Robert N. Eccles

Of Counsel

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Bob Eccles focuses on ERISA litigation and in providing advice pertaining to Title I of ERISA and other statutes affecting employee benefit plans. Bob joined the firm in 1988 after 15 years as an attorney for the federal government, including five years as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice (DOJ) and 10 years as an ERISA attorney at the Department of Labor (DOL). From 1982 to 1988, he was Associate Solicitor of Labor in charge of DOL attorneys who conducted litigation and provided legal advice under ERISA.

Bob has provided advice or handled litigation under ERISA and related statutes for a broad range of clients including U.S. Trust, Fidelity Investments, CIGNA, Humana, Ford, Verizon, and many other corporations, institutions, and individuals.


Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America©
  • "Super Lawyer" in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. (2014)
  • "Leading Employment Lawyers in the United States" by Lawdragon (2011)
  • Chambers USA as a leading lawyer for ERISA Litigation (2014-2017)


Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Numerous federal appeals and district courts


  • Harvard University, J.D., 1972
  • Harvard University, A.B., History, 1969: magna cum laude

Professional Activities


  • Employee Benefits Committees of American Bar Association Sections on Labor and Employment Law, Taxation, and Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law


  • ERISA Litigation and ERISA Fiduciary seminars for West LegalWorks


  • ERISA Litigation Reporter


  • “Fiduciary Litigation Under ERISA”


  • ABA, ALI-ABA, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, PLI, and other programs on ERISA litigation, preemption, and fiduciary issues


  • American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
  • Represented affiliates of Fidelity Investments in a series of cases involving 401(k) plan fees, including Hecker v Deere, which resulted in the dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented Prudential Insurance in its successful trial in Dupree v Prudential Insurance, resulting in the dismissal of claims relating to the selection of investment for Prudential’s defined benefit pension plan.
  • Represented U.S. Trust in its successful trial and appeal in Keach v. U.S. Trust, a case claiming breach of fiduciary duty in connection with an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
  • Represented the DOL in numerous precedent-setting suits under ERISA’s fiduciary duty provisions, including Donovan v. Bierwirth, and Freund v. M&I Bank.
  • Represented Humana in litigation challenging the handling of provider discounts (Forsyth v. Humana), and in multi-district litigation attacking managed care practices and disclosures.