Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: ERISA litigation

Advising on a range of matters including 401(k) plans, benefit plan claims, potential ESOP class actions and multiemployer pension plan negotiations, Fox Rothschild LLP fields an experienced team of ERISA practitioners. The group is led by Brian Cousin in New York, who joined the firm from McDermott Will & Emery LLP in 2021. Cousin, along with New Jersey-based counsel José Jara, frequently authors ERISA-related literature and advises on pre-litigation class actions relating to excessive fees, stock drops and fiduciary breaches, with a specific focus on the healthcare industry.

ERISA litigation in United States

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

With broad ERISA experience, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is well-regarded and has achieved significant recent victories for clients including Oshkosh Corp, establishing precedent for other 401(k) fiduciary breach class actions, and Boeing and Partners Healthcare, a case significant in the actual equivalence class action space. The firm has also achieved successes across stock-drop, cash-balance plans, ESOPs and denial of benefits claims, as well as defending several private universities in claims challenging 403(b) retirement plan fee and investment options. Lastly the firm has been engaged in numerous class action lawsuits against major 401(k) and 403(b) plans alleging unreasonable recordkeeping and investment fees as well as breaches of fiduciary duties. The practice heads are Grace Speights, based in Washington DC, Jeremy Blumenfeld, based between New York and Philadelphia, and Deborah Davidson and Christopher Boran, both operating in the firm’s Chicago office. Key New York-based partner, Melissa Hill concentrates her ERISA practice on class actions and benefit pension plans in connection with 401(k) and 43(b) management. Senior practitioner Brian Ortelere in Philadelphia is regarded for his extensive ERISA experience, particularly in defending class action claims challenging the administration of defined benefit pension plans, 401(k) savings plans, and ESOPs. Chicago's Matthew Russell focuses his practice on defending plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and service providers against a variety of employee benefits claims and ERISA litigation around the United States.

Practice head(s):

Grace Speight; Deborah Davidson; Christopher Boran; Jeremy Blumenfeld

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Hill; Brian Ortelere; Matthew Russell

Key clients

Oshkosh Corporation

Boeing Company

Northwell Health, Inc.

Partners Healthcare, Inc.

adidas America

Baptist Health South Florida

American Electric Power Service Corp. (AEP)

Westinghouse Electric Company

Silver Point Capital

Plexus Corporation

Work highlights

  • Obtained a precedent-setting victory for Oshkosh Corporation in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, convincing the court to affirm the dismissal of Albert v. Oshkosh Corp, impacting dozens of other 401(k) fiduciary breach class actions across the country.
  • Secured summary judgment for Partners Healthcare System in a decision rejecting the fundamental theories articulated in actuarial equivalence ERISA class actions.
  • Secured a precedent-setting win for Boeing in the Seventh Circuit in Burke v. Boeing Co. affirming the dismissal of employer “stock-drop” claims, addressing issues of first impression in the Seventh Circuit regarding fiduciary status, the scope of fiduciary duties for appointing fiduciaries, and the application of Dudenhoeffer pleading standards to claims based on nonpublic information.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

O'Melveny & Myers LLP has a respected ERISA practice, offering guidance on innovative legal theories being developed such as those surrounding delegated fiduciaries as well as being regularly called upon to represent clients in ERISA-related class actions. The firm counts corporations, financial institutions and plan sponsors among its clients and advises on regulatory requirements and defending claims, particularly those targeting financial services companies involving administration and investment strategies of retirement plans. The practice is led by Washington DC-based lawyers Meaghan VerGow and Gregory Jacob, both highly sought-after litigators with Jacob returning to practice following federal appointments at the DOJ, DOL and White House. Key partners in DC also include Shannon Barrett and Brian Boyle, with Barrett focusing on fiduciary-related matters and responding to regulatory investigations, and Boyle being a notable contact for financial services companies on ERISA matters. Based in Los Angeles, Catalina Vergara acts for retirement plan sponsors and service providers facing class actions alleging fiduciary breaches.

