Robert W. Rachal

New Orleans, LA

March 18, 2019 - Jackson|lewis
November 1, 2016 - Partner, Holifield · Janich · Rachal · Ferrera, PLLC
October 2004 to October 2016 – Senior Counsel, Proskauer Rose, LLP’s New Orleans office, practicing in the area of ERISA Litigation and Labor & Employment.
February 2002 to October 2004 – Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP’s New Orleans office, practicing in the area of ERISA Litigation and Labor & Employment.
1994 to February 2002 – Partner, McCalla, Thompson, Pyburn & Shapiro, New Orleans, Louisiana, a boutique firm practicing in Labor, Employment and ERISA Litigation.
Judicial Clerk (1993-1994) Law Clerk for the Honorable Jacques L. Wiener, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit (1993-94).

Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana (1990 – 1993) Juris Doctor summa cum laude. (3.9 GPA) Graduated: 1/307. Member Senior Board, Senior Articles Editor Tulane Law Review. Order of the Coif; Faculty Medal; Federal Bar Ass’n Award.
University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana (1977 – 1981) College of Business, B.S., Accounting (3.5 GPA).

*Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, (2013), and member Board of Governors (2016)

*Listed in Best Lawyers® 2017 & 2019 Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – ERISA, New Orleans

*US Legal 500 – Mention for Labor & Employment, ERISA Litigation, 2008, 2012 & 2014-2016 (Tier 1 -- recommended lawyer who is “creative and thorough”)

*Chambers – Louisiana Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation 2013 - 2016 (Band 2, “encyclopedic knowledge of ERISA litigation and very good at the economics of a case” and and “knows his craft really well”)

*Named Louisiana “Super Lawyer” 2007-2010, 2013-2017

*Named “Top Lawyer” New Orleans Magazine 2012

Admitted to the Bar of the State of Louisiana, 1993. ABA Labor and Employment Law Section: Management Co-Chair Employee Benefits Committee 2011 to August 2013. Member Employee Benefits Programming Committee, 2008 to 2010; Co-Chair Employee Benefits Sub-Committee on Fiduciary Responsibility, 2006 to 2010; Co-Chair Glasser & Thomson/West Legalworks ERISA Fiduciary Conference 2002 to 2007.

References: Available upon request.

Actuarial Issues

Advise and defend claims raising complex actuarial issues on benefit accruals

Executive Compensation

Defended against claims from executives for severance, change in control, and other benefits; also have acted as an arbitrator for executive compensation claim

Health and Welfare Plans

Defended various claims for benefits, including claims for LTD, severance and retiree health benefits. Also advise fiduciaries on these issues.

Exempt/Governmental Plans

Defended various class actions challenging the exempt status of plans under the governmental and church plan exemptions to ERISA

DC Plans
Expert WitnessMediatorSpeaker

Defended various class actions challenging plan investments, including investments in employer stock. Also advise and train fiduciaries on managing 401(k) plans.

Fiduciary/Other Title I Issues
Expert WitnessMediatorSpeaker

Twenty years of litigating, speaking, writing and advising on ERISA fidiciary issues

DB Plans
Expert WitnessMediatorSpeaker

Defended various class actions challenging DB plans on accrual, age discrimination and notice issues, and on plan obligations arising from plan terms and tax qualification requirements.