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Steven Kass

Steven Kass

Of Counsel

Steven Kass brings extensive experience to a wide range of issues facing insurance companies and other financial services providers. In 35 years as a business lawyer, his primary role, Steve has represented clients in an array of transactional matters and counseled on compliance and regulatory issues that range from cutting edge to routine, including:

  • Corporate and securities transactions; mergers and acquisitions; business planning; contracts; and corporate governance.
  • State insurance law regulatory and compliance counseling; insurance product development and drafting; and redetermination of non‑guaranteed elements.
  • Insurance regulatory filings and hearings.
  • Regulatory complaints, investigations, market conduct examinations, and enforcement.
  • Risk assessments and exposure analyses, compliance audits, and best practices reviews.
  • Unclaimed property reporting, examinations, and self-audits.

Steve also regularly participates in complex federal and state litigation with other Carlton Fields attorneys, bringing his extensive product, business operations, and industry knowledge to litigation teams defending claims involving insurance products and practices.

Steve’s legal practice is informed by a strong financial background, and in the course of representing insurance industry clients, he often works directly with company and consulting actuaries on product, reinsurance, and litigation matters. He was formerly a certified public accountant, and is the firm’s assistant treasurer.

Steve also serves, part time, as director of the Berger Entrepreneur Law Clinic at Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad College of Law.

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Experience

  • Counsel to life insurers evaluating changes to non-guaranteed elements, including cost of insurance rates. Performed exposure analyses and counseled on risk mitigation, implementation, and communications strategies; represented insurers in regulatory inquiries and administrative proceedings; and participated on litigation teams defending state and federal class action complaints.
  • Counsel to insurers and other entities regarding unclaimed property, including insurance benefits payment practices, retained asset accounts, and Social Security DMF-related issues; regulatory settlements; and state court litigation.
  • Counsel to insurers and producers on an array of regulatory compliance, product development, and distribution-related issues.
  • Litigation, regulatory, and operational risk assessments, compliance audits, and best practices reviews for insurers and producers. Scope of projects has ranged from insurer's overall operations to review of specific product lines, offerings, or functional activities.
  • Counsel to insurers and insurance holding companies, as well as to state insurance departments, on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, and demutualizations, including due diligence, transaction structuring and documentation, and regulatory approvals (e.g., change of control, market concentration, and "fair and equitable" standards).
  • Counsel to insurers in structuring and documenting reinsurance agreements and related regulatory issues (e.g., reserve credit and risk transfer issues, collateral requirements, and holding company law compliance ).
  • Represented life insurers and producers before state insurance regulatory authorities, including formal requests for interpretive relief under statutes and regulations; form, rate, and repricing approvals and challenges; and investigations, examinations, and enforcement matters.

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Recognition

  • AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Legal Services of Greater Miami’s Equal Justice Pro Bono Large Firm Award (2018)

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association
    • Sections of Business Law and Tort Trial and Insurance Practice
  • Former Certified Public Accountant, State of Florida
  • Former Board Member, Jewish Federation of Broward County, FL
  • Former President, Beth Ahm Israel Synagogue, Davie, FL

Speaking Engagements

  • “State Regulatory Update,” Client Focus Forum, Newport Beach, CA (October, 2015).
  • “It’s All ‘Bout That Discretion, “Bout That Discretion,” Changing nonguaranteed charges and benefits in life insurance policies and annuity contracts, American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) Compliance and Legal Sections Annual Meeting (July 2015).
  • "Cost of Insurance Rate Adjustments: Insights on Planning, Exposure and Litigation Preparation," Carlton Fields Webinar (October 2014).
  • "Unclaimed Property Global Resolution Agreements and Regulatory Settlement Agreements," National Alliance of Life Companies Spring Meeting (April 2013).
  • "Litigation and Regulatory Activity Related to Non-Guaranteed Policy Elements in Life Insurance," ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section's Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits (January 2013).
  • "Unclaimed Property," Webinar for Computer Science Corporation's Life and Annuity Compliance Community (March 2012).
  • "Unclaimed Property: Compliance & Examinations," American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) Compliance and Legal Sections Annual Meeting (July 2010).
  • "Current Developments in Life Insurance and Annuities," Practising Law Institute Conference on Current Developments in Insurance Law (January 2010).
  • "Life Insurance Fundamentals and Emerging Issues," Practising Law Institute Conference on Understanding Insurance Law (April 2007, 2008, 2009).

Credentials

Education
  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1983)
  • University of Miami (MBA, 1980)
  • Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (B.S., 1974)
Bar Admissions
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • Florida State Courts

Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.