We emphasize practicality and creativity in an area that is complex and heavily regulated.


Working with our leading investment management and funds practices, we have developed an extensive and comprehensive ERISA and Title I practice. We represent a wide range of investment management and fund clients – helping them stay out of ERISA or live under it, as they choose.

With the substantial growth in pension assets, the consolidation of the financial services industry, and the rapid development of new products and services, investment managers face increasing challenges dealing with a complex and far-reaching statutory regime. Consequently, we are frequently called upon to apply creativity and insight, as well as technical experience, in order to find ways to bring products and services to market.

We have experience with an extremely wide variety of fiduciary issues, from the perspective of fund formation, corporate transactions by funds, investment managers, plan investors, institutions designing financial products and financial institutions engaged in proprietary activities.

Our services run the full range of fiduciary advice, including day-to-day counseling, advising on investments, advising in special circumstances, and working on exemptive and interpretive matters with the Department of Labor (DOL). Some examples of our work in this area include: 

  • Establishing “best practices” for fiduciary conduct and scope of activities 
  • Guiding clients through implementation of the DOL's new “fiduciary advice” rules
  • Negotiating swaps, ISDAs and similar instruments 
  • Implementation of DOL operating exemptions such as QPAM, INHAM and broker-dealer-related 
  • Compliance with disclosure rules in connection with “service provider” compensation and Form 5500 Schedule C 
  • Representation before the DOL and IRS in connection with an audit, enforcement action or application for exemptive relief 
  • Negotiation with PBGC in transactional settings 
  • Application of “VCOC,” “REOC” and “25 percent test” rules
  • Evaluating ABS/MBS ERISA eligibility