ERISA Litigation

Litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) involving employee benefit plans continues to rise, increasing the need for companies and benefits professionals to look to experienced ERISA counsel to protect them from costly employee benefit plan disputes.

Nixon Peabody has been at the forefront of ERISA defense litigation in federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Our experienced team frequently represents clients on all types of disputes involving employee benefit plans, including:

  • Claims for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Litigation
  • Appellate Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Litigation Over Entitlement to Benefits
  • Top-Hat Plan Litigation
  • ERISA § 510 Claims
  • Multi-employer Plan Litigation
  • Claims Preempted by ERISA
  • Department of Labor Investigations and Litigation
  • Church Plan Litigation
  • Benefits in Bankruptcy Litigation
  • State Court Litigation
  • Retiree Health and Welfare Plan Modification and Litigation
  • Service Provider Litigation
  • Executive Compensation Litigation

Whether facing a single claimant or multiple claimants—including multi-jurisdictional lawsuits or class actions—Nixon Peabody offers the critical defense clients need for ERISA-related disputes. Our practice draws on the skill and experience of attorneys in our ERISA and Executive Compensation, Financial Services, Labor and Employment and Securities litigation practices. And we work with clients to help prevent disputes and litigation in the first place.

Experienced ERISA litigators

Our team includes a leading former government ERISA litigator with 23 years of experience in the U.S. Department of Labor, having worked in both the Office of the Solicitor and the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (now known as the Employee Benefits Security Administration). The prominent reputation of senior members of the ERISA Litigation group has been demonstrated by their retention as expert witnesses in major ERISA litigation and arbitration (on fiduciary issues), their service as mediators to settle ERISA litigation, their service on the ERISA Advisory Boards of BNA and Employment Law360 publications, and the election of two of our attorneys as Charter Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

Our practice draws on the skill and experience of attorneys in our ERISA and executive compensation, financial services, labor and employment, securities litigation, and other practices. Our clients benefit from our substantive knowledge of employee benefits law, which is coupled with our broad, deep, and long-standing experience in class action and trial defense. We have a track record of fending off claims, often saving clients millions of dollars in payouts. In just the past five years alone, we have successfully defended well over 100 such cases in state and federal courts in half the states of our nation. In the process, we defeated numerous motions for class certification, won numerous motions to dismiss or for summary judgment, and successfully concluded settlements covering more than 100 million class members, including the largest consumer class action ever settled.

Avoiding retirement plan risk

University Business | November 01, 2016

Rochester Labor & Employment partners Eric Paley and Christian Hancey are both quoted in this article discussing the impact retirement plan fee litigation, which many colleges and universities are facing, has on the higher education community.

Attorneys React to High Court ERISA Reimbursement Ruling

Law360 | January 20, 2016

San Francisco counsel and leader of the ERISA Litigation team Chuck Dyke discusses the Supreme Court’s ruling that a retirement plan cannot sue under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for reimbursement of medical expenses from a third-party settlement that a plan participant has already spent.


Charles M. Dyke

Leader, ERISA Litigation Team

Phone: 415-984-8315

Stephen J. Jones


Phone: 585-263-1386

Neal J. McNamara


Phone: 401-454-1019

  • BTI Litigation Outlook 2013
    • “Most Feared Law Firms”—Honor Roll
  • Chambers USA
  • Legal 500
  • Benchmark: Litigation/Appellate
  • U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”
  • Law 360—Employment 100
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