Stancil “Stan” Starnes is the executive chairman of ProAssurance Corporation, having served as its chief executive officer from 2007 to 2019 and he is President pro tempore of the University of Alabama System Board, representing the Sixth Congressional District.
Born in Tuscaloosa, he grew up in Birmingham and attended The University of Alabama, graduating from the business school at the age of 20. He then attended Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, edited the Cumberland Law Review, and graduated summa cum laude and first in his class.
Practicing law was something of a family tradition – his father was a lawyer – and in 1975, they established Starnes and Starnes, now known as Starnes Davis Florie. They specialized in courtroom advocacy, representing a wide variety of clients in civil litigation, across the state and further afield. Among many accomplishments as a lawyer, was his authorship of the Alabama Medical Liability Act, which was enacted by the Alabama State Legislature in 1987, as well as subsequent amendments to the Act.
He was named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for over 20 consecutive years. He was elected to the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers in 1989, an organization comprised of less than one percent of the lawyers in the United States. He is the youngest lawyer from Alabama ever so elected. He served for over twenty years on the Supreme Court of Alabama Advisory Committee on the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure and was named Chairman of the committee in 1998.
In 2006, Starnes joined Brasfield & Gorrie as President of Corporate Planning and Administration and in 2007, he was named CEO of ProAssurance Corporation, a position he held until July 2019. Under Starnes’ leadership, ProAssurance expanded to write one or more of its insurance products in all 50 states from its offices throughout the United States, its Captive facility in the Cayman Islands, and through its Lloyd’s Syndicate in London.
During each year with Starnes as CEO, ProAssurance was named one of the top-50 casualty insurance carriers in the United States out of a universe of over 3,500 carriers.
The company also transformed itself from a physician-centric, regional, mono-line insurance company to a healthcare-centric, national, specialty insurance company, offering a range of products including physician and hospital professional liability, workers compensation, and life sciences.
During his 12-year tenure as ProAssurance CEO, Starnes helped return over $2.1 billion to shareholders while growing their equity by 37% from $1.15 billion to $1.58 billion.
Starnes has served on a number of community and non-profit boards, including the Boards of Directors of ProAssurance, National Bank of Commerce, and Ascension, the largest non-profit healthcare provider in the United States. In addition to his leadership role on The University of Alabama System board, he is also a member of the UAB Health System Board. Furthermore, he is a member of the board of the Crimson Tide Foundation.
He was named the outstanding alumnus of Cumberland School of Law in 2002 and was the inaugural Scholar in Residence at Cumberland in 2005. He is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, the Birmingham Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and is an advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Starnes also serves the community through affiliation and membership in a variety of organizations. He has served as a community advisor to the Junior League of Birmingham. He is a past Captain of the Monday Morning Quarterback Club and serves on the board of trustees of the Crippled Children’s Foundation and is its current chairman.
He is a member of the board of directors of the Newcomen Society of Alabama and is a member of the Birmingham Area Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. He is a life member of the Alabama Law Foundation and a charter member of the Atticus Finch Society. He is a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
In 2018, he was elected to the Alabama Academy of Honor, an organization whose membership is limited to 100 living Alabamians.
He and his wife, Joan, have been married for over 40 years. They have three children, all of whom are now married. All live in Birmingham along with seven grandchildren.