ERISA / Employee Benefits Class Action Defense

Venable maintains an active, nationwide practice that provides high-quality, effective, and cost-contained litigation skills and advice. Our decades of experience are invaluable when it comes to resolving ERISA claims.

In recent years, there has been a tremendous explosion in employee benefit claims, allegations of breach of duties by plan fiduciaries, severance and other benefit claims in the context of corporate transactions, and other benefits-related litigation. Venable's ERISA/employee benefits attorneys have a deep understanding of ERISA law and the experience needed to achieve effective outcomes for our clients.

Our multidisciplinary team is staffed with acclaimed litigators and experienced ERISA attorneys. With their formidable knowledge of employee benefit law, they handle all aspects of litigation, including case strategy, discovery, motions, depositions, and trial. Our attorneys have been involved in a wide variety of ERISA litigation matters, including retiree health benefits, representation of plan sponsors, bankruptcy, contested plan terminations, multiemployer withdrawal liability, fiduciary duty violations, and benefit denials. We serve a wide array of clients, including plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and service providers.


  • For a large steel manufacturing company, Venable litigated numerous benefit claims nationwide, in both individual and class action cases, involving, among other things, claims by salaried retirees for lifetime health benefits, claims of improper offsets by the company-sponsored plan with respect to benefits earned under a multiemployer plan, claims that accrued benefits had been improperly reduced, claims that excess assets should not revert to the company upon plan termination, and claims for payment of prejudgment interest
  • For an international satellite organization, Venable successfully defended against an ERISA class action suit brought by retired employees involving, among other things, claims for lifetime health benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty
  • For a large national bottling company, Venable engaged in nationwide litigation on matters ranging from whether requested medical procedures were experimental or medically necessary, to whether pension and disability payments were properly terminated
  • For an international credit card company, Venable successfully defended its long-term disability plan and various affiliates from claims of breaches of fiduciary duty under ERISA and improper benefit denials
  • For a large medical insurance company, Venable successfully obtained dismissal of a claim that was filed as a precursor to a potential class action, which alleged failure to provide plan benefits and breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA

Honors and Awards

  • U.S. News-Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (Tier 1), Baltimore, 2011 – 2020, 2022 – 2023
  • Legal 500, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, 2011 – 2022
  • Chambers USA, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation (Band 1), Maryland, 2013 – 2022 
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2006 – 2022 (Venable attorneys selected for inclusion)