Eric Serron

Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Adjunct Professor of Law

B.A., M.A., J.D., University of Wisconsin

B.A., M.A., J.D. cum laude, University of Wisconsin. Professor Serron is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he is...

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B.A., M.A., J.D. cum laude, University of Wisconsin. Professor Serron is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he is a member of the Litigation Department. He practices primarily in the employee benefits area, with a particular emphasis in Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation and fiduciary responsibility issues. He counsels clients regarding their obligations under Title I of ERISA, including compliance with ERISA’s fiduciary responsibility provisions and prohibited transaction rules, and represents clients before the Department of Labor in matters involving ERISA compliance issues. He also represents clients in litigation matters, including cases involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, benefit claims disputes, withdrawal liability cases, and cases raising questions of ERISA preemption of state law. Professor Serron successfully defended claims against former members of a profit sharing plan’s administrative committee who were alleged to have breached their fiduciary duties by failing to consummate a sale of the plan’s employer stock to another shareholder in the midst of a contest for control over the company. In another case, he persuaded a state supreme court to dismiss on ERISA preemption grounds a nationwide class action alleging that a pharmaceutical benefits manager unjustly enriched itself at the expense of health plan participants by “misclassifying” a generic drug as a brand name drug in assessing copayments due under the plans. He also was involved in the successful defense of fiduciary breach claims against an investment manager based on investments in complex mortgage derivatives.

Prior to joining Steptoe, Professor Serron served as a trial attorney in the Plan Benefits Security Division of the Office of the Solicitor, US Department of Labor. In that capacity he represented the Secretary of Labor in complex fiduciary breach cases under ERISA at both the trial and appellate court levels. During this time, he represented the Secretary in a number of actions involving debt-financed Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) transactions, including Reich v. Valley National Bank, 837 F. Supp. 1259 (S.D.N.Y. 1993), which contributed substantially to the development of the law governing ESOP-financed leveraged buyouts. He also prosecuted cases against pension plan fiduciaries who purchased plan termination annuities from Executive Life Insurance Company, formulated the Department's legal analysis of rebates paid on experience-rated insurance contracts, and authored amicus curiae briefs on a variety of topics, including ERISA preemption, fiduciary responsibility, and remedies.

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