Stephen A. Cozen is the founder and chairman of Cozen O’Connor, a Philadelphia-based law firm with 29 offices throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The firm has grown from just four attorneys in 1970 to its present complement with more than 750 attorneys.
Originally a boutique firm focusing on insurance related and commercial litigation, today Cozen O’Connor is a full-service law firm serving its clients’ needs in business and corporate matters, securities, bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring, real estate, tax, public and project finance, health law, labor and employment matters, intellectual property, government relations, and trusts and estates.
An accomplished litigator and counselor, Steve is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a designation held by only the most respected and experienced courtroom practitioners, a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and a senior fellow of the Advisory Board of the Litigation Counsel of America.
He is also well-recognized as a consummate strategist, an appellate advocate, and is frequently called upon for appellate advice, counsel, and oral advocacy before both state and federal appellate courts. Steve is a nationally recognized lecturer and author on a wide variety of legal and litigation issues, and judicial opinions frequently cite his articles and texts as authoritative references.
In connection with government relations, Steve has, among other things, served as chair of the Department of Energy Advisory Committee on Fire Safety and the Insurance Department Transition Teams for then Governor Rendell in Pennsylvania.
Steve serves on numerous education and philanthropic boards, including The National Museum of American Jewish History, where he is first vice-chair elect, the Philadelphia Foundation, the President’s Leadership Council for the Kimmel Center, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School Board of Overseers.
Steve also spearheaded the development of the Samuel D. Cozen PAL Center and is actively involved with the organization. He is chairman of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute Board of Councilors, Chairman of its Five Year Campaign Initiative, and currently serves on the boards of Franklin Square Holdings, LP, Haverford Trust Company, and ABR Reinsurance Capital Holdings, Ltd.
In addition, the firm made a gift to the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Steve’s honor, establishing the Stephen A. Cozen Professorship of Law, and he was honored with the 2008 Musser Excellence in Leadership Award from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
In 2011, Steve was honored by Drexel University as the Business Leader of the Year. While bestowing the honor, Drexel President John Fry said, “I think Steve is a perfect recipient of this award because his legendary intellect and energy have extended well beyond vision and leadership for his law firm, into civic and development activities that have helped build a great climate for the people and businesses of the region.
In support of his beloved Philadelphia, Steve played a major role in the creation of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and was named to its President’s Leadership Council in 2018, innovative programs at Project H.O.M.E., and the new National Museum of American Jewish History.” In 2017, Steve was presented with the inaugural Drexel Hillel Leadership Award.
Steve earned his undergraduate degree and law degree, both with honors, from The University of Pennsylvania in 1961 and 1964, respectively. Steve was admitted to practice in Pennsylvania in 1964, before all of the courts of Pennsylvania, and in addition to many U.S. District Courts and U.S. Courts of Appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
- Defeated eight class actions, settled thousands of claims, and recovered in excess of $100 million from 16 defendants, while defending the building owners and managers in the One Meridian Plaza fire in Philadelphia, the largest high-rise fire in U.S. history.
- Represented Airgas, Inc. in a civil suit against Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. The federal court for the eastern District of Pennsylvania denied Cravath’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, allowing the claims for breach of fiduciary duty and punitive damages to proceed toward jury trial. Shortly thereafter, the case settled.
- Represented Jacob Stern & Sons Inc., a privately held agricultural products company, in a high-stakes, international case involving successful claims of unfair competition, trade secrets, breach of contract and loyalty, tortious interference, and civil conspiracy against two of Stern’s former employees and two corporate defendants.
- Represented the City Trusts in defense of the tax exempt status of Estate of Stephen Girard in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Cozen used historical precedents, including a 143-year-old statute and a 1957 U.S. Supreme Court decision, to defend the tax-free status of leasable Girard Estates property, thereby protecting the hundreds of millions of tax exempt bonds that allow the school to maintain its free educational services.
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, L.L.B., 1964
- University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1961
BAR ADMISSIONS : Pennsylvania
COURT ADMISSIONS :
- Commonwealth Court Of Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Supreme Court
- American Bar Association
- American College of Trial Lawyers
- American Judicature Society
- Defense Research Institute
- Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Defense Institute
- Advisory Board of the Litigation Counsel of America, Senior Fellow (2015-2018)
- President’s Leadership Council for the Kimmel Center
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