Alternate Office
  • 1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
  • Washington, DC 20036
  • TEL: +1 202 429 8030
  • FAX: +1 202 429 3902
Areas of Practice
  • New York University School of Law, LL.M., Taxation, 1993
  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School, J.D., 1991
  • Evangel University, B.S., 1988
Bar & Court Admissions
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Michigan
633 West Fifth Street
Suite 700
Los Angeles CA 90071
TEL: +1 213 439 9457
FAX: +1 213 439 9599

Don Wellington has practiced in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation for more than 20 years.  Mr. Wellington represents some of the largest pension funds in the country on a variety of matters, and he is a fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.  He has also served as the managing partner of Steptoe's Los Angeles office.

Mr. Wellington previously was the Associate Benefits Tax Counsel for the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy in Washington.  His primary responsibilities included advising the Assistant Secretary (Tax Policy) with respect to the development and implementation of tax policy regarding retirement, health, stock option, and other employee benefit plans.

While at the Treasury Department, Mr. Wellington was involved in the development and review of guidance relating to qualified retirement plans and deferred compensation arrangements, as well as guidance on IRS determination letter and correction programs.

Mr. Wellington also was heavily involved in the development and review of employee benefits-related legislation while at the Treasury Department, including drafting legislative language and working closely with Congressional staffers.  He also participated in the development of a number of retirement savings proposals and initiatives while with Treasury.

Mr. Wellington’s practice includes advising clients on a broad range of employee benefit plan design and compliance issues, including those arising under the Affordable Care Act.  He also advises clients on the employee benefits aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions, including transactions relating to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).  He has represented clients on a variety of matters before the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Mr. Wellington also serves as outside tax counsel for a number of state and local pension plans.


  • Legal 500 US, Tax: Domestic Tax, 2012-2015
  • Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, 2011-2016
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, Employee Benefits, 2016-2017
  • Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
  • Former Associate Benefits Tax Counsel, Attorney-Advisor, United States Department of the Treasury, 1996-2000

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Chair, Subcommittee on Government Submissions, American Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee, Tax Section, 1996
  • Chair, Subcommittee on Master and Prototype Retirement Plans, Employee Benefits Committee, Tax Section, American Bar Association, 1995-1996
  • Co-Vice Chair, Subcommittee on Exempt Organization and Government Plans, Employee Benefits Committee, Tax Section, American Bar Association, 2014-present
  • National Association of Public Pension Attorneys