Steve Foresta is a partner in Orrick’s New York office and a member of the firm’s Complex Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group.  From 2011 to 2016, he served as the global head of Orrick’s Litigation Business Unit.

Steve has extensive experience handling all phases of complex litigation and has tried numerous cases in state and federal court and before arbitral panels in the United States and abroad. He has a varied practice that includes litigating commercial disputes, representing policyholders in insurance coverage disputes and defending manufacturers in mass tort and product liability actions. He chairs Orrick’s Life Settlements Working Group and has litigated all aspects of life settlement-related disputes, including insurable interest/STOLI allegations, cost of insurance rate increases, enforcement of contestability clauses, and claims of elder abuse, fraud and unfair competition. Steve has also represented plaintiffs and defendants in environmental actions, patent infringement claims and other types of disputes for clients across a wide variety of industries.

  • Steve is an active participant in Orrick’s pro bono and associate training programs, and received Orrick’s Excellence in Mentoring Award in recognition of his strong commitment to providing advice and guidance to the firm’s associates.  He also devotes substantial time to community service organizations. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Indego Africa, a non-profit social enterprise that provides job skills and other training to women in Rwanda and Ghana and delivers access to export markets to facilitate the sale of their handicrafts. In addition, he is chair of the New York Board of Advisors of Disability Rights Advocates, a non-profit legal center whose mission is to advance equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.

    Before joining Orrick in 1998, Steve was an associate and then a partner at Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine, LLP.

  • The following are examples of clients that Steve has represented in significant litigation matters:

    Complex Business Disputes.

    • A Saudi Arabian engineering firm in a dispute involving oil and gas plants in the Gulf region against six different entities before the Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution
    • A large European bank in a civil RICO action involving the alleged theft of millions of dollars of diamond sale proceeds
    • A wine retailer involved in litigation with the New York State Liquor Authority over its operation of various internet wine clubs
    • A medical instrument manufacturer alleging that a major drug and medical device manufacturer engaged in tortious interference with its business prospects by disparaging its products.
    • A luxury brand manufacturer in a dispute with a major retailer and another manufacturer relating to product marketing
    • A computer parts manufacturer, prevailing in a contract dispute with a wholesale distributor arising from the failed launch of a line of NASCAR-themed computer products

    Insurance Recovery.

    • A manufacturer of high-performance membrane products in a dispute with carriers arising out of the failure of a municipal wasterwater treatment plant
    • A finance company seeking recovery from insurers under an aviation policy for damage to a fleet of helicopters
    • Sony Corporation and several of its affiliated companies in litigation arising out of the 2011 cyber-breach of Sony's online gaming network
    • A financial services company that obtained a final award of almost $90 million from an American Arbitration Association panel under a credit default insurance policy for a loss incurred during the 2008 financial crisis
    • A major pharmaceutical company in all of its insurance coverage matters relating to product liability litigation over a 10-year period, resulting in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign and domestic insurers
    • A diversified product manufacturer in litigation that spanned 12 years and multiple jurisdictions, helping collect a significant portion of its available insurance for liability imposed against the company as a result of environmental contamination at dozens of sites across the United States.

    Mass Torts and Product Liability Litigation.

    • An over-the-counter drug manufacturer in dozens of New York state and federal court actions involving personal injuries allegedly resulting from the use of cough and cold medications containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA)
    • A chemical manufacturer in a lawsuit brought under the Alien Tort Statute by residents of Brazil claiming pollution-related injuries
    • Several consumer products manufacturers in litigation involving injuries caused by exposure to asbestos-containing products
    • A pharmaceutical manufacturer in a series of lawsuits alleging kidney damage resulting from the use of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
    • A women’s healthcare company in nearly 150 product liability actions brought in state and federal court in New York involving an implantable contraceptive product

    Life Settlements

    • A number of investors and finance companies involved in disputes with insurance companies over high value life insurance policies sold on the life settlement markets
    • Steve has prevailed in state and federal courts in California, New York, Delaware, Minnesota, Florida, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania and arbitration panels in New York, Minnesota and California in complex cases arising out of sophisticated premium financing transactions, as well as traditional secondary and tertiary market sales