Brian T. Ortelere defends employee benefits litigation, including Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) class actions. Co-chair of the ERISA litigation practice, he litigates class action claims challenging the administration of 401(k) plans, cash balance plans, and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). With his victory in Renfro v. Unisys, Brian became the first US lawyer to defeat “401(k) excessive fee” claims on a motion to dismiss and to successfully defend the judgment in the US Court of Appeals. Brian is ranked among the top three ERISA litigators in the nation according to Chambers & Partners.
Brian also successfully tried the Unisys Savings Plan matter, the first application of ERISA section 404(c) at trial.
He frequently speaks on benefits topics and ERISA litigation at legal conferences and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
College of William & Mary, 1986, J.D.
Muhlenberg College, 1983, A.B.
US Supreme Court
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US District Court for the Southern District of New York
Clerkship to Judge William Hutchinson of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1987 - 1988)
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Labor & Employment, Law360 (2017)
Band 1, ERISA Litigation, Nationwide, Chambers USA (2018, 2019)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2006–2016, 2018)
Recommended, Labor and employment - ERISA litigation, The Legal 500 US (2012–2014, 2016–2019)
Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – ERISA, Philadelphia, The Best Lawyers in America (2020)
Recognized, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Philadelphia; Litigation – ERISA, Philadelphia, The Best Lawyers in America (2005–2011, 2017–2020)
Recognized, Who’s Who Legal (2016)
Recognized, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (2004–2010)
Recognized, Dispute Resolution, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook 2008
Member, Advisory Board of BNA's ERISA Compliance & Enforcement Library