Practice head(s):

Meaghan VerGow; Greg Jacob

Other key lawyers:

Catalina Vergara; Brian Boyle; Shannon Barrett

Key clients


American Airlines

Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting


Fidelity Management Trust Company


Morgan Stanley


Franklin Resources

T. Rowe Price

Work highlights


As ‘one of the premier law firms in the retirement plan litigation space’, Goodwin frequently defends financial services companies facing class actions and allegations of plan investments fiduciary breaches, leveraging its sector expertise in financial services and its geographic diversity across Boston, Washington DC, and New York. The practice has had notable victories including for John Hancock Life Insurance in a putative class action relating to tax treatment and breaches of fiduciary duties. Leading this case was James Fleckner who co-heads the practice along with Alison Douglass in Boston. Douglass focuses her practice on ERISA class actions, derivative actions and has successfully defended several significant plan sponsors, asset managers and other financial services providers in litigation, particularly claims involving 401(k) plan recordkeeping. Fleckner also concentrates on financial service providers and plan sponsors in class actions focusing on fiduciary breaches and the discharge of obligations, as well as regulatory investigations before the DOL, SEC, DOJ and PBGC. Jaime Santos, based in DC, is another key name to note for her ERISA appellate work.

Practice head(s):

James Fleckner; Alison Douglass

Other key lawyers:

Jaime Santos


‘Goodwin is one of the premier law firms in the retirement plan litigation space. Goodwin is repeatedly hired by the largest and most sophisticated financial institutions to handle their major class action ERISA litigation.’

‘Goodwin’s ERISA litigation team possesses tremendous capabilities in many different areas including knowledge of the law, legal strategy, and knowledge of the expert issues. They are fearless litigators who are responsive to client concerns and understand what points to prioritize to be most effective.’

‘James Fleckner is among the top ERISA litigators in the country. Defendants seek him out to represent them in bet-the-firm litigations. His team scored an impressive summary win in Romano v. John Hancock this year. He is a creative, quick on his feet, and excellent in oral and written arguments.’

Alison Douglass is also an impressive litigator. She excels in making clear, persuasive arguments and in explaining complex subjects in an easy-to-understand manner. Financial institutions and plan sponsors alike seek her out to lead their defense in large stakes ERISA class actions.

Key clients

Boston College

FirstGroup America, Inc.


John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.)

Mercer Investments

Mutual of America

Natixis Investment Managers, LLC

New York Life Insurance Company

Stadion Money Management

State Street Bank and Trust Company

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Work highlights

  • Represented John Hancock Life Insurance Company (USA), a large life insurance company, in a putative class action pending in the Southern District of Florida.
  • Represented State Street Bank and Trust Company, a major institutional trustee in a litigation filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
  • Represented Stadion Money Management in securing the denial of a motion to certify a class in a case in which two named plaintiffs alleged that Stadion violated certain provisions of ERISA based on its provision of managed account services to certain ERISA retirement plans whose plan sponsors or responsible plan fiduciaries selected Stadion’s service for their individual plans.

Groom Law Group, Chartered

Groom Law Group, Chartered focuses its attention on the defense of ERISA class actions, including those relating to breach of fiduciary duties, 401(k) excessive fee and investment strategy, employer stock, defined pension plans, actuarial equivalence. The practice is led by Lars Golumbic and William Delany: Golombic is well-regarded for his involvement in class actions involving plan sponsors and fiduciaries and service providers as well as DOL investigations and enforcement matters, while Delany shares this focus along with Michael Prame, advising on ERISA class actions regarding plan administration, stock drops and fiduciary duties. Mark Nielsen has represented insurance companies and health plan sponsors in cases relating to fiduciary duties and defective COBRA notices and Sarah Adams concentrates on class actions and government investigations, litigating on behalf of plan sponsors, fiduciaries facing allegations of ERISA violations, focusing on ESOPs, imprudent investment, actuarial malpractice and church plan putative class actions. Samuel Levin and Edward Meehan are also key contacts within the practice. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Lars Golumbic; William Delany

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Adams; Michael Prame; Mark Nielsen; Sam Levin; Edward Meehan

Key clients


American Airlines

CMFG Life Insurance Company

DISH Network Corporation

ForUsAll, Inc.

General Mills, Inc.

Labcorp of Americas Holdings

Laborers International Union of North America Local 91

Milliman, Inc.

Northeastern University

Voya Financial, Inc.

