Stephen F. Willig Of Counsel




Stephen Willig has zealously represented insurers and insureds and private and public corporations for more than three decades. Steve handles trials and appeals and resolution of matters in state and federal courts, arbitration and mediation. He has appeared as primary trial counsel in numerous New York state and federal courts in cases involving a wide range of commercial and personal injury matters. Steve also develops and presents CLE and CE programs on legal malpractice, financial accounting, accountants’ liability and New York Labor Law. 

Steve handles many categories of casualty cases, and has experience with a host of civil litigation matters. In all cases, his philosophy remains the same − early proactive analysis and consultation with the client on how to defend the case and bring it to resolution; continuous, vigorous defense to drive the case along the path to resolution; and at all times to maintain an ethical and cost-efficient mindset. 

Before joining Wilson Elser, Steve was a partner at a noted New York firm that services the insurance, business and financial communities, where he spent most of his career.  He also served for nine years on the Hazlet Township Board of Education, four of those years as its president.

Areas of Focus

New York Labor Law
In his practice at Wilson Elser, Steve focuses on litigation involving New York Labor Law, including the relationships and liability between owner, general contractor and subcontractors, and claims against employers where a “grave’ injury is involved. Even though the statutory law is heavily in favor of workers, Steve has found success at both the motion stage and at trial in having suits deemed outside the parameters of the Labor Law or in limiting damages when the Law does apply. 

Premises Liability
In addition, Steve handles premises liability claims. Here again, the relationship between the involved parties, owners and tenants, pursuant to both law and contract, are what drives his defense strategy. Steve has had significant success at trial, including several defense verdicts, representing one of the nation’s largest big box retailers, where he demonstrates an ability to effectively interact with employees and former employees of the client to develop the appropriate defense strategy aligned with company practice. He then convinces a jury that the client should not be liable, overcoming the often-seen bias against large companies.