Alternate Office
  • 1114 Avenue of the Americas
  • New York, NY 10036
  • TEL: +1 212 506 3900
  • FAX: +1 212 506 3950
Areas of Practice
  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude, 1978, Editor, Georgetown Law Journal
  • University of Maryland, B.A., magna cum laude, 1974, Phi Beta Kappa
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. Edward S. Northrop, US District Court for the District of Maryland, 1978-1979
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania (inactive)
  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Federal Claims
  • US District Court, District of Columbia
  • US District Court, District of Maryland
  • US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Stephen A. Fennell

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 8082
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Steve Fennell is a seasoned trial lawyer often sought out to lead complex, high-stakes civil litigation matters.  In more than 35 years of practice, he has successfully handled jury and bench trials on a broad range of topics, including environmental and asbestos insurance coverage, antitrust, RICO, intellectual property disputes, nuclear and construction contracts, and personal and environmental injury cases.

In one recent notable success, Mr. Fennell led Steptoe’s representation of 17 prisoners of war from the first Gulf War who sued the Iraqi government for damages arising out of their torture while in captivity.  The lawsuit resulted in a $959 million judgment, an appeal to the US Supreme Court, and a nine-figure settlement achieved through a United States–Iraq executive agreement. 

Mr. Fennell served as the chair of Steptoe’s Litigation Department for a decade and established the firm’s Complex Litigation and Discovery Center.

Representative Matters

  • For over a decade, lead national trial and coordinating counsel for a Fortune 50 company in asbestos and other mass tort cases. 
  • Lead counsel representing 17 Gulf War I POWs in a suit against Iraq for damages arising out of their torture while in captivity.  Suit resulted in $959 million judgment, appeal to the US Supreme Court and ultimately nine-figure settlement through a United States-Iraq executive agreement.
  • Represent internationally recognized news correspondent and cameraman in obtaining highest awards granted by U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission for torture-related injuries during captivity in Gulf War I.
  • Successfully prosecuted civil rights cases on behalf of cross-burning victims in Washington, DC suburbs resulting in presidential visit to clients’ home to apologize on behalf of nation. 
  • Lead counsel at trial and appeal in successfully defending against $1 billion insurance coverage claim.
  • Lead defense counsel in $1 billion dispute arising from shutdown of nuclear power plant which resulted in favorable defense settlement.
  • Lead counsel in two-decade-long construction dispute involving two subway stations and tunnels on Washington, DC system. 
  • Successfully represented families pursuing wrongful death and survival actions in automobile accident and malpractice contexts.
  • Represent newsletter publishers in enforcing copyrights.
  • Mediator in DC Superior Court Multi-Door Program.


  • AV Preeminent rated in Martindale Hubbell (1998-Present).
  • Euromoney's Expert Guide to the World's Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers (2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014).


  • Co-author of “Due Process at Sentencing: An Empirical and Legal Analysis of the Disclosure of Presentence Reports in Federal Courts,” 93 Harv. L. Rev. 1613-97 (1980), which publication led to the adoption of a revised Fed. Rule of Criminal Procedure No. 32. 
  • Co-author of “Antitrust Aspects of Joint Health Care Activities Affecting Price,” Working Paper No. 2, American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law (Mar. 24, 1989).

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