Wells Fargo

West Monroe Partners

Wintrust Financial Corporation

Yale New Haven Hospital

Aetna Life Insurance Company

Alerus Financial

American National Red Cross

Argent Trust Company

Ascensus, LLC

B. Braun Medical Inc.

Bankers Trust Company

Bert Bell / Pete Rozell NFL Players Retirement Plan

CommonSpirit Health

Costco Wholesale Corporation

Edelman Financial Engines


Horizon Actuarial Services

Horizon Trust & Investment Management

Kinder Morgan, Inc.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

McBride & Son Capital, Inc.

New York State Teamsters Pension Fund

Pentegra Retirement Services

Principal Financial Group

Prudent Fiduciary Services, LLC

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.

Sequoia Benefits and Insurance Services LLC

Stout Risius Ross, LLC

Supplemental Benefit Committee of the Navistar International Transportation Corporation Retiree Supplemental Benefit Program

The Segal Company

Willis Towers Watson

Wilmington Trust, NA

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Jackson Lewis P.C. continues to make progress defending an increasing number of ERISA claims being brought, particularly those relating to 401(k) plan fees and recordkeeping costs as well as ESOP cases. The practice leverages its close connections to the firm’s employee benefits group and the class actions and complex litigation practice to support the full range of clients’ needs in ERISA matters. Stacey C.S. Cerrone is a key name to note at the firm, concentrating on defending ERISA class actions brought against public and private single employer plan sponsors and fiduciaries. Charles Seemann shares this focus in addition to advising on multi-employer plans and financial institutions providing services to ERISA plans. Howard Shapiro and René Thorne co-lead the practice, with Thorne being active in health plan organization and litigation following the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs. All named lawyers are based in New Orleans.

Practice head(s):

Howard Shapiro; René Thorne

Other key lawyers:

Stacey C.S Cerrone; Charles Seemann

Key clients

Nova Southeastern University


Bronson Healthcare Group

Alticor, Inc.

Centerra Group, LLC

Evonik Corp.


Juniper Networks

GreatBanc Trust Co.

Grifols Shared Services North America, Inc.

MGM Resorts International


Denso International America


Advance Auto

University of Maryland Medical System Corporation

Henry Ford Health System

Segerdahl Corporation, dba SG360

Mayer Brown

Led by ERISA specialist Nancy Ross, Mayer Brown is regularly engaged by plan sponsors and administrators, fiduciaries and plan service providers in an array of class actions and individual benefits disputes. The firm has recently defeated several major class actions brought against clients including Northrop Grumman Corporation, Duke Energy and AT&T, and has been active across ERISA litigation targeting universities with allegations of fiduciary duty breaches. The firm has extensive trial expertise, and Ross in particular has a deep bench of experience representing pension and 401(k) plans, ESOPs, trustees and employers in matters concerning administration of plan assets and fiduciary responsibilities before both courts and the DOL. Brantley Webb and Alex Lakatos, based in Washington DC, are also key members of the practice, focusing on ERISA class actions. Webb played an important role in the Duke Energy 401(k) case and has been involved in multiple other class actions regarding investment options challenges and the administration of 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Lakatos concentrates on advising financial institutions in class actions alleging misadministration of plan assets and fiduciary breaches. Matthew Moscon is another key name, leading the firm’s Salt Lake City office. Associate Samuel Myler, based in Chicago, has wide ERISA experience, representing plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and benefit plans, in class action litigation, stock drop cases and excessive fee litigation.

Practice head(s):

Nancy Ross

Other key lawyers:

Brantley Webb; Alex Lakatos; Matthew Moscon; Meg Troy; Samuel Myler


‘The team is broad and deep, using the right resources for the right level of work.’

‘The ERISA litigation attorneys at Mayer Brown focus most or all of their time and attention on the subject matter at hand. It’s why they are recognized for their expertise. Our primary team of Nancy Ross, Alex Lakatos and Meg Troy is fantastic. Each has their role to play and they are sensitive not to overstaff. They have tailored their representation to our needs. They are pleasant, highly competent and fully engaged when I need them to be.’

Mayer Brown is one of the few firms in the ERISA litigation class action space that is not afraid to take a case to trial and from the beginning of a case prepares a defensive strategy that is designed to win the case, not simply posture the case for settlement.

Key clients

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Duke Energy Corporation

AT&T Inc.

