Skip to main content

Douglas Pelley assists clients with all aspects of the establishment, administration and termination of employee benefit plans, including compliance with IRS, DOL and PBGC regulations. He regularly counsels clients on the application of ERISA’s fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction rules to the administration of ERISA-covered plans, the design and marketing of products and services by financial institutions to employee benefit plans and IRAs, and to the structure and operation of the investment vehicles, such as hedge funds and private equity funds, in which plans and IRAs invest. He also advises on compensation and benefits issues in the M&A context, including bankruptcy reorganization. He has extensive experience with deferred compensation, severance and golden parachute agreements, and incentive and equity compensation arrangements.


  • Regional Bank on Fiduciary Rule and prohibited transaction compliance in connection with marketing retirement plan and IRA products.
  • Multiple Fortune 100 Pharmaceutical Companies on ERISA issues relating to product marketing and sales.
  • Physician practices (including the Retina Group of Washington, Carolina Eyecare Physicians, Retina Consultants of Houston, Minnesota Eye Consultants, a Maryland dermatology practice, and multiple other medical and dental practices) in employee benefits and compensation aspects of sale transactions with portfolio companies of private equity buyers.
  • Private Equity Firm in disputes with multiemployer pension plans and the PBGC.
  • Fortune 50 Pharmaceutical Company on defense of an ERISA litigation.
  • Multi-Billion Dollar Church Pension Plan on compliance and claims issues.
  • Church Welfare Plan in defense of class action COBRA claims.



  • J.D., Cornell Law School, 1996, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
  • B.S., Atlantic Union College, 1993, summa cum laude


  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts