403(b) Plan Litigation - Best Practices for Now and Preparations for the Future

18 May 2017   Via Webinar    

In the past dozen years, there has been a marked increase in class-action litigation against employers that sponsor retirement savings plans. Until recently, those actions have targeted for-profit companies that offer 401(k) plans. In 2016, however, that dynamic changed when a dozen universities were sued for allegedly breaching their fiduciary duties of loyalty and prudence and engaging in transactions prohibited by ERISA with respect to the 403(b) plans that they sponsor and administer.

We are aware that plaintiffs’ lawyers are targeting as many as 100 additional universities for possible copycat cases, which has left many university HR and legal officers to wonder whether their institutions’ 403(b) plans will be challenged next and whether any steps can be taken to mitigate risk.

Topics will include:

  • What legal claims are presented by these cases?
  • How can a university know if it is being targeted?
  • What steps can plan fiduciaries take now to make themselves less desirable litigation targets?
  • What should potential targets be doing now to prepare for possible litigation?
  • How does the attorney-client privilege operate in fiduciary litigation?

Speakers include:

Robert L. Sichel, Partner, K&L Gates LLP
Robert is an ERISA attorney in the New York office of K&L Gates. He leads the firm’s ERISA Fiduciary Practice Group. For over 20 years, Robert has been advising plan sponsors and financial institutions on their fiduciary duties and risk mitigation techniques. Robert was previously in-house ERISA counsel for JPMorgan’s investment bank and Bear Stearns. He was also General Counsel of a registered investment adviser that specialized in providing consulting and outsourced CIO services to retirement plans.

Brian D. Netter, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Brian is a trial and appellate litigator in Mayer Brown’s Washington, D.C., office. He co-chairs two of the firm’s practices: Supreme Court and appellate litigation; and ERISA litigation. With respect to the latter, he has been defending plan fiduciaries from allegations that they breached their fiduciary duties in the administration of 401(k) plans since the first excessive-fee cases were filed in 2006, and he currently represents three of the universities that are subject to 403(b) class actions. Brian previously served as a law clerk to Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court.

You must register before the start of the program in order to participate. Log-in reminder emails will be sent the day before and 30 minutes prior to the webinar.

Registering for this CLE/CPD is a two-step process. Please (1) be sure you have registered for a K&L Gates HUB CLE/CPD account or have logged into your previously created account and then (2) register for this specific event.

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403(b) Plan Litigation - Best Practices for Now and Preparations for the Future