulated as insurance. Join a panel of Sutherland litigators, including Tom Curvin, Phil Stano, Lewis Wiener, Valerie Sanders, Wilson ...

Webcast: Black Hats, Firewalls and Data Loss: Insurers Confront Data Breach Litigation (December 9, 2014)
Are hackers taking over the world? Companies with iconic brands like Home Depot, Target and Neiman Marcus - to name only a few - have suffered catastrophic security breaches exposing them to ...

Areas of Practice (10)

  • Litigation
  • Broker-Dealer
  • Securities Enforcement & Litigation
  • Class Action Defense
  • Financial Services Litigation
  • Retirement Products & Services
  • Insurance
  • Unclaimed Insurance Benefits
  • Cybersecurity & Privacy
  • Unclaimed Property

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
202.383.0261  Phone
University Attended:
University of Alabama at Birmingham, B.A.
Law School Attended:
The University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., Articles Editor, Law and Psychology Review
Year of First Admission:
Numerous Federal Circuit and District Courts; Alabama; District of Columbia; U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Activities
Member, Board of Directors, Attorneys Insurance Mutual of the South, Inc.
Member, Editorial Review Board, Journal of Insurance Regulation
Secretary-Treasurer, Association of Life Insurance Counsel (2003-2009)

Birth Information:
Birmingham, Alabama, 1953

Peer Reviews

  • 4.4/5.0
  • High ethical standing icon
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (99)

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