The Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group at Drinker Biddle provides a dedicated team of lawyers who address plan administration issues and handle ERISA controversies to minimize the risk of ERISA litigation.  We have assembled a group of lawyers that combines the knowledge and experience of our employee benefits and litigation attorneys to efficiently and effectively reduce the risk of, and defend against, a variety of ERISA claims that our clients may face. 

Because reducing litigation exposure is more cost-effective than litigation itself, we work with clients to identify and manage litigation risks associated with the establishment and administration of employee benefit plans.  We help assist plan sponsors with the documentation of plan terms, appointment and oversight of plan administrators and service providers, participant disclosure (including SPDs and 401(k) investment options), processes for claims review and appeal, application of eligibility provisions to independent contractors and other contingent workers, and plan loan and COBRA procedures.  We work with clients to better enable them, their plans and their fiduciaries to address participants’ claims and concerns and help minimize exposure to litigation.

When litigation does arise, our ERISA litigation team includes lawyers who have substantive knowledge of the applicable statutes and case law and experience litigating ERISA cases in a variety of forums.  We have represented clients in a wide variety of ERISA-based actions, including government and participant claims of breaches of fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions (such as valuation and investments in company stock, selection of real estate investments and oversight of investment managers, investment advisors, third-party administrators and actuaries); routine and complex benefits denial claims; disputes over executive compensation; claims of interference with protected rights under ERISA; claims arising from plan terminations and post-termination audits; claims for withdrawal liability by multiemployer plans; and plan claims for subrogation or reimbursement and recovery of overpayments of benefits.

Additionally, we have defended clients in benefits class actions, including a class action on behalf of over 20,000 participants in a cash balance plan claiming more than $350 million in damages and a class action against a newly-created pay equity plan, alleging ERISA and Age Discrimination in Employment Act violations.