Bruce L. Ashton

Phone: (310) 203-4048 (310) 203-4048
Fax: (310) 229-1285


Bruce L. Ashton has more than 35 years of experience handling employee benefits matters. His practice concentrates on representing plan service providers (including RIAs, independent record-keepers, third-party administrators, broker-dealers and insurance companies) in fulfilling their obligations under ERISA. His experience includes 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, and structuring qualified plans, non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements.

Combining his employee benefits and transactional experience, Bruce is also active in the installation and funding of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

Bruce is a contributor to Drinker Biddle’s Broker-Dealer Law Blog, which provides practical insights on litigation, regulatory, compliance and fiduciary issues impacting broker-dealers. He 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. He is a frequent speaker on employee benefits issues ranging from fiduciary responsibility to ESOPs, and is a regularly featured speaker at conferences sponsored by ASPPA, and other organizations.


Chambers USA "Recognised Practitioner" California - Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (2017–2019)

Best Lawyers®, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2020)

Who’s Who Legal, California edition

401kWire, Most Influential People in the 401(k) Industry

American Society of Pension Professionals And Actuaries, Harry T. Eidson Founders Award (2011)

Awards Methodology (

Harry T. Eidson Founder’s Award (2011)

American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries


Bar Admissions

  • California


  • Southern Methodist University, J.D., Order of the Coif
  • Rice University, B.A.


  • American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA)
    • President (2003-2004)
    • Government Affairs Committee, Co-Chair (1998-2002)
    • Board of Directors 1997-2007)
  • American Academy of Actuaries, 2003-2004, Board of Directors
  • Western Pension & Benefits Conference, Los Angeles Chapter (2008-2009), President
  • Leadership Counsel, National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSAA)