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ERISA Fiduciary and Benefits Litigation

Our team has decades of experience strongly advocating in high-stakes ERISA, fiduciary and employee benefits disputes. We vigorously represent our clients in a variety of matters, including:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims, such as those alleging excessive fees, failure to monitor service providers, failures relating to investment management, prohibited transactions, disclosure obligations, and breaches of prudence and loyalty.
  • Withdrawal Liability under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (“MPPAA”).
  • Executive compensation disputes.
  • Claims for denied benefits.
  • Appeals of denied claims for benefits.
  • Plan collections, including delinquent contributions. 
  • U.S. Department of Labor inquiries, investigations and audits.
  • Internal Revenue Service inquiries, investigations and audits.
  • Class action defense.

We have successfully defended and prosecuted ERISA matters in all stages of litigation on a nationwide basis, from the federal and state trial court level to appeals. We address issues related to all types of benefits plans, including pension plans, defined contribution plans (including 401(k) plans), employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), health plans, prescription drug plans, life insurance plans, and other welfare benefit plans.

Our team employs a proactive approach to ERISA litigation, resulting in efficient resolution of disputes while minimizing costs for our clients and discouraging future claims. Our approach to litigation is aggressive, while mindful of the need for prompt analysis of claims and ongoing evaluation of opportunities for early resolution on favorable terms. 

We have a deep awareness of the ancillary issues that arise in ERISA litigation. ERISA frequently overlaps with other substantive areas of law, and our multi-disciplinary experience allows us to anticipate and address such issues. By tapping into the firm’s experience in employment, labor, tax, health care, insurance coverage, and securities litigation, we develop effective, efficient strategies and achieve positive outcomes for clients.

Our team has experience representing clients across a broad spectrum of industries, including insurance, financial services, retail, construction, telecommunications, church-related organizations and churches, government, educational institutions, staffing, and manufacturing.  Our team also includes lawyers and non-lawyers with deep experience in e-discovery who leverage modern software and other tools to manage e-discovery effectively and efficiently.  As approved panel counsel for numerous major insurance carriers, we are also familiar with fiduciary liability insurance policies and carriers’ practices.

Representative Experience

  • Defense of service providers to a defined contribution retirement plan accused of breaching ERISA fiduciary duties by charging excessive fees, failing to make certain disclosures, and engaging in alleged prohibited transactions.
  • Defense of class action ERISA case seeking recovery of benefits related to termination of a pension plan.
  • Representation of health plan in litigation involving the plan’s claims against its third-party administrator and network provider seeking equitable relief and enforcement of plan terms in payment of claims.
  • Representation of deferred compensation plan participants involving participants’ claims that the plan lacked “top hat” plan status and was subject to ERISA’s vesting protections.
  • Defense of a pension plan against allegations relating to its actuarial assumptions that were adopted for purposes of withdrawal liability calculations.
  • Representation of an employer in an arbitration challenging a pension plan’s actuarial assumptions.
  • Representation of a pension plan in arbitration and related litigation seeking to recover withdrawal liability against a “controlled group” of large, interconnected group of companies.
  • Representation of a construction industry employer seeking “building and construction” industry rule protection in withdrawal liability arbitration.
  • Representation of a health payor against a pharmacy benefits manager charging amounts exceeding 340B ceiling prices.
  • Representation of a multiemployer plan seeking recovery of delinquent amounts due and related audit costs and legal fees from an employer and its successor companies.
  • Representation of numerous employers in responding to proposed employer shared responsibility payments and related penalties under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Defense of a professional services firm in an action by a purported 401(k) plan beneficiary alleging breaches of ERISA fiduciary duties and failure to provide plan documents.
  • Representation of a national employer in regulatory audits for compliance with the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance.
  • Representation of a technology company in asserting claims against its broker/consultant and pharmacy benefits manager relating to excessive and undisclosed compensation.