Cornell University

Board of Directors of the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plans

National Production Workers Union Severance and 401(k) plans

Packaging Corporation of America

Wood Group U.S. Holdings, Inc., Wood Group USA, Inc.

Tenneco, Inc., Tenneco Automotive Operating Company, Inc.

Yale University

Shell Oil

Nestlé U.S.A., Inc.and its Board of Directors

Georgetown University

Froedtert Health, Inc.

Prevea Clinic

Caesar Holdings Inc.

WEC Energy Group

The Bank of New York Mellon

Host International, Inc.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic

Work highlights

  • Defeated a nationwide class action brought against Northrop Grumman Corporation, challenging the company’s discretion to award or deny severance to terminated employees.
  • Secured a victory for Duke Energy and its Benefits Committee in a nationwide ERISA class action challenging the administration of the Duke Energy 401(k) plan, with more than 39,000 participants and $8.6bn in assets.
  • Represented AT&T Inc., AT&T Services, Inc., in a highly publicized nationwide class action challenging the plan administration of AT&T’s 401(k) plan with more than 240,000 active participants and an excess of $34bn in assets.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP is regarded for its involvement in high-value ERISA disputes involving class actions and individual claims relating to a broad variety of matters including 401(k) and 403(b) excessive fee and underperformance litigation, defined benefit plans, actuarial assumptions, multiemployer plans and ESOPs. The firm has a particular focus on Taft-Hartley multiemployer funds alongside an active DOL investigations practice, regularly defending plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers in these areas. The ERISA practice, led by Myron Rumeld and Russell Hirschhorn in New York, is further supported by the firm’s employee benefits and executive compensation group. Rumeld has significant experience handling ERISA litigation at both trial and appellate levels, and has defended numerous class actions, particularly regarding employer stock and excessive fee claims. Meanwhile, Hirschhorn, who is described as an ‘expert in his field’, also actively defends class actions as well as investigations conducted by the DOL. Tulio Chirinos, senior associate in Boca Raton, and Joseph Clark, senior counsel in New York, are also key members of the practice working on a variety of class action matters.

Practice head(s):

Myron Rumeld; Russell Hirschhorn

Other key lawyers:

Tulio Chirinos; Joseph Clark


‘Russ Hirschhorn – expert in his field.’

Key clients

Wells Fargo & Company


Bessemer Trust Co.

Transervice Logistics Inc. and Zenith Logistics, Inc. – Central States Pension Fund

American Benefits Council, ERISA Industry Committee, American Retirement Association

Barnabas Health, Inc.


Xerox Corporation

Robert Goldfarb

Intel Corporation

Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) Health Plan

Trustees of the IAM National Pension Fund

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

With a ‘strong blend of legal and practical advice during the litigation process’, Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s ERISA practice has a broad range of experience, with specific expertise in multi-employer plans and trustees, and works closely with the firm’s employee benefits litigation group as well as compliance experts in the wider employee benefits department. The practice is led by Ian Morrison and Kathleen Cahill Slaught, based in Chicago and San Francisco respectively. Morrison focuses on retirement and welfare plan matters and frequently litigates cases on behalf of clients facing 401(k) class actions. Slaught is an experienced litigator and has handled several cases relating to the health care sector and its related plans. Sam Schwartz-Fenwick, in Chicago, is a key name to note in relation to employment and employee benefit plans surrounding the LGBTQ+ community, including transgender insurance benefit coverage and has experience defending claims of employee-benefits discrimination in this area. Also in Chicago is Ada Dolph who defends plan sponsors, fiduciaries and insurers in 401(k, stock drop and retiree medical class actions with particular focus on the retail, manufacturing and aviation sectors.

Practice head(s):

Kathleen Cahill Slaught; Ian Morrison

Other key lawyers:

Ada Dolph; Sam Schwartz-Fenwick


‘Strong blend of legal and practical advice during the litigation process to ensure that the client can undertake proper risk assessment without unnecessary spending.’

‘Ian Morrison is very strong presenting to clients, insurers, and other interested parties to make sure key information is conveyed succinctly and effectively.

‘Sam Schwartz-Fenwick is a tireless advocate who provides behind-the-scenes advices that keeps matters running effectively.’

