Neal Schelberg Appointed Chair Of U.S. Department Of Labor's 2014 ERISA Advisory Council; Chris Ondeck Joins Proskauer As Partner

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 11:47

Proskauer’s Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation Practice Center partner Neal S. Schelberg has been appointed chair of the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2014 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (the ERISA Advisory Council) by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

“It is a tremendous honor to have been appointed chair of the ERISA Advisory Council by Secretary Perez,” said Mr. Schelberg. “Together, with the other members of the Council, we look forward to advising and submitting recommendations to the secretary on the important employee benefit issues impacting the retirement security and health benefits of American workers.”

Mr. Schelberg, who will represent employers, was appointed to the ERISA Advisory Council in 2012 and previously served as vice chair in 2013.

The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Members of the council serve for staggered three-year terms. Employee organizations, employers and the general public are represented by three members for each category. Additionally, there is one representative each from the fields of insurance, corporate trust, actuarial counseling, investment counseling, investment management and accounting.

Mr. Schelberg serves as legal counsel to the boards of trustees for more than 50 multi-employer and single-employer pension and welfare benefits plans. He has over 30 years of experience in the area of employee benefits, including co-authoring the “ERISA Fiduciary Answer Book” and numerous other publications, teaching courses at Fordham University Law School and New York University, and lecturing widely for many organizations. He has been recognized in US Legal 500 as a leading employee benefits practitioner in Proskauer’s Tier 1-rated employee benefits practice, where he was lauded by clients as being “‘one of a kind,’ " and "the only practitioner in the field I would select to brief a CEO or corporate board.”

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Proskauer has announced today that Christopher E. Ondeck will join the firm as a partner in the Litigation Department and will serve as vice chair of Proskauer’s Antitrust Group, resident in the Washington, DC office.

Mr. Ondeck has significant experience handling civil and criminal antitrust litigation, representing clients in government investigations, and defending mergers and acquisitions before antitrust regulators. He handles antitrust matters for clients from a wide range of industries, including aerospace, agriculture (particularly regarding the use and application of the Capper-Volstead Act), defense, energy, financial services, industrials, medical devices, natural resources, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. In addition, he serves as outside counsel to numerous trade associations and cooperatives.  

“Chris’s addition underscores our commitment to expanding the firm's presence in key markets and enhancing its bench strength in core practice areas,” said Proskauer chairman Joseph M. Leccese. “The broad spectrum of Chris's antitrust and regulatory capabilities will be a great complement to our seasoned team in D.C.”

Over the past decade, Mr. Ondeck has worked on some of the largest corporate transactions and dispositions. Most notably, he advised United Technologies Corporation in its $18.4 billion acquisition of Goodrich Corp., the largest aerospace deal in history; represented Cardinal Health in an antitrust class action involving conspiracy and monopolization claims in the nuclear pharmaceutical distribution industry; and defended Potandon Produce LLC, the largest marketer of potatoes in the U.S., in nationwide multidistrict litigation.

Helene D. Jaffe, head of Proskauer’s Antitrust Group, stated, “Chris’s vast experience across a full range of industry sectors and with various regulatory regimes enhances our depth in terms of geography and industries. His joining is an affirmation of our commitment to provide clients with comprehensive, world-class antitrust services. We welcome him to our team.”

“Chris has a firm grasp on all aspects of competition litigation, which will be an invaluable resource not only to our diverse client base, but also to our litigators as a group. We are excited to have someone of Chris's caliber join Proskauer and look forward to working closely with him,” said Proskauer’s Litigation Department co-chair Brendan J. O'Rourke.

Mr. Ondeck joins Proskauer from Crowell & Moring LLP, where he was co-chair of the Trade Association Group and the past Vice-Chair of the Antitrust Group. He began his career at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and holds J.D. and B.A. degrees from the University of Virginia. He serves as outside counsel to the American Gas Association, American Fuels & Petrochemical Manufactures, Communications Cable & Connectivity Association, National Institute of Nuclear Pharmacies, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and American Iron & Steel Institute, among others.