ERISA, Labor & Employment

Steptoe’s ERISA, Labor & Employment Group has long been recognized as one of the best in the nation, and our ERISA litigators have for many years received top-tier rankings from Chambers USA and Legal 500.  Described in Legal 500 as “the ‘go-to’ ERISA firm," we are well known for our ability to solve clients’ problems – whether in court, before a government agency, or as advisors – in all aspects of ERISA, labor and employment matters.  The breadth of our experience in this area is evident in our diverse client base, which encompasses all segments of the employee benefit plan community, including plan fiduciaries, state retirement and welfare benefit systems, multiemployer plans, and third-party pension and welfare plan administrators and insurers, as well as corporate plan sponsors, financial institutions, banks, and plan services providers. 

Clients benefit from the diverse strengths of our team, which includes highly skilled ERISA litigators, former high-level representatives from the US Department of the Treasury, US Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), former Big Four consultants, and savvy policy advisors on fiduciary issues, retirement benefits, and health care reform.  As noted by clients in Chambers USA and Legal 500, our lawyers are “highly sophisticated” and their deep technical and practical knowledge enables them to provide clients with “accurate predictions of what the courts and regulatory bodies might do in specific situations.”

Our experience dates back to the early years of ERISA, when we won landmark rulings in two Supreme Court cases addressing the scope of remedies available in ERISA actions – Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Russell and Pilot Life Ins. Co. v. Dedeaux.  We have successfully handled complex ERISA litigation matters, including numerous employer stock drop actions, for clients such as BP, American Express, Morgan Stanley, Honda America, Visteon, and Dynegy, among others.

On behalf of some of the largest employers in the world, Steptoe’s highly regarded labor relations team handles collective bargaining, union organizing campaigns, representation elections, unfair labor practice charges, and other NLRB proceedings.  Reflecting our deep involvement with wage-hour and labor standards issues, the leader of our labor group currently serves as management-side chair of the key ABA committee focused on labor law.

With lawyers based across the firm’s offices in the US, the UK, and China, Steptoe’s employment practice handles a broad range of advisory and litigation matters on behalf of employers.  We regularly advise clients on issues such as EEO and wrongful discharge, internal investigations, challenging workforce transitions, reductions-in-force and executive-level departures, and reorganizations.  Our litigation experience ranges from assisting clients at all level of administrative and judicial litigation to having represented clients in leading employment class action and sexual harassment cases before the Supreme Court.


  • Chambers USA, Band 1, ERISA Litigation (Nationwide), 2005-2016
  • Chambers USA, Labor & Employment (Arizona), 2007-2016
  • Chambers USA, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (DC), 2005-2016
  • Chambers USA, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Nationwide), 2010-2016
  • Legal 500 US, Tier 1, Labor & Employment: ERISA Litigation (Nationwide), 2007-2016
  • Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, 2010-2016

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