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Keeping Your (Top) Hat On

“Top hat” plans are plans employers maintain for a “select group of management or highly compensated employees.” These plans are exempt from many of ERISA’s protections, including eligibility, vesting, fiduciary...more

What Constitutes “Reasonable Efforts” to Inform Plan Participants of Plan Amendments, Which Include a Forum Selection Clause?

You know that many Plans have forum selection clauses. Are they enforceable? YES When a Plan participant claims they “did not know of a plan amendment,” how do you prove the Participant received notice of the...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we feature three key developments. First, we review the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, 947 (2016) wherein the Supreme Court held that a...more

Is Your Corporation “Zeroing Out” Income at End of Year Through Bonuses? Watch Out!

For the last few years the IRS has warned taxpayers that it would look closely at year-end bonuses that resulted in “zeroing out” taxable income of a corporation by deducting the bonuses as salary rather than a payment of...more

Yes, Attorneys Too Can Blow the Whistle: But When and How Hard?

According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Agency”), an attorney – or any individual, for that matter – should not have to first report misconduct to the SEC to fall under the protections...more

District Court Holds Private Equity Funds Jointly Liable for Portfolio Company's ERISA Withdrawal Liability

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled on March 28, 2016 that two private equity funds were jointly and severally liable for the multiemployer pension plan withdrawal liability of their jointly-owned...more

District Court Applies Dudenhoeffer “More Harm Than Good” Standard to Closely-Held Corporation

A federal district court in Mississippi ruled for the first time that the “more harm than good” pleading standard established by the Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), applied to...more

Sun Capital Decision Implicates Private Company Investing

On March 28, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (the District Court) delivered a controversial opinion in Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund...more

District Court Rules Johnson Controls Retirees Not Entitled to Lifetime Health Benefits

A district court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015), the Third Circuit’s rule that clear and express...more

Court Enforces Forum Selection Clause in ERISA Plan

A federal district court in New York enforced an ERISA retirement plan’s forum selection clause and transferred the case to the District of New Jersey. The plaintiff argued that the forum selection clause was invalid because...more

Advising On Their Own: Financial Advisors’ Class Claims Defeated

Employers have a new tool for opposing conditional and class certification of overtime claims by financial advisors and other exempt employees—last week, a judge in the District of New Jersey denied conditional and class...more

Class Action Roundup: Winter 2016

Where the (Class) Action Is - This issue of Roundup wraps up 2015 with another slate of interesting cases spanning industries and subject matter. The running theme of ascertainability is now stretching into antitrust...more

Sun Capital Court Finds that Common Industry Practices Exposed PE Funds to Pension Plan Liabilities

A group of related private equity (“PE”) funds were found liable for a bankrupt portfolio company’s pension plan debts in the latest and most worrisome decision in the long-running Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England...more

SOX Whistleblower Receives $250,000 Award Related to State Wage Act Complaints

The ARB recently concluded that a former program manager was entitled to recover more than $250,000 in back pay and benefits under Section 806 of SOX based on his discipline and constructive discharge. The ARB clarified that...more

CFTC Announces $10 Million Whistleblower Award, Its Largest Award Yet

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) recently announced the largest ever award under its Whistleblower Program created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The whistleblower...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Awards Bounty to Whistleblower, But Offsets Award for a Judgment Against the Whistleblower - The extent to which the SEC would reward whistleblowers, who themselves engaged in wrongdoing, has been the subject of...more

Asset Finance & Leasing Newsletter

New GAP Insurance Rules - The FCA published new rules in June governing the sale of addon Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance. The rules came into force on 1 September 2015 and apply to commercial customers as well...more

When Going “All In” Pays Off: The Third Circuit Upholds The Decision of the Bankruptcy Court in In re Trump Entertainment Resorts,...

In an appeal certified directly from the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (the “Bankruptcy Court”) to the Court of Appeals, the Third Circuit issued a ruling upholding Judge Kevin Gross’s decision that a chapter...more

Judge Garland’s ERISA Jurisprudence Reflects His Methodical and Moderate Reputation

With President Obama’s recent nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to the U.S. Supreme Court, we thought our loyal readers would be interested to learn a little about Judge...more

Casting a Wider Net: Court Finds Private Equity Funds Liable for ERISA Withdrawal Liability

On March 28, 2016, a district court in Massachusetts found two private equity funds (under the Sun Capital Partners, Inc. umbrella) jointly and severally liable for withdrawal liability imposed on one of its underlying...more

Recent Lawsuit Demonstrates Continuing Need for Plan Fiduciaries to Document Decision-Making Process

Late last year, another lawsuit was brought on behalf of participants in a 401(k) plan alleging breaches of fiduciary duties resulting from allegedly high plan fees. This type of case is not novel; the law firm that brought...more

SCOTUS ERISA Cases, Part Two: Preemption of State Healthcare Claims Database

This is the second article of a three part series summarizing employee benefit issues that are being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during the current October 2015 term. Part One provided an outline of Montanile v....more

Private Equity Funds Liable for Portfolio Company's Pension Obligations

A U.S. District Court issued a ruling on March 28 that affects pension liabilities for private equity funds and their portfolio companies. Taken further, the ruling potentially changes fundamental rules for tax-qualified...more

Courts Strike Down Church Plan Exemptions for Church-Affiliated Organizations

Until recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and federal courts seemed to agree that a retirement plan established and maintained by a church-affiliated organization generally qualified...more

Sun Capital Court Finds Co-Investing Funds Part of Controlled Group and Liable for Portfolio Company’s Pension Liabilities

District Court finds affiliated funds acted in de facto partnership which controlled portfolio company; Decision may be significant in making private equity acquisition structuring choices. As we previously reported, in...more

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