FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Robert W. Rachal

Robert W. Rachal

Holifield, Janich, Rachal & Associates, PLLC

New Orleans, LA, USA


Robert Rachal's work focuses on complex ERISA litigation, including on executive compensation issues. Robert has assisted clients in the defense of numerous class actions under ERISA. Recent examples include:

  • Overall v. Ascension – representing company and executives named as fiduciaries against claim the pension plan did not qualify for “church plan” status under ERISA
  • Hans v. Tharaldson – representing trustee/CEO against claim ESOP paid more than fair market value for company’s stock
  • Allen v. Honeywell – representing company and plans against claims plan merger illegally cutback benefits, and that plan terms entitled class of participants to greater benefits

Robert’s litigation work in the executive compensation area includes:

  • Gray v T.V. Guide et al. – defended company against claim owed almost ten million in executive compensation because of an alleged duty to create a top hat plan to provide options in the company
  • Panel arbitrator for confidential arbitration involving executive and pension benefits

Robert advises employers on claims by executives seeking benefits under SERP plans, and on ERISA fiduciary issues. Robert also routinely represents executives who have been sued as alleged ERISA fiduciaries for employee benefit plans. 

Robert is a prolific writer and lecturer on cutting-edge ERISA litigation issues, including co-authoring BNA's ERISA LITIGATION (5th ed 2014) Chapter 39 “Violation of Fiduciary Duty by Misrepresentation and Nondisclosure,” Chapter 41 “Fiduciary Duties Regarding 401(k) & ESOP Investments in Employer Stock,” and Chapter 34 “Fees and Expenses Litigation in Defined Contribution Plans.” Recent articles authored or co-authored include “Fee Litigation 2016 Round-Up: Mitigating Risk in the Face of Expanding Targets and Theories of Fiduciary Liability” in 30, No. 1 Benefits Law Journal (Spring 2017) and Disney and Chevron: Court Skepticism Can Provide Some Important Limits to Fee Litigation,” in Bloomberg BNA, Pension & Benefits Daily (Nov. 30, 2016).  

Robert is a former management co-chair of the ABA Labor Section’s Employee Benefits Committee, and speaks regularly for the ABA and the JCEB on ERISA fiduciary, complex litigation, and executive compensation issues.

Robert W. Rachal is associated with the following items:
CHB Chapters  CHB Chapters Are You Sure Your Conversation is Privileged? Application of the ERISA Fiduciary Exception and the Garner Corporate Fiduciary Exception - Hot Issues in Executive Compensation 2016, Monday, September 19, 2016
Some Items of Interest in Recent Delaware Executive Compensation Litigation - Hot Issues in Executive Compensation 2017, Thursday, September 14, 2017
Myron D. Rumeld, Stacey C.S. Cerrone, Russell Hirschhorn and Robert Rachal, Are You Sure Your Conversation Is Privileged? Application of the ERISA Fiduciary Exception and the Garner Corporate Fiduciary Exception - Hot Issues in Executive Compensation 2017, Thursday, September 14, 2017
Web Segment  Web Segment Ethical Considerations When Counseling Boards, Compensation Committees, Companies and Executives - Hot Issues in Executive Compensation 2017, Wednesday, September 20, 2017
MP3 Audio  MP3 Audio Ethical Considerations When Counseling Boards, Compensation Committees, Companies and Executives - Ethical Considerations When Counseling Boards, Compensation Committees, Companies and Executives , Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Transcripts  Transcripts Ethical Considerations When Counseling Boards, Compensation Committees, Companies and Executives - Ethical Considerations When Counseling Boards, Compensation Committees, Companies and Executives , Wednesday, September 20, 2017
MP4 - Mobile Video Seg  MP4 - Mobile Video Seg Ethical Considerations When Counseling Boards, Compensation Committees, Companies and Executives - Ethical Considerations When Counseling Boards, Compensation Committees, Companies and Executives , Wednesday, September 20, 2017
On-Demand Web Programs  On-Demand Web Programs Hot Issues in Executive Compensation 2017, Thursday, September 21, 2017, New York, NY
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