Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Attorney Eric Field Joins Akin Gump

(Washington, D.C.) – Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Assistant Chief Counsel Eric D. Field has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as senior counsel in the firm’s labor and employment practice in Washington, D.C. Mr. Field previously managed the multiemployer plan section in the PBGC’s Office of Chief Counsel.

Mr. Field has spent much of his career working on issues related to multiemployer plans (MEPs), which are collectively bargained pension arrangements involving unrelated employers. While at the PBGC, among other responsibilities, Mr. Field represented the government in numerous cases involving interpretations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) as it pertains to (MEPs). He argued cases before several federal appellate courts and was a member of a PBGC team in a case that was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

At Akin Gump, Mr. Field will advise employers on an array of issues related to MEPs, including the risks associated with participating in multiemployer plans and potential withdrawal liability. He will counsel employers on distress, standard and PBGC-initiated terminations of single and multiemployer plans and advise on the liabilities associated with those terminations. Working with lawyers across the firm, Mr. Field will assist in withdrawal liability disputes as well as pension issues arising in financial restructuring matters. Mr. Field will also advise clients on the impact of potential legislative reform to the multiemployer plan system.

“In light of my experience at the PBGC, Akin Gump’s work in the area of multiemployer plans, and its ERISA practice in general, will be a perfect fit for me,” said Mr. Field. “I look forward to working closely with attorneys throughout the firm, including those in the labor and employment, financial restructuring, litigation and corporate practices, to help clients navigate the issues and risks associated with MEPs.”

Bob Lian, head of Akin Gump’s labor and employment practice, added, “Underfunded multiemployer pension plans present enormous challenges to companies and their investors. With the Pension Protection Act due to sunset next year, some form of legislation dealing with multiemployer plans, which could have a dramatic impact on employer liability, is likely to be introduced in Congress. We are delighted to have Eric join our team, and I am confident our clients will benefit from his experience and judgment.”

About Eric D. Field

Prior to joining the PBGC, Mr. Field was a staff attorney at the Hotel and Restaurant Employees International Union Welfare-Pension Funds. In that role, he managed the funds’ withdrawal liability program, including reviewing notification of assessments, the sale of asset exception applications and responding to requests for reviews. Mr. Field also arbitrated withdrawal liability cases, litigated contribution and subrogation claims in federal courts and advised on general ERISA issues.

Mr. Field received a J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law and a B.A. degree, with distinction, from the University of Maine.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 850 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

 

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