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a broad ERISA practice typically representing employers and plan fiduciaries in matters including plan fee litigation, ESOP and stock drop litigation, DOL investigations, recovery of pension overpayments, reimbursement rights and multiemployer plan withdrawal liability disputes. The firm is active before federal, as well as state, courts and was active in the Supreme Court case, Hughes v Northwestern. The Northwestern case was spearheaded before the 7th Circuit by practice heads, Amanda Amert and Craig Martin in Chicago. Both Amert and Martin are active across a range of ERISA litigation, defending class actions, ESOP stock drop litigation and breaches of fiduciary duties, in a number of industries including insurance, financial services, and chemicals. Martin is regarded for his trial experience and Amert specializes in representing employers around the country in both individual and class action lawsuits in addition to disputes and investigations with the DOL. The practice is also adept at navigating compliance issues related to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s reporting requirements and investigations, and leverages its connections to the firm’s transactional benefits, labor and employment and securities groups to offer comprehensive advice to clients. Matt Basil, also in Chicago, concentrates on advising large companies on an array of commercial disputes including ERISA and breach of fiduciary duties.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Amert; Craig Martin

Other key lawyers:

Matt Basil

Key clients

Northwestern University

Alight Solutions LLC

Alight Financial Advisors, LLC

Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting, Inc.

CenturyLink, Inc.

The Northern Trust Company

Former Directors and Officers of Appvion Corporation

Olin Corporation

MetLife Group Inc.

Univar Solutions

Work highlights

  • Represented Northwestern University before the the Seventh Circuit in Hughes, et al. v. Northwestern University et al., a proposed class action that accused the university of mismanaging workers’ retirement savings that was vacated to the court by the Supreme Court in January 2022.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of a lawsuit brought against a group of former officers and directors of Appvion Corporation alleging they had persuaded employees to put retirement funds into stock in Appvion’s parent company, and artificially inflating the company’s stock value through improper business forecasts, stock valuations and calculations.
  • Secured the dismissal of a putative ERISA class action against Olin Corporation, as well as its Investment Committee and Board of Directors.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts L.L.P. offers a broad practice, acting in matters including fiduciary duty breach allegations, plan administration and management claims, and medical provider claims against employer plans. The firm has a focus on the energy and natural gas sector with clients such as ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Patterson-UTI Energy and Transocean. Practice head Travis Sales, based in Houston, recently represented the Houston Firefighters Relief and Retirement Fund, the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System in ERISA pension plan litigation against the City of Houston. In Dallas, senior counsel Earl Austin has a focus on life science and health care industries, assisting with the firm’s recent work for Aetna Life Insurance Company regarding brand-name medication and health benefits coverage. Christopher Rillo, based in San Francisco, is another key name to note for his experience in ERISA litigation, including ESOPs, plan fees and defined benefit plan litigation.

Practice head(s):

Travis Sales

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Rillo; Earl Austin; Tina Nguyen; Matthew Sheridan; Sarah Reeves


‘Baker Botts is a long term ERISA litigation partner who have provided excellent counsel and have achieved favorable outcomes on the various ERISA legal matters.’

‘Travis Sales & Matthew Sheridan are very responsive, have extensive knowledge on ERISA statutes, and have a deep knowledge of our plans and operations. They both provide advice that is well thought out, balanced and well presented. Travis and Matt are both client focused and very pleasant to work with as well.’

Key clients

Aetna Inc., Aetna Health, Inc., Aetna Health Insurance Company of New York, Aetna Better Health, Inc.

Aetna Life Insurance Co.

ConocoPhillips Company

ExxonMobil Corporation


Houston Municipal Employees Pension System

IBEW-NECA Southwestern Health & Benefit Fund

Kinder Morgan, Inc.

NetFlix Corporation

Oceaneering International

Patterson-UTI Energy

Phillips 66

Principal Financial Services, Inc.

Schlumberger Limited

Transocean Inc.

