O’Melveny Worldwide

William D. Pollak is a versatile and highly regarded commercial litigator who leverages over a decade of experience to represent companies and individuals in a wide range of high stakes litigation and complex regulatory matters. Will is a business-minded lawyer who provides clients with creative strategies, sound advice and cost-effective solutions to their most pressing matters.

Will concentrates his practice on ERISA class action litigation and, as a member of O’Melveny’s award-winning ERISA litigation group, has spent much of his career defending many of the nation’s largest retirement plans and most prominent service providers against fiduciary breach claims and other alleged violations of ERISA at all stages of litigation.  

Will is also a member of the firm’s “ESG” task force and is a frequent speaker and author of publications on ESG issues, including the potential ERISA litigation risks surrounding ESG investments in participant-directed defined contribution plans.

Will has achieved favorable results at all stages of litigation and arbitration. For example, he defeated fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims for an accounting firm at the pleadings stage; he recently helped achieve summary judgment and complete dismissal (affirmed on appeal) for a global financial firm related to a telecommunications consortium in a case seeking over $1 billion in damages; he won an arbitration related to an accounting dispute stemming from an M&A transaction, and he recently prevailed in an ERISA trial leading to a complete judgment in favor of our client. Will has extensive trial experience, acting as lead counsel on multiple trials within the last few years. His high-profile clients have spanned a variety of industries with a particular focus on financial services, broker dealers, media, technology, insurance, accounting, healthcare, energy and biotechnology. Will also has a wealth of experience representing clients in some of their most challenging internal investigations, as well as white collar and regulatory matters including investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the US Attorney’s office, various state attorneys general and the Department of Justice.

Will is strongly committed to his pro bono work and has won a number of awards for his pro-bono accomplishments including the 2018 New York State Bar Association’s President’s Pro Bono Service Award “in recognition of his outstanding pro bono contributions.” His representative achievements include overturning a wrongful conviction on appeal, winning a trial in New York Family Court (and the subsequent appeal), obtaining freedom for a wrongfully convicted woman who served twenty-five years in prison before being exonerated, and successfully arguing multiple appeals before the New York Appellate Division.

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ERISA Litigation 

  • Successfully defended a global investment firm and outsourced chief investment officer (“OCIO”) in five cases involving breach of fiduciary duty claims in selecting proprietary investment options for its clients’ plans, including securing a victory at trial in one case, preparing a successful summary judgment brief disposing of all claims in another case, and prevailing before the Fourth Circuit.
  • Defended investment manager in trial of putative class action alleging various fiduciary breaches and prohibited transactions under ERISA arising from investment selections and recordkeeping fees in connection with a 401(k) plan.
  • Represented multiple plan sponsors in ERISA fiduciary litigations raising claims of imprudence and prohibited transactions in connection with the selection of mutual fund investment options and the retention of service providers including claims of excessive recordkeeping fees.
  • Obtained denial of class certification and prevailed at summary judgment on claims in ERISA action alleging excessive investment-related and recordkeeping fees involving multiple-employer plans.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss all claims against a Fortune 50 health services company challenging the retention of company stock through and after a merger.
  • Defended target date fund provider and investment manager in ERISA class actions involving breach of fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction claims challenging the fees and performance of affiliated funds.
  • Defended a Fortune 50 airline company in litigation challenging the 401(k) plans alleged use of Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) funds and the selection of investment managers who allegedly used their proxy votes to vote in favor of ESG goals.

Commercial Litigation

  • Represented a Fortune 100 company in a class action securities fraud and derivative suit alleging fraudulent misrepresentations.
  • Successfully defended a global financial firm in various state court actions around the country alleging that various investment banks and prime brokerages engaged in market manipulation and RICO violations in connection with alleged “naked short selling.”
  • Obtained dismissal of claims against a leading financial institution in a billion-dollar dispute related to a Latin American submarine telecommunications cable network.
  • Won an arbitration related to the alleged improper accounting for revenue earned after the close of an acquisition.
  • Lead associate for a global financial institution in a commercial litigation involving alleged securities fraud related to the valuation of various early-stage pharmaceutical drugs. 
  • Obtained dismissal of state-law class action and derivative claims brought by a putative class of shareholders in connection with alleged misrepresentations by a hedge fund.
  • Obtained dismissal of a patent infringement lawsuit against a leading health insurance company related to the alleged improper development of a new healthcare technology involving electronic medical records.
  • Represented the joint administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) in connection with more than $10 billion of claims against Lehman Brothers Inc. in the largest SIPC bankruptcy case in history.
  • Representing a leading private equity firm in several lawsuits filed against its portfolio companies.

White Collar and Regulatory Matters

  • Defended a Fortune 10 Company and its senior executives in a wide-ranging SEC investigation involving allegations of accounting fraud, securities fraud, and insider trading.
  • Represented the special committee of a global insurance company in an internal investigation and DOJ criminal investigation involving allegations of financial fraud and public corruption.
  • Successfully defended a major financial institution in an investigation by the DOJ and SEC into allegations of insider trading, market manipulation, and securities fraud; no charges were ultimately brought.
  • Lead counsel in an internal investigations for an international financial institution regarding their compliance with sanctions, AML, and the FCPA.
  • Successfully represented a broker dealer in an SEC investigation involving allegations of accounting fraud and tax fraud; no charges were brought.
  • Defended a global bank in connection with investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Federal Reserve, Department of Financial Services and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) related to sanctions issues.
  • Numerous other representations of funds, investment banks, individuals, and other corporate issuers in various enforcement investigations by the SEC, CFTC, FINRA, New York Attorney General’s Office and DOJ. 
  • Will has also participated in a number of confidential internal investigations on behalf of clients and has advised corporations and boards of directors on matters of corporate governance and compliance.


  • Represented Aetna Inc. in connection with the DOJ’s review of Aetna’s $77 billion sale to CVS Health, the largest M&A transaction in 2017.
  • Won dismissal of antitrust claims brought by an alleged class of indirect purchasers of SD Card Flash memory devices. 
  • Senior associate defending an LCD panel manufacturer in a series of multi-million dollar complex civil litigations around the country alleging improper price fixing.
  • Represented Equinix in the DOJ’s review of Equinix’s $689 million acquisition of Switch and Data


Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • California

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Central and Northern Districts of California, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, and Colorado
  • US Court of Appeals, Second and Ninth Circuits


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
  • Princeton University, B.A.

Honors & Awards

  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US for ERISA Litigation (2022)
  • 2018 New York State Bar Association’s President’s Pro Bono Service Award

Professional Activities


  • "Despite DOL Proposed Rule, ESG Investing Faces Barriers" Law360 (December, 2021)


  • US District Court, New York (Southern), Pitman, Harry