Areas of Practice
  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1973
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1970
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia

Melanie Nussdorf

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 3009
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Melanie Nussdorf is a partner in Steptoe's Washington office, where she is a member of the Tax Group and Employee Benefits Group.

Her practice spans the entire range of employee benefits, from the tax-based rules for qualified pension plans, to fiduciary issues, welfare benefits, and plan termination.  Ms. Nussdorf's particular focus over the last several years has been fiduciary issues, including prohibited transaction exemption questions under ERISA, especially in connection with financial products and services.  Ms. Nussdorf represents a number of financial institutions including major banks, investment advisers, brokerage firms, and insurance companies.  In addition, she has particular experience in all aspects of the plan termination process, including issues of employer liability for poorly funded plans terminating in or outside of a bankruptcy proceeding.  She has done substantial work on ERISA issues relating to hedge funds and private equity vehicles.  She also has substantial experience with the exemption and advisory opinion process under ERISA and has worked extensively on legislative issues related to ERISA.

Ms. Nussdorf was counsel for age and sex discrimination at the Department of Labor prior to serving as Executive Assistant to the Solicitor of Labor from 1977-81.  During this period, she had significant oversight responsibility for the department's legal work under ERISA.  From 1981-84, she served as Special Counsel at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.


  • The Best Lawyers in America, "Lawyer of the Year," Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2015
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, ERISA Litigation, 1995-2018
  • Chambers USA, "Star Individual," Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (DC), 2011-2017
  • Chambers USA, Band 1, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Nationwide), 2011-2017
  • Chambers USA, ERISA Litigation (Nationwide), 2014
  • Legal 500 US, "Leading Lawyer," Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, 2009, 2012-2016
  • Legal 500 US, "Leading Lawyer," Labor & Employment: Employee Health and Retirement Plans, 2017
  • Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: ERISA Litigation, 2015-2016
  • Legal 500 US, Tax: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, 2011
  • Washington, DC Super Lawyers, Employee Benefits, 2007-2017
  • Lawdragon 3000 Leading Lawyers in America, 2011
  • International Law Office Client Choice Award Guide, US Employment and Labor, 2010

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

More Publications »