ERISA Fiduciary Duty

The modern investment landscape makes the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA’s) fiduciary standards and its prohibited transaction rules and exemptions increasingly challenging for fiduciaries and service providers to navigate. Morgan Lewis lawyers help corporate, multiemployer, tax-exempt, and public plan clients manage their fiduciary duties related to selection of investments and service providers, plan governance, and plan administration in a manner that helps to manage fiduciary risk while providing high-quality benefits and services.

Our work focuses on fiduciary compliance, including auditing services and prohibited transaction issues. We counsel plan sponsors and fiduciaries on investment matters—such as negotiating and drafting agreements related to plan investments—and we advise our financial services provider clients in connection with the retirement plan products and services they provide. These clients include insurance companies, banks, mutual fund complexes, investment advisers, and broker-dealers. We also provide counseling services regarding individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and related products.

To provide comprehensive fiduciary services, we work closely and seamlessly with our colleagues who have experience related to employee benefit plan fiduciary issues, including investment-related matters. These groups include our investment management, business and finance (including securities lawyers), and tax controversy and planning teams.

Notably, we also partner with our ERISA and employee benefits litigation practice, a separate area comprising approximately 40 seasoned employee benefits litigators. This team handles cases of alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, including those related to 401(k) stock drop, and fees and expenses matters. Incorporating the lessons learned from our benefits litigators, we provide clients with effective risk-mitigation advice.