Stephen Wellinghorst is Co-Managing Partner and practices in Harwood Lloyd’s Insurance Litigation Department, and Commercial Litigation Department.
Mr. Wellinghorst received his B.A. in Political Science from Montclair State University in 1984. He received his J.D. from Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit School of Law in 1988, where he was an Associate Editor of the Ohio Northern University Law Review.
Following law school, Mr. Wellinghorst joined the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. In 1992, he joined the law firm of Braff Harris & Sukoneck, where he specialized in insurance defense litigation representing various insurance companies, self-insured companies and public entities. He became a partner with Braff Harris & Sukoneck in 2000.
He joined Harwood Lloyd in 2011 as a partner and practices primarily in the area of insurance defense litigation, representing several insurance companies, self-insured corporations and municipalities. Mr. Wellinghorst specializes in premises liability, representing the largest mall in New Jersey as well as the largest franchised quick service food company in the world and the largest supermarket chain in the east coast. As a trial attorney, Mr. Wellinghorst has successfully litigated multi-million dollar lawsuits on behalf of his clients. He has more than 30 years experience litigating all aspects of civil litigation, including insurance defense, premises liability, commercial auto, self-insured and public entity defense, professional liability, public liability, product liability, construction defects, employment discrimination and commercial litigation matters.
Mr. Wellinghorst is a former barrister in the Arthur T. Vanderbilt American Inn of Court, a member of the Defense Research Institute, and a member of the Council on Litigation Management. He has presented numerous seminars and lectured for trade associations and the insurance industry. He has been a frequent legal commentator on local and national news programs such as MSNBC, Court TV, Fox News, CNN and News 12 New Jersey.
Mr. Wellinghorst was Municipal Judge for the Borough of West Paterson (2003-2008) and was a Councilman in the Village of Ridgewood from 2010 – 2013.
He is the former Planning Board Attorney for Woodland Park (2009-2011) and is the current Planning Board Attorney for the Village of Ridgewood. He was the former Prosecutor for the Pascack Joint Municipal Court which includes the towns of Montvale, Park Ridge and Woodcliff Lake, in 2023.
Mr. Wellinghorst is a member of the Bergen County District II Ethics Committee.
Mr. Wellinghorst is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of New Jersey (1988), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (1989), the Courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1989), and the United States Supreme Court (1996), The District of Columbia Courts (2013) and the State of New York Courts (2016).
Mr. Wellinghorst is a member of the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and the Bergen Bar Association.