Steve Whitehead

Steve is the Managing Shareholder for LGWM. Steve co-chairs LGWM’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group, and he leads LGWM’s Professional Liability Practice Group. Steve primarily has defended insurance agents and brokers and insurance... Read More »

880 Montclair Road, Suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35213

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Full Bio

Steve is the Managing Shareholder for LGWM. Steve co-chairs LGWM’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group, and he leads LGWM’s Professional Liability Practice Group. Steve primarily has defended insurance agents and brokers and insurance companies for the past 25 years. In addition, Steve regularly has defended a wide array of professionals in malpractice claims, including attorneys, appraisers, real estate agents, title agents, third-party administrators, and accountants.

Steve’s Insurance Coverage practice includes assisting carriers in making coverage determinations and rendering coverage advice; prosecuting and defending declaratory judgment actions; defending bad faith actions; and providing monitoring counsel services throughout the southeast United States. Steve’s coverage experience encompasses a broad range of coverage forms including D&O and E&O, GL, EPL, Property, Pollution, Garage Keepers, and Excess.

Steve has defended close to 500 cases on behalf of insurance agents and brokers in a variety of disciplines including, life, health, disability, personal lines, property and casualty, commercial property, general liability, commercial trucking, pollution, directors and officers, employment practices, errors and omissions, and fidelity bonds.

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Professional Profile

AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Rating
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Alabama Bar Association
Member, Torts and Insurance Practice Section
Member, Birmingham Bar Association
Member, Defense Research Institute
Member, Professional Liability Underwriting Society
Bmetro Magazine – 2010 Birmingham’s Top Legal Minds


All Alabama State Courts
United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama
United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit


University of Alabama, J.D., summa cum laude (1989)
– Senior Editor, Alabama Law Review

University of South Alabama, B.A. in English and Philosophy (1986)

Outside the Office

Former Board Member and Member, Executive Leadership Table for the American Heart Association, Birmingham, Alabama Chapter


“The Insurance Tripartite Relationship: ‘Who Is My Client Anyway?’” The Alabama Lawyer, Vol. 69, No. 6 (November 2008) – Authors: Stephen E. Whitehead and Jennifer W. Wall

Publications: “Death of Discovery Depositions in Alabama-Have Good Intentions Gone Awry?” Ala. L. Rev. (1990)

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Cases of Note

    • Represented Carrier in coverage litigation with insured where coverage for a professional liability claim against insured involving $10 million in damages was denied – issues involved claims made and reported and retroactive date problems.


    • Represented Insurance Broker in a claim brought by the carrier where it was alleged the Broker improperly bound coverage contrary to binding instructions resulting in the carrier covering a $3 million claim.


    • Represented Insurance Agent in a $700,000 claim by the carrier where carrier contended agent’s negligence exposed carrier to a $1 million limits liability claim when the carrier only intended to issue a $300,000 limits liability policy – court ruled carrier could only recover from agent the difference in premium between a policy with $300,000 limits and $1 million limits.


    • Represented Carrier in coverage dispute with insured under a Financial Institution’s Errors & Omissions Policy where the insured had settled class action claims for $10 million, implicating carrier’s full policy limits, then sought recoupment from carrier. The case was resolved for a fraction of the carrier’s limits.


    • Successfully defended two Insurance Agents at trial for negligent and fraudulent procurement of guaranteed issue medical coverage where carrier denied insured’s claim asserting carrier had not timely received insured’s application within the guaranteed issue timeframe – case resulted in a $950,000 verdict against the carrier and a defense verdict for the Agents.


    • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of Insurance Agents who developed a program to be underwritten by a Lloyd’s Syndicate for offering accident and health coverage to over ten million karate school participants throughout the United States – Plaintiffs claimed $10 million in future lost commissions and revenues over the failed insurance program.


    • Successfully defended carrier through Arbitration and subsequent Motion to Vacate Award in the New York State Supreme Court under a Securities Broker/Dealer Errors & Omissions Policy – Insured Registered Representative initiated arbitration seeking to recover nearly $1 Million in expenses incurred in defense and indemnity for a prior arbitration against for which coverage had been denied.


    • Successfully defendant Insurance Agent in approximately thirty lawsuits filed by policyholders based on the fraud, criminal acts, and theft of premiums by the Agent’s office employees of which the Agent had no knowledge.


  • Represented insurance adjusting firm in a claim for $4,000,000.00 in damages where insured claimed it was underinsured as a result of annual insurance replacement cost estimates the firm prepared.
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Reported Cases

Gus Kanellis and Maria Kanellis v. Pacific Indemnity Company, et al., 917 So. 2d 149 (Ala. Civ. App. 2005)
*Extended concept of insured’s duty to read policy terms, to allow defense of contributory negligence as a matter of law to negligent procurement claims.

New York Life Insurance Company and Jimmie Stephen v. Elsie Robinson, et al., 735 So. 2d 463 (Ala. 1999)

*Dismissal of Insurance Agent from six individual claims for misrepresentation in the sale of vanishing premium policies where Plaintiffs failed to opt out of class action timely.

Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company v. The Pass Condominium Association, Inc., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56384 (S.D. Ala. 2009)

*Construing service of suit clause favorably for insurer.

Charlie J. Gilmore, etc. v. Shell Oil Company, et al., 613 So. 2d 1272 (Ala. 1993)

*Affirmed dismissal of claim against convenience store in claim for negligently allowing customer to shoot himself with store owner’s handgun.

Progressive Specialty Ins. Co. v. McKnight Agency, Inc., 263 Fed. Appx. 790 (11th Cir. Ala. 2008)

*No proximate cause between Agent’s clerical error in binding limits of $300,000 when $1,000,000 limits were intended, and insurer settling claim for $1,000,000 where insurer would have bound $1,000,000 limits but – for agent’s error.

Sylvester Bishop v. SouthRail Corporation and MidSouth Corporation, 595 So. 2d 857 (Ala. 1992)

Picker International, Inc. v. Daniel W. Parten, et al., 935 F.2d 257 (11th Cir. 1991)

Paul E. Gardner, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al., 842 So. 2d 1 (Ala. 2002)

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Practice Areas

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Professional Liability
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