Employee Benefits Law

O’Dwyer & Bernstien, LLP, has long served as counsel and co-counsel to Taft-Hartley and non-Taft Hartley benefit plans. Our expertise encompasses welfare, defined benefit and defined contribution retirement funds, annuity, 401(k), apprentice training, and labor-management cooperation funds, where we provide trustees with essential advice in plan administration and compliance, fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transactions, among many other matters.

The Firm acts as contribution collection counsel to many plans, pursuing claims through arbitration and federal court litigation. We help benefit plans design and implement comprehensive collection procedures and delinquency avoidance programs. We have particular expertise in pursuing personal liability against employer principals who have defrauded funds of contributions. We have helped our clients win significant judgments holding principals personally liable.

The Firm has successfully represented benefit plans and trustees in Employee Retirement Income Security Act litigation involving benefit denials (due to ineligibility and breaks in service, among other grounds) and breaches of fiduciary duty, as well as numerous other challenges to trustee decisions. We guide our benefit fund clients through the difficult maze of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and Qualified Medical Child Support Orders. When labor and management trustees cannot agree, the Firm has represented trustees in deadlock arbitration.

As in other areas of our practice, O’Dwyer & Bernstien, LLP, is committed to educating and training current and future benefit fund trustees and support professionals. Senior Partner Brian O’Dwyer lectures often on various subjects at meetings of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), where our attorneys are regular attendees and participants. Mr. O’Dwyer has been appointed to the lawyers committee of the IFEBP, where he will assume an even greater role in educating future benefits trustees and professionals.