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Related Publications

12/23/08 Ethics and Privilege Issues Under ERISA, presented at a West Legalworks webcast
08/10/02 Enron, Related Benefits Issues
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Related News

06/30/14 Morgan Lewis Named Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment Litigation Dept. of the Year: The National Law Journal Salutes Firm for Depth and Variety of Matters
Morgan Lewis’s Labor and Employment team in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office was named The National Law Journal ’s 2014 Labor & Employment Litigation Department of the Year in the Washington region.
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Photo of  Donald L. Havermann

practice accolades

Labor & Employment

The American Lawyer Magazine's Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment Law Finalist 2004, Winner 2006, Finalist 2008, Finalist 2010, and Finalist 2012

Listed in the highest tier for National Labor and Employment Practice in Chambers USA 2014

Ranked in the top tier by The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2014)

Named Employment Practice Group of the Year by Law360 (2014)

Named a top 5 firm for employment in BTI's Litigation Outlook 2014 report

Ranked, National Tier 1: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor & Employment by U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2011-2012) 

Ranked #1 for "Most Prestigious" Labor and Employment Practice, Vault 2012 Associate Survey

ERISA/Employee Benefits Litigation

Listed in the highest tier for National ERISA Litigation Practice in Chambers USA 2014

Ranked in Tier 1 for ERISA Litigation by The Legal 500 United States (2014)

Labor-Management Relations & Labor Disputes

Ranked, National Tier 1: Labor Law - Management, U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2010)

honors + affiliations

Winner, The National Law Journal’s Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment (2014)

Listed, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers for Employee Benefits/ERISA (2013)

Member, American Bar Association

Member, ABA Litigation Section

Member, District of Columbia Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section

bar admissions

  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
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Donald L. Havermann

Washington, D.C.
1111 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004-2541
United States
Phone: +1.202.739.5072
Fax: +1.202.739.3001

Donald L. Havermann is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice and a member of the ERISA Litigation team. He focuses on the representation of clients in ERISA litigation and labor litigation matters.

In the ERISA litigation arena, Mr. Havermann defends fiduciaries, plans, and plan sponsors in class actions, single- and multi-plaintiff suits, and Department of Labor investigations, where the claims involve alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, ERISA statutory violations, or improper benefit denials under applicable plan documents. He served as defense counsel in five ERISA “stock drop” class actions and is presently defending a "fees and expenses" class action involving two 401k plans with several billion in assets. He also counsels clients on ERISA compliance issues, fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transactions, benefit claims administration, and litigation risk avoidance.

In the labor litigation field, Mr. Havermannn represents airline, trucking, and other corporate clients in matters arising under the NLRA and RLA. He has successfully represented clients in labor cases before the NLRB and numerous U.S. District Courts and U.S. Courts of Appeals. Two of his recent labor cases have involved cutting-edge issues of federal labor law preemption, including an important victory for an airline client in the Third Circuit. Mr. Havermann’s traditional labor law practice includes the representation of employers in both collective bargaining and labor contract arbitration matters.

In addition, Mr. Havermann serves as counsel to several Taft Hartley trust funds. In that capacity, he provides plan trustees with legal advice and representation concerning the complex statutory and regulatory scheme that governs employee benefit plan administration. He served as trial counsel for a large multiemployer pension fund in a breach of fiduciary duty/breach of federal common law case involving unique issues of adverse actuarial selection. His employee benefits litigation cases have involved many complex issues, including preemption of state laws, independent contractor status and pension eligibility; pension reciprocity; application of anti-cutback, forfeiture, and reporting and disclosure rules; prohibited transactions; and general fiduciary prudence.

Mr. Havermann has spoken on ERISA litigation and related issues at the Construction Industry Benefits Conference of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the ABA Section of Public Utility, Communication, and Transportation Law. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1980 and his B.S. from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce in 1976.

Mr. Havermann is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits; and the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and Maryland.


  • University of Virginia School of Law, 1980, J.D.
  • University of Virginia, 1976, B.S.