- Representing PPD and related defendants in a putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duties related to investments and fees in a 401k plan. Kendall, et al v. Pharmaceutical Product Development LLC, et al. (E.D.N.C.).
- Representing ManTech International Corporation and related defendants in a putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duties related to investments and fees in a 401k plan. Gerken v. ManTech Int’l Corp. (E.D.V.A.).
- Representing Insperity Inc., a professional employer organization, in a class action alleging excessive recordkeeping fees and imprudent investment options in a 401(k) plan offered to its client-employers. Pledger v. Insperity, et al. (N.D.Ga.).
- Representing several companies in putative class actions alleging statutory violations and breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA arising from the selection of certain actuarial equivalence factors used to calculate benefits in defined benefit pension plans. Herndon v. Huntington Ingalls Industries. Inc. (E.D.Va.); Smith v. Rockwell Automation Inc. (E.D. Wi.); Brown v. UPS (N.D.Ga.).
- Representing Norton Healthcare in a putative class action alleging that the defendants breached ERISA fiduciary duties by not choosing the lowest-cost share classes for mutual funds available in Norton’s retirement savings plan by choosing a stable-value fund as an investment option and by paying asset-based fees for administrative services. Disselkamp, et al. v. Norton Healthcare (W.D. Ky.).
- Represented Brown University in a putative class action alleging excessive recordkeeping fees and imprudent investment options in two 403(b) plans offered to faculty and staff of the university. Short v. Brown University (D.R.I.).
- Representing Cigna Corporation in various disputes with out-of-network providers across the country claiming entitlement to benefits based on patient assignments. Argued before the Ninth Circuit on an issue of first impression regarding the standard for pleading claims for benefits under ERISA. New Method Wellness v. Cigna Corp. (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit).
- Defending several actuarial consulting firms against claims for actuarial malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.
- Argued and prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in a dispute brought by a former American Basketball Association player regarding claims for pension benefits under the American Basketball Association Players’ Retirement Plan. Gilmore v. American Basketball Association Players’ Retirement Plan (M.D. Fla.).
- Defended four NBA teams and sponsors of the American Basketball Association Players’ Retirement Plan in a class action alleging various violations of ERISA arising from administration of the plan. Calvin v. San Antonio Spurs, et al. (W.D.Tex.).
- Defended American International Group (AIG), FSC Securities Corporation, Financial Services Corporation, SunAmerica Asset Management Corporation, SunAmerica Capital Services Inc., SunAmerica Fund Services Inc., and Wharton Business Group in a putative class action alleging various breaches of fiduciary duty under ERISA for a trustee-directed defined contribution plan, including excessive fees. Goldenberg v. Indel Inc. (D.N.J.).
- Represented Dell and various individual fiduciaries of the Dell defined contribution plan in a matter involving Dell stock in the plan. Camera v. Dell Inc., et al. (W.D. Tex).
- Defended Nokia and related individuals in multiple employer stock-drop cases based on publicly reported difficulties with Nokia’s transition to new products and a resulting drop in its stock price. Romero v. Nokia Inc., et al. (N.D.Cal.); In re Nokia Inc. ERISA Litigation (S.D. N.Y., affirmed by the Second Circuit).
- Defended the Washington Group and related individuals and entities in a challenge to the termination of retiree health and welfare benefits. Savani v. Washington Group International Inc., et al. (D.S.C., Fourth Circuit).
- Represented former fiduciaries of an ESOP in class action litigation alleging breaches of fiduciary duty arising from the company’s stock redemption offer to shareholders. Cecil v. Hinshaw (M.D. N.C.)
- Represented Sterling Savings Bank in a putative class action alleging breaches of the fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty and an alleged duty to communicate complete and accurate information to plan participants and beneficiaries. Laue v. Sterling Savings Bank (E.D. Wash.)
- Represented the American Benefits Council as amicus curiae in an appeal before the Fifth Circuit regarding the pleading standard for employer stock claims.
Emily Seymour Costin is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office, and the leader of the firm’s ERISA Litigation team. Emily primarily represents employers, plan sponsors, insurers, and fiduciaries in employee benefit disputes and advises on litigation avoidance strategies. She has experience defending a variety of individual, mass action, and class action claims for benefits and breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA, including those involving investments, excessive fees, employer stock, actuarial factors, benefit termination, and health care matters.
Emily also represents clients in related disputes that include employment, securities, insurance, breach of contract, professional malpractice, and government contract matters. She also assists clients responding to government audits, investigations, and subpoenas.
Emily was one of five lawyers named a “Rising Star” by Law360 in the field of employee benefits in 2018, and was most recently recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© in Litigation – ERISA. Emily is the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Joint Committee on Employee Benefits (JCEB), a member of the editorial advisory board of the Benefits Law Journal, and a contributing author to the BNA treatise ERISA Litigation.
Emily is a national co-chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative and actively participates on the firm’s diversity and hiring committees.
- District of Columbia
- The George Washington University (J.D., 2005)
- University of Pennsylvania (B.A., 2000)
- American Bar Association, Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, past chair
- American Bar Association, TIPS Employee Benefits Committee, past chair
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. District Courts for the District of Maryland, District of Columbia, Eastern District of Wisconsin, and the Central, Southern, and Northern Districts of California