Legal Risks of ESOPs

Strategies to Avoid ERISA Violations and Liability

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, November 1, 2007

Program Materials


Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) have received heightened attention following the highly publicized $8.2 billion deal between the Tribune Co. and real estate investor Sam Zell that included the transfer of the majority ownership of the company to its 20,000 workers through an ESOP.

ESOPs' primary purposes are to provide a market for the shares of departing owners of closely held companies, reward stellar employee performance, and allow companies to borrow money for new assets in pretax dollars.

Plan trustees are increasingly facing lawsuits involving breach of fiduciary duty and valuation of sponsoring companies' equity securities. Mirant paid former employees $9.7 million last year to settle a lawsuit alleging the companies wrongly invested their retirement funds in company stock.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment and benefits attorneys reviews the legal risks of ESOPs for employers and plan trustees - and how those risks can be minimized.



The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the bases for ESOP fiduciary duty litigation – and what defenses are available to plan sponsors and trustees?
  • What are the legal risks of administering an ESOP?
  • What are best practices for sponsors and trustees to avoid ERISA violations and liability for plan management?


Craig C. Martin
Craig C. Martin

Jenner & Block

He is Chair of the firm's ERISA Litigation Practice and represents Fortune 500 companies in complex litigation,...  |  Read More

Randall C. McGeorge
Randall C. McGeorge
White & Case

He counsels clients in the design and implementation of retirement plans and equity incentive plans. He advises plan...  |  Read More

Gregory K. Brown
Gregory K. Brown
Katten Muchin Rosenman

He is a leading authority on ESOPs and other forms of employee ownership for domestic and international employers. He...  |  Read More