Deborah S. Davidson represents plan sponsors, trustees, fiduciaries, service providers, and other clients facing a range of employee benefits litigation around the United States. Co-chair of the firm’s ERISA litigation practice, she has experience defending lawsuits involving all types of employee benefit plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans, defined benefit plans, church plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), top-hat plans, severance plans, and health plans. Deborah has been recognized nationally for ERISA litigation by Chambers and The Legal 500. She has written and spoken extensively on a variety of employee benefits matters and served as the national employer co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Employee Benefits Committee. Deborah was selected by the Illinois Diversity Council (ILDC) as one of its 2016 Leadership Excellence in the Law award recipients.
In her benefits litigation practice, Deborah handles claims covering a host of issues. These include employer securities and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), retirement plan investments, plan fees and expenses, church plans, retirement and health plan service providers, retiree medical benefits, health and welfare plan issues, early retirement programs, severance plans, top-hat plans, alleged cutback or elimination of accrued benefits, claims to recover plan benefits, and other claims. Deborah also counsels clients on risk management including a variety of benefits issues.
Deborah frequently writes and speaks on employee benefits and ERISA litigation. She has been a chapter editor and contributing author for the Employee Benefits Law Treatise and Supplement (BNA) for chapters on fiduciary responsibility, ethics, and civil procedure. She is also a member of the national faculty of the ABA’s Joint Committee on Employee Benefits.
University of Tulsa, 1995, B.A., With Honors
Washington University in St. Louis, 1998, J.D.
Supreme Court of the United States
US Courts of Appeals for the First, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits
US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
US District Courts for the Central and Northern Districts of Illinois
US District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
US District Court for the District of Colorado
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Litigation - ERISA, Chicago, The Best Lawyers in America (2022, 2023)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017, 2019)
Recognized by the Illinois Diversity Council (ILDC) as one of its 2016 Leadership Excellence in the Law award recipients
Ranked, ERISA Litigation, Nationwide, Chambers USA (2014–2022)