Catalina Vergara


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Catalina Joos Vergara, a partner in the firm’s Financial Services practice group, specializes in crafting perceptive and responsive solutions to complex disputes. She believes that an effective litigator must first be a mindful listener---that clients are best served by individualized, cost-efficient strategies, not a one-size-fits-all playbook. Catalina is also a skilled trial lawyer and appellate advocate who recognizes that a successful representation calls for a comprehensive trial and appellate strategy, even at the earliest stages of a case. Her guidance has helped financial services, insurance, pharmaceutical, and consumer goods companies navigate high-stakes nationwide litigation.

ERISA matters are a significant part of Catalina’s portfolio. She represents retirement plan sponsors and service providers in class actions brought by plan participants alleging the plan’s fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duties or committed “prohibited transactions” in selecting and monitoring 401(k) plan investment options, or in causing the plan to pay excessive fees. Outside of the ERISA context, Catalina represents financial institutions in a range of complex civil matters, including credit reporting claims and claims brought by account holders challenging bank fees.



  • Spanish

Honors & Awards

  • Named a Future Star in Benchmark Litigation (2019-2020, 2023)
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US for Labor and Employment: ERISA Litigation (2016-2023)
  • Selected by the Daily Journal as a Top Labor & Employment Lawyer (2017)
  • Recognized as a Southern California “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers as published in Los Angeles magazine


Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit


  • Georgetown University, J.D.: cum laude; Advocate, Jessup International Law Moot Court Team; Winner, Leahy Moot Court Competition
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., International Studies and Comparative Literature; Morehead Scholar; Dean’s List; Honors Program

Professional Activities


  • Honorable James V. Selna, US District Court, Central District of California

Investment and Retirement Plan Services

  • Defending Fortune 50 health insurance company in ERISA class action alleging the company's 401(k) plan charged excessive administrative fees to plan participants.
  • Representing major U.S. life insurance company in nationwide ERISA class action challenging fees collected on insurance separate account investment options, as well as follow-on class action criticizing the investment performance of the funds.
  • Defending investment advisor to multiple employer plan against claims the company breached ERISA fiduciary duties in advising the plan.
  • Representing Fortune 50 energy company in ERISA class action alleging fiduciary breaches related to selection and monitoring of 401(k) plan investment options and plan-related fees.
  • Defending global investment firm in ERISA fiduciary breach suit attacking the inclusion of proprietary funds in the firm’s 401(k) plan lineup.
  • Defending American chain of grocery stores in purported ERISA class action brought by plan participants alleging fiduciary breaches related to the selection and monitoring of 401(k) plan investment options and allegedly excessive plan fees.
  • Representing Fortune 50 entertainment company in ERISA class action challenging the propriety of one of the company's 401(k) plan's investment options.
  • Representing Southern California financial institution and related defendants in ERISA lawsuit brought by the Department of Labor alleging excessive fees related to the banks’ in-house 401(k) plan.

Other Financial Services

  • Defending multinational banking corporation in purported class action alleging Fair Credit Reporting Act and related claims pertaining to alleged misattribution of bankruptcy to bank customers.
  • Representing mortgage servicer in multiple nationwide class actions targeting propriety and cost of default-related services.
  • Representing major financial institution in purported class action alleging processing of daily transactions allegedly designed to maximize overdraft fees imposed on business accounts.
  • Representing financial services company in nationwide class action brought by insurance policyholders alleging unfair sales and marketing practices.
  • Defending major financial institution against multi-billion dollar successor-liability claims arising from mortgage loan securitizations.
  • Representing insurance company in litigation seeking benefits allegedly due under a disability insurance policy.
  • Representing independent asset management firm in a multi-million dollar breach of contract and trade secret case.

Other Representations

  • Representing an AmLaw 100 law firm in a two-week arbitration that resulted in a complete victory, including multi-million dollar recovery of fees and costs.
  • Defending pharmaceutical companies against nationwide mass tort litigation arising from allegedly defective prescription drugs.
  • Representing consumer products companies in nationwide litigation in state and federal courts involving claims for personal injury.
  • Advising firm clients with international concerns on compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including investigating allegations of wrongdoing and designing compliance programs.