United Employee Benefit Fund

Work highlights

  • Represented the Investment Committee of the Phillips 66 Savings Plan and its Plan Financial Administrator in a case before the Supreme Court of the United States in which it declined to accept certiorari regarding whether, following Phillips 66’s spin-off from ConocoPhillips, ERISA required the defendants to force plan participants to divest ConocoPhillips stock acquired as plan investments when they were ConocoPhillips employees.
  • Represented Aetna Life Insurance Company in two ERISA class actions before the Second Circuit, each for a separate plan year, in which the plaintiff alleged that Aetna improperly refused to provide coverage for and/or penalized the use of brand-name medications, as prescribed by a member’s physician, when a generic alternative is available.
  • Represented Patterson-UTI Energy, the administrative committee of the Seventy Seven Energy LLC Retirement and Savings Plan and the individual members of the committee in a putative class action filed by a plaintiff in U.S. District Court, alleging that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties of prudence and diversification under ERISA by failing to divest Chesapeake Energy stock in the SSE Plan after Seventy Seven Energy (“SSE”) was spun off from Chesapeake Energy and became a separate, independent company.

King & Spalding LLP

The Atlanta-based team at King & Spalding LLP has experience representing clients in class actions, particularly those regarding excessive fee and self-dealing allegations. The firm also handles multiemployer withdrawal liability, DOL investigations, and is on the AIG national fiduciary liability panel authorized to defend AIG insureds in ERISA class actions. Practice head David Tetrick is recommended for his ERISA class actions defense work for, among others, Northern Trust, Cisco Systems and HomeDepot. Darren Shuler focuses his practice alongside Tetrick on ERISA-related class action defense and employee benefits disputes. Danielle Chattin also plays a leading role in the firm’s class action litigation.

Practice head(s):

David Tetrick

Other key lawyers:

Danielle Chattin; Darren Shuler

Key clients


Archegos Capital Management

Cisco Systems, Inc.

The Coca-Cola Company

Cumulus Media Inc.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Floor & Décor

The Home Depot Inc.

SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Molina Healthcare, Inc.

Northern Trust Corporation

Peabody Energy Corporation

Work highlights

  • Defeated on summary judgment a certified class action that targeted Home Depot for allegedly offering unreasonable investment alternatives in its 401(k) plan and permitting Financial Engines to provide automated investment advisory services to plan participants.
  • Acted as lead defense counsel in a putative class action filed in Silicon Valley against Cisco Systems alleging that some large 401(k) plans in the country violated ERISA by offering the BlackRock Life Path target date funds.
  • Represented Molina Healthcare in a putative class action filed in Los Angeles against Molina alleging that its decision to offer a suite of target date funds managed by flexPATH Strategies was imprudent.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s standalone ERISA litigation practice is experienced defending ERISA claims and has a particular focus in employee stock ownership plans, achieving several dismissals of actions relating to ESOP transactions and defending against Department of Labor investigations. The practice regularly assists fiduciaries across 401(k), pension and ESOP plans, and acts as counsel for the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC). The practice, led by Christian Nemeth and Ted Becker, based in Miami and Chicago respectively, works closely with the wider litigation and employee benefits teams to offer subject matter advice on a range of ERISA-related claims. Becker specializes in ESOP litigation as well as regulatory investigations, while Nemeth represents institutional and individual ERISA fiduciaries at both state and federal levels.

Practice head(s):

Ted Becker; Christian Nemeth


‘Ted Becker and his staff provide our company with excellent customer service and quick responses regarding our case.’

‘Ted Becker’s extensive experience and best in class engagement with his clients is second to none in ESOP company defense. He’s always available to address the company’s needs.’

‘Very good team, very knowledgeable, great experience on legal matters, very communicative with their clients, and very good at explaining where the client is on the process of the legal matter.’

‘This practice knows the law and the players in this field and keeps up on all activity. Strategizing and communication are great strengths but getting the details right is also top drawer. Great at helping to prepare for depositions.’

‘Christian Nemeth and Ted Becker were great. Could not have asked for better support, strategy, communication, and knowledge.’

‘The ERISA litigation team of lawyers has deep experience in all areas of plans covered by ERISA. Of interest to me was their experience with ESOPs and, in that regard, they are second to none. Reputation, experience, and commitment are evident at every step. When you retain a particular lawyer, you get the whole team, and they work collaboratively on your case.’

‘Ted Becker has more ESOP litigation defense experience than anyone else. When I needed to retain counsel, there was no question who to retain. Ted’s deep background, decades of experience, and network of people he has worked with and for are all impressive and helpful. But, what stands out most is his communication skills in working with me and advocating for my case.’

