Bruce L. Ashton is a partner in the firm's Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice Group. With more than 35 years of practice, Bruce has gained wide experience representing businesses in sophisticated business transactions and employee benefits matters. Bruce's practice focuses on all aspects of employee benefits issues, including representing public and private sector plans and their sponsors, negotiating the resolution of plan qualification issues under IRS remedial correction programs, advising and defending fiduciaries on their obligations and liabilities, structuring qualified plans, non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements and health care arrangements, and representing plan service providers (including RIAs, independent record-keepers, third party administrators, broker-dealers and insurance companies) in fulfilling their obligations under ERISA. Combining his employee benefits and transactional expertise, Bruce is also active in the installation and funding of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).
Bruce served as president of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) for the 2003-2004 term. From 1998 through 2002, he served as the co-chair of ASPPA’s Government Affairs Committee and was a member of its board of directors from 1997 to 2007. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Actuaries during 2003-2004, was the president of the Western Pension & Benefits Conference Los Angeles Chapter from 2008-2009, and has served as a member of the leadership counsel of the National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSAA).
He has been recognized as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” and as a “Super Lawyer” in Southern California. Bruce is listed in the California edition of Who’s Who Legal and has been recognized by 401kWire as one of the Most Influential People in the 401(k) Industry. Bruce was the 2011 winner of the ASPPA Harry T. Eidson Founder's Award in recognition of his contributions to the retirement plan industry.
Bruce has co-authored four books on employee benefits issues and a quarterly column in the Journal of Pension Benefits on IRS remedial programs, and is a frequent contributor to various tax and pension publications, including Journal of Taxation, CCH Pension Plan Guide, Journal of Pension Benefits and The ASPPA Journal. He is a frequent speaker on employee benefits issues ranging from fiduciary responsibility to ESOPs. Bruce is a regularly featured speaker at conferences of ASPPA, the Western Pension & Benefits Conference and various other organizations.
In General. Bruce earned his J.D. from Southern Methodist University, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, Phi Alpha Delta and a Roy R. Ray Scholar. He was a recipient of the Johnson, Bromberg, Leeds & Riggs Award, and the Arthur Stedley Hansen Consulting Actuaries of Dallas Award. He was a member (1968-1970), note and comment editor (1969-1970), and acting index editor (1970) of the Journal of Air Law & Commerce. He received his B.A. from Rice University.