Employee benefit plans play a crucial role in attracting and retaining key employees. However, if the plans are not designed or administered properly, they can become the subject of complex and difficult litigation and significant potential liability. The plaintiff's bar has become more and more creative in finding new ways to assert class action cases against plans and their fiduciaries and sponsors, even when the plan has been operated with care and the best of intentions. The onslaught of "stock drop" and "administrative fee" cases, for example, has resulted in years of complex litigation, confusing and inconsistent rulings and multi-million dollar settlements. Additionally, recent decisions, such as the LaRue and Glenn cases, open the door to more litigation and expanded, costly discovery in these cases. When faced with an ERISA claim, the plans and their fiduciaries and sponsors need an experienced team with great depth in all areas of litigation, employee benefits and labor law to provide the defense.
The ERISA litigation practice group at Hunton & Williams LLP is comprised of a cross-section of lawyers in our labor & employment, litigation, and employee benefits groups, practicing in our offices across the country. We provide our clients with the diverse areas of experience necessary to handle all aspects of ERISA litigation, from complex procedural issues to class action and securities issues, to sensitive labor and employee relations considerations, and finally to the underlying employee benefit plans at issue and the complex federal rules that govern those plans. Whether our client is faced with a single plaintiff benefits denial claim or a breach of fiduciary duty case that involves class claims for millions of dollars, we will deploy the appropriate resources to deal with the matter in an efficient and comprehensive way.
The ERISA litigation group at Hunton & Williams provides that key level of depth and support. Our diverse experience allows us to provide clients with legal solutions that are informed by our experience, knowledge and history of client service. Our team has successfully defended clients in a broad range of ERISA suits, including:
- Stock drop cases
- Class actions involving alleged ERISA prohibited transactions and other fiduciary breaches
- Cases involving multi-employer plans, including withdrawal liability and other matters arising in collective bargaining
- Alleged wrongful denial of benefits under pension and welfare benefit plans and cases involving discrimination
- Cases raising complex medical issues and psychological, such as experimental care
- Cases involving equity compensation and executive deferred compensation arrangements