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Last year, the firm’s ERISA Litigation team counted several victories with “big impacts,” as noted in its Law360 feature after being named a “Practice Group of the Year” by the publication. “Our focus is not to do everything, but is only to do the most impactful cases and that’s generally what we focus on,” said Jenner & Block Chair Craig C. Martin. The team is made up of lawyers who have significant cross-service experience, working in other practice areas including bankruptcy, transactions and appellate. “Our goal there is really to leverage those special skill sets to meet the particular needs of every case and every client,” said ERISA Litigation Practice Chair Amanda S. Amert.
The group led tremendous wins for clients Northwestern University in a class action alleging that the university mismanaged worker’s retirement savings; Northern Trust in a seventh circuit victory against claims that the financial advisory firm violated ERISA’s anti-cutback rule and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; and Aon Hewitt Financial Advisors when a judge dismissed claims that Aon Hewitt violated ERISA when it “engaged in a kickback scheme with a 401(k) plan robo-adviser” that allegedly increased fees for retirement plan participants. Mr. Martin called this type of suit a “brand-new attack” against online service providers involving artificial intelligence based services. “It’s really on the cutting edge of technology with financial products and whether you can satisfy your fiduciary duty,” Mr. Martin said. “It’s an old-fashioned legal attack using ERISA or the common law of trusts on a basically artificial technology-driven solution as to what offerings are in a particular 401(k) plan. It’s new…If you win those cases on motions to dismiss early on, the hope would be that it shuts down that avenue of attack because we don’t think it’s a legitimate plaintiff’s theory to pursue.”
To read Law360's profile of the group, please click here.