Paul Blankenstein is of counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where his practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including cases involving Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), insurance, securities law issues and financial institution matters.
Mr. Blankenstein has handled numerous employment benefit cases, ranging from potential claims of withdrawal liability under the Multiemployer Pension Protection Act, to breach of fiduciary duty cases, ERISA preemption cases, as well as cases involving benefit claims. Mr. Blankenstein was part of the team that successfully challenged the Maryland and Suffolk County, N.Y. health benefit laws on ERISA preemption grounds. He has been involved with 401(k) stock drop and excessive fee cases. He was a key member of the team that successfully defended a major financial management and advisory company in the Worldcom ERISA case and in the RCN ERISA Litigation. In addition, Mr. Blankenstein played an important role in achieving a favorable settlement for Cincinnati Bell Inc. in the In re Broadwing Inc. ERISA Litigation. Currently, he is representing the Computer Services Corporation, the various officers and directors of KB Home, the Boeing Corporation and the Janus Capital Group in the ERISA track of the In re Mutual Funds Litigation in various ERISA cases. He has also represented the former CEO of a leading branded retailer and wholesaler of high-quality doughnuts, in a recently settled ERISA 401(k) case.
Mr. Blankenstein was ranked as one of the top ERISA litigation attorneys in the nation by Chambers USA 2012. He has also been recognized as one of the best ERISA litigation lawyers in the country by the Best Lawyers in America® 2013 publication. Before joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in 1985, Mr. Blankenstein served for 12 years in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice as both a Trial and Appellate Attorney. In those capacities, he handled many significant cases involving government regulatory programs. As the Civil Division's Appellate Litigation Counsel, Mr. Blankenstein was personally responsible for handling the most significant and complex appellate cases.
Mr. Blankenstein received his undergraduate degree from the City College of New York in 1969, and graduated cum laude in 1973 from Brooklyn Law School, where he was an Editor of the Law Review.
U.S. Labor Department Proposes to Expand ERISA "Fiduciary" Coverage of Providers of Investment-Related Services to Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs
Ninth Circuit Ruling Adopts Presumption That 401(k) Investments in Company Stock Are Prudent
The Inapplicability of Rule 23(b)(1) to ERISA Class Actions
Fifth Circuit Issues Important Decision on Class Certification in ERISA "Stock Drop" Fiduciary Breach Litigation
Recent Court Decisions Suggest Greater Latitude for ERISA Fiduciaries to Retain Company Stock as Investment Option