Friday, March 20, 2015

Michael Keeley Cornerstone Research Economic And Financial Consulting And Expert Testimony - Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Erisa)

Cornerstone Research has consulted and testified on a variety of ERISA matters, such as the prudence of including a company’s own stock within its defined contribution plans, asset managers’ compliance with pension fund guidelines, calculations of early distributions, and evaluations of actuarial services. We have also evaluated benefits amid bankruptcies and mergers, along with the fiduciary duties of trustees and fund managers, among other complex issues.

Stock Drop Cases
Cornerstone Research has addressed liability and loss causation in litigation over drops in stock prices, providing settlement estimates and damages analyses on cases including class actions and suits that have gone to trial. We have also addressed issuers' and trustees’ allegedly insufficient disclosures of risk factors, volatility thresholds, and performance benchmarks.

We have worked on a variety of ERISA cases focusing on the suitability of specific investments included within retirement plans. We have addressed allegations of misrepresentations in the choices offered to individual participants and plan sponsors; insufficient disclosures about strategy, risks, and performance benchmarks; and securities fraud. We also have addressed ERISA claims involving allegedly improper options grants and other sophisticated benefits issues.

ERISA Company Stock Cases Settlement Database
Cornerstone Research maintains an extensive database of ERISA company stock drop cases, allowing us to provide relevant historical data on cases and settlements to our clients. Our database currently contains 247 cases filed since 1997.

Fee Disputes
A growing number of lawsuits target retirement plan sponsors, trustees, and fund managers for allegedly charging excessive fees. In addition to class certification work on these cases, we analyze damages theories while reviewing specific features of the plans at issue as compared to the defined contribution and benefits industry.

Pensions and Actuarial Issues
Our staff have consulted on a variety of matters involving pensions, including accounting compliance disputes and the impact of defined benefits upon employers’ insolvencies. We have addressed the valuations of annuitized distributions; breach of contract and fiscal duty disputes between plan sponsors, trustees, and asset management providers; valuations of pension and health benefits in the context of terminated plans; portfolio managers’ compliance with pension guidelines; and alleged deficiencies in the data used to calculate actuarial estimates.