Key clients





Berkshire Partners

Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc.

Liberty Mutual

Life Insurance Company of the Southwest

Schneider Electric

Nation Safe Drivers

GreatBanc Trust Company

Genentech Inc.


ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC)

KPC Healthcare

North Highland

Lubbock National Bank

Tharanco Group

Montefiore Medical Center

Work highlights

  • Represented Tharanco Group and other defendants in a class action lawsuit brought by a participant in the Tharanco Group Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) who alleged that the clients, directors and officers of Tharanco Group violated ERISA fiduciary duties in selling their Tharanco shares to its ESOP.
  • Represented two separate Houlihan Lokey entities, as well as a former employee and his wife, in an ERISA action involving more than 60 defendants where the plaintiff alleged decades-long fraud involving a $810m transaction where our clients are alleged to have not disclosed certain information to plan participants.
  • Represented 13 not-for-profit hospital systems who were sued in connection with a 2015 ESOP transaction in which the plaintiff, a participant in the Symbria Inc. ESOP, sued the hospital systems, claiming that they violated ERISA when they sold their majority interest in Symbria to an ESOP for a price allegedly in excess of fair market value.

Miller & Chevalier Chartered

Miller & Chevalier Chartered has an established presence in health-benefit related ERISA litigation before both federal courts of appeal and the Supreme Court, predominantly advising healthcare insurers, particularly in relation to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and companies such as h Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, as well as health plan fiduciaries regarding obligations and rights to halt state interference. The firm also acts on pension-related ERISA litigation. Tess Gee is a key name to note having previously spent over a decade at the DOL. Anthony Shelley leads the practice with a focus on appeal litigation and defending health insurers. Both named lawyers are based at the firm’s headquarters in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Shelley

Other key lawyers:

Tess Gee


Incomparable expertise in the field of ERISA combined with talented litigators and writers. Plus they are very hard working and enjoyable to work with.

Miller & Chevalier and its attorneys have decades of experience.

The depth of knowledge that Miller & Chevalier has about the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan that my company administers is unparalleled.

Miller & Chevalier’s ERISA litigation practice is second-to-none. They may not be as well-known as some of the other large law firms, but they are lean, efficient, and substantively fantastic.

Tony Shelley is one of the best ERISA litigators in the country, and when it comes to ERISA preemption, he is probably THE best, bar none.

Tess Geeis an incredible litigator, and substantive ERISA expert as well.

Key clients

Association of Federal Health Organizations

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association National Employee Benefits Committee

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Inc.

The Delphi Salaried Retirees Association

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC)

Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Company

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

With a practice built on representing plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has experience in class action litigation, with recent work including assisting ExxonMobil with a dismissal of class action claims alleging plan fiduciary liability for the business impacts of climate change, and representing Bank of New York Mellon in the resolution of a putative class action alleging ERISA violations related to the bank’s role as a depositary for American Depositary Receipt. Experienced litigator Lewis Clayton chairs the practice, based in New York, alongside department heads and key partners, Brad Karp, chairman of the firm, Theodore Wells, Jessica Carey, and Ken Gallo.


Practice head(s):

Lewis Clayton; Brad Karp; Jessica Carey; Theodore Wells; Ken Gallo

Key clients


Bank of New York Mellon

ArentFox Schiff

Led by Caroline English in the firm’s Washington DC office, ArentFox Schiff’s ERISA practice has developed a strong healthcare benefits capacity, primarily representing care providers in ERISA-related matters in the healthcare sector. The practice also has experience with pension benefits and class actions, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in the form of plan administrators, fiduciaries and companies. Turner focuses on the intersection of bankruptcy and ERISA litigation and represents employers and fiduciaries in class actions regarding pension and healthcare benefits, specifically relating to appellate proceedings on behalf of medical service providers.

Practice head(s):

Caroline English

Other key lawyers:

Alison Andersen


The litigators are thoughtful and business minded. They are interested in getting the bets and most expeditious results for clients. They are straight to the point and easy to work with.

Caroline English and Alison Andersen are great. Very responsive, very smart and very plugged into areas of ERISA litigation.

