Areas of Practice
Education
  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1975, Notes Editor, Virginia Law Review, Order of the Coif
  • Princeton University, A.B., 1972 (Distinction in American Civilization)
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice, US Supreme Court, 1976-1977
  • Hon. Collins J. Seitz, Chief Judge, US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit 1975-1976
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia

Paul J. Ondrasik Jr.

Partner
1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 8088
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Paul Ondrasik is a partner in Steptoe's Washington office and serves as the co-head of the firm’s ERISA, Labor and Employment Group.  Mr. Ondrasik has long been recognized as one of the country’s premier ERISA litigators, having received first tier rankings from both Chambers USA (2005-2017) and The Legal 500 (2007-2017) in every year that those publications have rated attorneys in the area of National ERISA Litigation.  The firm’s ERISA litigation practice also has enjoyed Number 1 national rankings from both publications throughout that same time frame.

Mr. Ondrasik has nearly 40 years of experience in the employee benefit plan field, and has served as lead counsel in numerous ERISA class and individual actions, including cases involving employer stock, 401(k) plan fees, and other plan investment matters, fiduciary responsibility, corporate transactions and preemption.  Representative reported cases include: In re Whitley v. BP, P.L.C., 838 F.3d 523 (5th Cir. 2016) (holding that plaintiffs’ putative class action complaint seeking to recover plan losses on employer stock following Deepwater Horizon explosion failed to state a viable employer stock drop claim); In re American Express ERISA Litig., 762 F. Supp. 2d 614 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) (dismissing putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with plan’s holding of employer stock); Fox v. McCormick,  20 F. Supp. 3d 133 (D.D.C. 2013) (dismissing putative class action against trustees of national Taft-Hartley pension plan alleging fiduciary breach and prohibited transactions); Pharm. Care Mgmt. Ass'n v. District of Columbia, 613 F.3d 179 (D.C. Cir. 2010) (holding that key provisions of a District of Columbia law regulating pharmacy benefit managers was preempted by ERISA); In Re Honda of America Mfg. ERISA Fees Litigation, 661 F. Supp. 2d 861 (S.D. Ohio 2009) (dismissing putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with fees and investment options in 401(k) plan); Albrecht v. Comm. on Employee Benefits of the Federal Reserve Employee Benefits System, 357 F.3d 62 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (successfully defended claims of fiduciary breach based on failure to eliminate plan’s mandatory employee contribution feature); Flanigan v. General Elec. Co., 242 F.3d 78 (2d Cir. 2001) (successfully defended ERISA fiduciary and statutory claims arising from complex corporate transaction involving, among other things, trust-to-trust transfer of assets exceeding $1 billion); and Cal. Ironworkers Field Pension Trust v. Loomis Sayles & Co., 259 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2001) (successfully defended fiduciary breach claims based on investment of plan assets in complex mortgage derivatives).  He also was the principal ERISA attorney involved in Steptoe's successful representations of petitioners before the Supreme Court of the United States in two landmark decisions on ERISA remedies and preemption: Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Russell, 473 U.S. 134 (1985) and Pilot Life Ins. Co. v. Dedeaux, 481 U.S. 41 (1987).

Mr. Ondrasik is a Charter Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, and the Chair of Labor Committee of the Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section of the American Bar Association.  He also has served as an Advisory Director of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, was co-chair of the Annual ERISA Litigation Conference for over two decades, and is a frequent lecturer and author on fiduciary responsibility, preemption, and other ERISA matters for a variety of educational organizations.

Noteworthy

  • "Top 10," Washington, DC Super Lawyers, Employee Benefits, 2015-2017
  • Band 1, Chambers USA, ERISA Litigation (Nationwide), 2005-2017
  • Chambers USAEmployee Benefits & Executive Compensation (DC), 2010-2017
  • Best Lawyers in America, "Lawyer of the Year," Washington, DC Litigation - ERISA, 2012, 2017
  • Top 100," Washington, DC Super Lawyers, Employee Benefits, 2010-2017
  • "Leading Lawyer," Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: ERISA Litigation, 2007-2017
  • "Leading Lawyer," Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: Employee Health and Retirement Plans, 2017
  • Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, 2015-2016
  • Inaugural member, Legal 500 Hall of Fame 2017
  • Human Resource Executive, Distinguished, Employee Benefits and ERISA, 2014
  • Best Lawyers in America, ERISA Litigation, 2005-2018
  • Charter Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
  • Chair, Labor Committee of the Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section of the American Bar Association

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