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Employee Benefits

New York 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.


“O’Dwyer & Bernstien has helped me in several different situations over the last 12 years that I’ve lived in NYC. They’re my go-to firm because they always obtain the results that I need and deserve. They’re also located in downtown Manhattan, which makes them very convenient. The office and people that work there are exactly what you’d expect from a top tier law firm in the world’s greatest city.”

“When I got hurt in a traffic accident while riding my bike in New York City, my friend suggested I speak to O’Dwyer & Bernstien. Upon my initial phone conversation with a lawyer from the firm I was impressed by his courtesy, quick return phone calls and concise explanation of the legal tactics available to me. After meeting face to face with him, I decided immediately to retain O’Dwyer & Bernstien to represent me in my personal injury case. I was very happy with my attorney and with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend O’Dwyer & Bernstien to anyone seeking legal representation.”

“I retained O’Dwyer & Bernstien on the recommendation of a friend. I was immediately impressed by the firm’s experience and reputation in personal injury law. From the start, my ODB attorney walked me through the process, answered all my questions, explained everything clearly, kept me updated regularly and always promptly returned my telephone calls and emails. My attorney was knowledgeable, professional, courteous and diligent. My case moved through the court system quickly. As trial neared, the insurance company saw that my attorney was experienced and thoroughly prepared to try my case to verdict. As a result, the insurance company caved and settled my case for the full limits of the insurance policy. I love my ODB attorney!”

“When I was hurt on the job I had nowhere to turn for help. I had been working as an electrician’s helper, but my boss was not insured and he had no license to do electrical work. I had just had a new baby girl and Con Ed was going to shut off my lights. A friend told me to call O’Dwyer & Bernstien. They took action right away and got great money for my case. ODB helped me get my life back on track. I will always be grateful.”