Photo of Robert W. Rachal

Robert W. Rachal is of counsel in the New Orleans, Louisiana, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on complex ERISA fiduciary, benefits, and executive compensation litigation, including defending DOL investigations, and on advising ERISA fiduciaries.

Robert's work has included advising fiduciaries and defending, across the country, companies, plan providers and plan fiduciaries in all types of complex ERISA litigation, e.g., from claims ESOP stock was overvalued, to claims 401(k) fees were excessive, or that pension plans owed greater benefits under complex provisions of ERISA. His work also includes advising and consulting on issues that arise in complex ERISA litigation and benefits claim processing and in disputed over executive benefits. Representative recent matters include:

  • Defended several Catholic health care organizations against claims their multi-billion dollar pension plans did not qualify for the “church plan” exemption to ERISA. Motion to dismiss granted, which ruling was subsequently quoted and adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Advocate v. Stapleton, 137 S. Ct. 1652 (2017)).
  • Defended seller/ESOP trustee in claim ESOP paid too much for $1 billion hotel company. Favorable summary judgment and Daubert rulings for defendants led to amicable settlement.
  • Defended company against class action claiming company illegally cutback pension benefits in a cash balanced conversion. Motion to dismiss granted and affirmed on appeal.

Robert’s clients include both Fortune 500 companies and small and mid-size employers.

He is a prolific writer and lecturer on cutting-edge ERISA litigation and fiduciary issues, including for the ABA and Bloomberg BNA.

Robert was the senior articles editor of Tulane Law Review while attending law school. After law school he clerked for Judge Jacques Wiener of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.