Key clients

A member of the DuPont family

Greenberg Traurig LLP

The ‘exceptional‘ team at Greenberg Traurig LLP advises on a spectrum of ERISA matters including fee disclosure, employer stock drop litigation, breach of fiduciary duties and Department of Labor investigations. Clients of the practice include ERISA trustees, employee plan sponsors, administrators and service providers. Co-heading the team are Philadelphia’s James Boudreau, Denver’s Naomi Beer, and in New York, Jonathan Sulds. Sulds specializes in collective bargaining and ERISA litigation, including stock drop cases. In Silicon Valley, Megan Ray and associate Stephanie Ahmad focus on the design and implementation of benefit plans and counsels on healthcare reform compliance and regularly litigating ERISA cases. Jeff Mamorsky left to Cohen & Buckmann P.C. in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

James Boudreau; Naomi Beer; Jonathan Sulds

Other key lawyers:

Megan Ray; Stephanie Ahmad; Michael Slocum


‘The team at Greenberg Traurig is exceptional. We have worked on multiple complex litigation matters together over the past few years. From the billing and administrative staff through senior partners, each person at GT is responsive, respectful, knowledgeable, and patient.’

‘Michael Slocum is one of the best attorneys I have worked with over my 20 year career- intelligent, rational, diligent, and trustworthy.’

Key clients

Food Parade

FuturePlan Administrative Services

Provident Trust

Work highlights

  • Representing Provident Trust in an ongoing matter in the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas wherein plaintiffs claim Provident aided and abetted the alleged breach of fiduciary duties by their financial advisor in connection with the investment of their retirement assets.
  • Representing FuturePlan Administrative Services in an ongoing matter in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California wherein Plaintiff claims FuturePlan breached alleged fiduciary duties under ERISA in connection with the rollover of her late husband’s 401(k) account assets.

Jones Day

Sitting within the firm’s wider labor and employment team led by Miguel Eaton and Eric Mosier, based in Washington DC and New York respectively, Jones Day’s ERISA litigation practice has experience in withdrawal liability, benefits issues in bankruptcy and pension de-risking. Eaton focuses his ERISA practice on defending class actions including 401(k) plan fee cases, litigating on behalf of employers contributing to multiemployer plans, and defending against Department of Labor investigations. A key name to note based in Washington is Evan Miller, who litigates on behalf of corporate plan sponsors, multiemployer plan contributors and fiduciaries in class action allegations of breach of duty under ERISA.

Practice head(s):

Miguel Eaton; Eric Mosier

Key clients

C&S Wholesale Grocers

United Natural Foods Inc.

Edison Home Health

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Representing a wide range of clients, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP handles both individual and class action ERISA matters with a focus on multi-employer pension plans, particularly in relation to pension provisions of the America Rescue Plan Act. The firm handles matters including fiduciary breaches, withdrawal liability, and challenges to plan provisions and amendments, and represents clients before regulators including the Department of Labor, the IRS and the Pension Guaranty Corporation. The employment and employee benefits group is led by New York-based lawyers, Mark Brossman and Ronald Richman. Richman defends employee benefit plans, fiduciaries and employers in class actions, concentrating on employee benefits and restrictive covenants cases, as well as representing these clients before regulatory bodies.

Practice head(s):

Mark Brossman; Ronald Richman

Key clients

Albertsons Companies

National Retirement Fund

Consolidated Retirement Fund

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

UFCW Giant-Safeway Excess Benefit Pension Plan

IUE-CWA AFL-CIO Pension Fund

ILGWU Death Benefit Plan

UFCW International Union-Albertsons Variable Annuity Pension Plan

UFCW and Safeway Variable Annuity Pension Plan

Construction Laborers Pension Trust for Southern California

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has experience counselling a range of clients, particularly within the financial services sector, on class actions alleging ERISA breaches by plan fiduciaries arising from investment options, ESOPs and 401(k) stock drop cases. The firm represents institutional fiduciaries and corporations against putative class actions and clients in this area include Liberty Mutual Group and O’Reilly Automotive. James Carroll and Michael Hines, operating out of the firm’s Boston office, are experienced ERISA litigators- Hines focuses on putative class actions and shareholder proceedings, while Carroll, global head of litigation and controversy at the firm, has defended high-profile clients including JPMorgan and Invesco Holding Company in ERISA litigation.

Practice head(s):

James Carroll; Michael Hines

Key clients


Invesco Holding Company