James O. Fleckner

James O. Fleckner

Partner Chair, ERISA Litigation
James O. Fleckner

Jamie Fleckner is a partner in Goodwin’s Financial Industry Practice and Chair of its ERISA Litigation Practice. Mr. Fleckner represents clients in a wide array of complex commercial litigation, with a focus on financial services and products, including investment management. He regularly litigates class and derivative actions under ERISA, the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and related federal and state laws. His practice also focuses on regulatory investigations and governmental proceedings, and has represented clients before the U.S. Department of Labor, Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and state authorities.

Mr. Fleckner's success in litigating cutting edge legal issues has been profiled in The American Lawyer, Big Suits. According to The Legal 500 United States, Mr. Fleckner “is particularly strong, and is fast becoming a leader in ERISA fiduciary litigation involving financial products.” He has also been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and since 2015 has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the list of Who’s Who Legal: Pensions and Benefits.

Professional Activities

Mr. Fleckner is a member of the Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations. He serves on the board of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association. In addition to his professional associations, Mr. Fleckner has been involved in numerous community and philanthropic organizations, including as a member of numerous commissions of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Public Policy Committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council and an elected member at the Needham (MA) Town Meeting.

Mr. Fleckner’s pro bono experience includes representing the fiduciary of a retirement plan for teachers in an inner-city charter school to recover misappropriated assets; representing prisoners in a civil rights action; and representing a religious institution in a constitutional challenge to restrictive zoning practices.


Since 2014, Mr. Fleckner has been listed in the nationwide ERISA Litigation category in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, where clients praise his "knowledge of the ERISA area and ability to distill concepts into practical strategic advice." Since 2015 he has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the list of Who’s Who Legal: Pensions and Benefits. Since 2013 he has been recognized as a national leader in ERISA litigation by The Legal 500 United States. Since 2011, Mr. Fleckner has been recognized as a New England Super Lawyer by Law & Politics and Boston magazine. He was recognized in 2008 as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer “Rising Star” by the same publication.

Areas of Practice


Mr. Fleckner represents companies and individual officers in class and derivative actions, regulatory investigations and bankruptcy proceedings regarding the discharge of Investment Company Act, ERISA and other fiduciary duties. Currently, he is representing numerous clients in so-called “excessive fee” ERISA and Investment Company Act litigation, and other litigation challenging the discharge of fiduciary obligations. His recent experience includes representation of:

  • The investment adviser to three sub-advised mutual funds, with assets totaling over $40 billion, in a derivative suit brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act challenging the reasonableness of the fees charged. This litigation is ongoing.
  • A company and the named fiduciaries of a $10 billion profit sharing plan in class action litigation asserting breaches of ERISA fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions as to the investments selected for the plan and the fees allegedly paid by the plan. This case has successfully settled.
  • An investor in a $4.7 billion buy-out of a large energy company in multi-jurisdictional shareholder derivative and class action securities claims challenging the transaction. This litigation is on-going.
  • A financial services company and the named fiduciaries of a $2 billion thrift plan in putative class action litigation asserting a number of alleged ERISA violations for the investments selected for the plan. This litigation is ongoing.
  • A multinational diversified financial services corporation in litigation brought by a putative class of plan participants whose employers selected the client’s products and services for their plans, challenging as excessive the fees associated with such products under both the Investment Company Act and ERISA. This litigation is has been successfully dismissed.
  • A multinational bank in ERISA arbitration involving the investment of over $1 billion in a stable value account for the benefit of retirement plan participants. Goodwin secured a ruling in the client’s favor on all claims.
  • One of the nation’s largest insurance companies in a putative ERISA class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and self-dealing in the manner in which group life insurance benefits are settled. This litigation is ongoing.
  • A multinational bank that served as the directed trustee for an $8 billion retirement plan in putative ERISA class action litigation challenging the plan’s holding of Kodak stock. This litigation is ongoing.
  • The trust company of a large mutual fund complex in a regulatory investigation involving the continued holding of tens of millions of dollars in the stock of a company that ultimately went bankrupt. After an extensive investigation, the government declined to bring any action against the client.



J.D., 1998
University of Connecticut School of Law

(magna cum laude)

B.A., 1991
Trinity College





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U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
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