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Russell Hirschhorn is a partner in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group and the Labor & Employment Law Department, where he focuses on complex ERISA litigation and advises and represents employers, fiduciaries, trustees and plan service providers on ERISA benefit and fiduciary issues.

For more than a dozen years, Russell has represented clients in all phases of litigation, arbitration and mediation. His representations run the gamut from complex class action litigation to single plaintiff claims relating to:

  • ERISA “stock-drop” suits
  • ERISA’s fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction provisions

  • Participant and beneficiary claims for benefits
  • Interference with the receipt of benefits and discrimination in benefits
  • Plan investment losses

  • ERISA preemption of state law claims
  • Cash balance plan conversions
  • Plan amendments or terminations
  • Retiree benefits 

  • Withdrawal liability
  • Employer contributions to multiemployer funds

When he is not in the courtroom, Russell is active in counseling benefit plan clients on a host of compliance and federal and state government agency enforcement matters, including complex and lengthy investigations and audits by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor.

Russell serves as legal counsel to the boards of trustees of several multiemployer pension and welfare benefit plans. He also represents a wide variety of clients across various industries, including aerospace, biotechnology, financial services, oil and gas, automotive, and publishing.

Russell is a prolific writer on cutting-edge ERISA litigation issues, and often speaks on topics related to his publications at conferences sponsored by the American Bar Association, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the New York State and City Bar Associations, and others. He is the co-editor of Proskauer’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation blog and ERISA Litigation Newsletter, as well as a Chapter Editor of the Cumulative Supplements to Employee Benefits Law (BNA Second Edition 2000).

Russell has been recognized on several occasions for his commitment to pro bono work, and has been the recipient of the following honors:

  • The U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award in connection with pro bono work he did for September Space, a community center founded after September 11th.
  • The New York State Bar Association’s President’s Pro Bono Award (2013).

  • The Urban Justice Center Social Justice Award (2013) and Justice in Aging Award (2014) for his work in the Clark v. Astrue nationwide class action that secured as much as $1 billion for over 140,000 Americans who had been improperly denied their Social Security benefits.

  • The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s inaugural Legal Service Award (2013) in recognition for his work in Yoder v. Town of Morristown, NY, which will allow the Amish in Morristown to continue their traditional building practices without fear of criminal and civil prosecution.

In addition, Russell has served as a Special Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law where he taught an introductory class to employee benefits law.