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Howard Shapiro

New Orleans

P 504-208-5835 F 504-208-1759


Howard Shapiro


Howard Shapiro is a principal in the New Orleans, Louisiana, office of Jackson Lewis P.C., and is co-leader of the firm’s ERISA Complex Litigation group. Howard focuses his practice on the defense of large, sophisticated ERISA class actions.

Howard defends “bet-the-company” litigation where damages are potentially material. His cases involve the defense of Defined Benefit plans, 401(k) Plans, and 403(b) Plans. He also defends litigation involving health and welfare plan issues. His practice is nationwide, and throughout his career, Howard has appeared as counsel across the entire country. Typically, his cases involve damage allegations in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars. Howard has defended cases involving: breach of fiduciary duty; breach of the duty of loyalty; Prohibited Transactions; 401(k) Plan asset performance, fees, and expense issues; 403(b) Plan asset performance, fees, and expense issues; defined benefit plan asset issues, accrual issues, and cut-back issues; Cash Balance Plan issues; ESOP litigation; fiduciary misrepresentation claims; sophisticated preemption issues; Executive Compensation litigation, both pension and welfare claims; Directed Trustee claims; retiree rights litigation; severance plan class actions; Section 510 cases; and complex benefit claim cases. He has appeared in federal courts from coast to coast while maintaining an active national ERISA litigation practice.

Honors and Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, "Lawyer of the Year: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law" (2023)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, “Lawyer of the Year: Litigation – ERISA” (2023)
  • The American Lawyer, "Litigator of the Week, Runner Up" (August 30, 2019)
  • Benchmark Litigation, "Local Litigation Star, ERISA" (2020)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, "Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law," "Litigation - ERISA" and "Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants" (2022)
  • Chambers USA, “Labor & Employment” (2020, 2021) and "Star Individual" (2021, 2022)
  • Lawdragon, "Top 100 Labor & Employment Lawyers Guide, ERISA Litigation" (2020), "500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers" (2020, 2021)
  • Legal 500 USA, "Recommended Attorney" (2020) “Hall of Fame” (2021, 2022)
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, "AV Preeminent® - Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence" (2014-present)
  • My New Orleans, "Top Lawyers, Employee Benefits Law" (2018)
  • New Orleans CityBusiness, "Leadership in Law"
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers®, "Super Lawyers" (2007-present)
  • Super Lawyers®, "Top 10: Louisiana" (2022)
  • Who's Who Legal, "Recommended Attorney in Labour and Employment" (2021)
  • Who's Who Legal, "Recommended Attorney in Pension and Benefits" (2021)
  • Thomson Reuters, “Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer – Independently Rated Lawyers”


  • "ERISA Litigation Update," Southwest Benefits Association 33rd Annual Benefits Compliance Conference (Dallas, Tx, November 2022) (presenter)
  • “At the Intersection of Employee Benefits and Legal Ethics: The Fiduciary Exception and Other Practice Issues,” Dallas Bar Association Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation Section Council’s Annual Ethics CLE Meeting (August 2022)
  • “Legal Ethics in Employee Benefits: The Fiduciary Exception and Other Practice Dilemmas,” ALI-CLE 2021 Employee Benefit Plans Program (August 2021)
  • “ERISA Benefit Claims Litigation: What is the Fifth Circuit Up to Now?” LSBA Employment Law Update 2020 (October 2020)
  • “ERISA Litigation: Arbitration Issues,” ALI-CLE 2020 Employee Benefit Plans Program (October 2020)
  • “2019-2020: What’s Up in ERISA Litigation?,” SouthWest Benefits Association 31st Annual Benefits Compliance Conference (November 2020)               
  • “The Rise in Arbitration for ERISA Cases,” American Conference Institute’s 18th National Forum on ERISA Litigation (November 2020)