ERISA Litigation

Just as the cost of providing employee benefits is on the rise, so, too, is the risk of being entangled in ERISA and other benefits-related litigation for employers and insurers.

Backed by the strength and expertise of one of the region’s largest and most experienced Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Groups, McAfee & Taft’s ERISA litigation attorneys are frequently called on to counsel and defend employee benefit plan sponsors, plan administrators, corporate and individual plan fiduciaries, service providers, and insurers in all aspects of ERISA litigation and disputes.

Our collective experience includes representing clients in government audits and investigations, in civil litigation in both federal and state courts, and in administrative agency proceedings in both routine and highly complex disputes and controversies involving the employee benefit plans of private and public sector employers.

The scope of our practice includes the following disputes and controversies:

  • Administrative review proceedings
  • Alienation of benefits
  • Alleged breaches of fiduciary responsibility
  • Alleged defects in plan administration
  • Benefits claims decisions and appeals
  • Cash balance plan conversion disputes
  • Claims for prohibited transactions
  • Compliance audits conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, EEOC, and other regulatory agencies
  • Disability claims
  • Employee withdrawal liability disputes
  • ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) controversies, including those involving valuation issues
  • Executive compensation claims
  • Expert witness support, both in testifying and consulting
  • Independent contractor issues involving claims for benefits
  • MEWA (Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement) and multiemployer plan litigation and arbitration
  • Protected rights litigation
  • Plan investment and funding controversies
  • Plan service provider malpractice
  • Plan status disputes (e.g., exempt v. non-exempt from ERISA, qualified v. non-qualified, etc.)
  • Plan termination and amendment controversies
  • Reinsurance
  • Retiree health and welfare benefit disputes
  • Severance plan claims, including those arising from reductions-in-force
  • Subrogation/reimbursement actions to recover claims paid primarily as a result of third-party liability
  • TPA negligence

An equally important part of our practice involves helping clients avoid future disputes, particularly those that may lead to costly litigation. Our ERISA litigation attorneys practice closely with our employee benefits and labor and employment attorneys, bringing a richer perspective to these areas of practice. In an effort to protect our clients against future litigation, we provide valuable assistance regarding the design and implementation of employee benefit plans and regularly counsel clients on ERISA compliance issues regarding fiduciary and other duties.

ERISA Litigation Team

Michael F. Lauderdale

Shareholder, Managing Director

(405) 552-2257

Brandon P. Long

Shareholder, Director

(405) 552-2328

Anna E. Wolfe


(918) 574-3048