Jenner & Block

"A Comprehensive ERISA Policy Now, Less Trouble Later," Law360

Jenner & Block Partners Amanda S. Amert and Douglas A. Sondgeroth and Associate Molly M. Powers published an article titled, “A Comprehensive ERISA Policy Now, Less Trouble Later” in the Law360 Expert Analysis section on March 15. The article discusses the New York Court of Appeals’ ruling in Federal Insurance Co. v. IBM Corp and advises companies reviewing their primary and excess ERISA fiduciary liability policies to take note of the decision. In that case, the state’s highest court ruled that an excess insurer on a “follow form” ERISA fiduciary liability policy was not required to cover the attorney fee portion of a settlement IBM paid in an ERISA class action, even though the primary insurer had provided coverage to the point of exhausting the primary policy limits. The court held that the claim was not covered by the terms of the primary policy because IBM was sued in its capacity as a plan “settlor” rather than as an ERISA fiduciary. The article summarizes the case and identifies the important ramifications of the court’s decision.

Ms. Amert is Chair of Jenner & Block’s ERISA Litigation Practice and has a wide variety of business litigation, appellate and arbitration experience. Businesses rely on her for help with contract disputes, intellectual property issues and employment litigation as well as how to avoid benefits litigation. Recognized for her substantial experience in ERISA law, she has represented employers in federal courts around the country at the trial and appellate levels, in both individual and class-action lawsuits.

Mr. Sondgeroth is a member of the Firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation, ERISA Litigation and International Arbitration practices. Individuals and businesses in a variety of industries seek his counsel on complex civil and commercial litigation on issues ranging from employee benefits, employment discrimination and commercial contract disputes to tort claims, civil rights, and class action litigation.  His practice includes a focus on ERISA litigation and litigation involving fiduciary duties and corporate governance issues.  He also has experience in international arbitration and proceedings involving temporary restraining orders related to employment law and intellectual property.

Ms. Powers is an associate in Jenner & Block’s Litigation Department with experience in securities and ERISA litigation.