With careful attention to regulatory developments, industry norms and evolving case law, we guide financial-sector clients through the challenge of offering services and investment products that meet ERISA standards.


Financial-sector companies face the complex task of designing investment products suitable for ERISA-covered plans. At WilmerHale, seasoned ERISA attorneys collaborate with lawyers from our Investment Management, Fund Formation, Financial Institutions and Broker-Dealer Practices to advise clients on the rules that govern the management of pension and other benefit funds. Our experience covers not only ERISA, but also the provisions of the tax laws that can affect the design of benefit plan products and services. Our representation of institutional clients also extends to transactional and litigation matters.

Experience

Examples of our recent work include:

  • the negotiation of more than 100 swap and other derivative contracts on behalf of a large financial institution that services ERISA plans;
  • the acquisition of an employee benefits service provider by a major financial services group;
  • the design and implementation of an IRA-managed account program for a national brokerage house;
  • the development of unified documents for IRAs and retirement plan products following the combination of financial institutions;
  • the acquisition by an investment banking advisory firm of the a division of a major US bank;
  • the representation of WilmerHale's Investment Management Practices in the qualification of hedge funds as practical investments for ERISA assets; and
  • the investigation of potential fiduciary breaches by retirement plan consultants working in the public retirement plan market.