Goodwin Partner James Fleckner, from Boston, practices in ERISA litigation, hedge funds, class action, and investment management litigation among other areas.

James O. Fleckner

PartnerChair, ERISA Litigation
James O. Fleckner
+1 617 570 1153

Jamie Fleckner is a partner at Goodwin, and is chair of its ERISA Litigation practice. Ranked Band 1 by Chambers USA in ERISA Litigation, and “among the top ERISA litigators in the country,” Jamie represents providers and plan sponsors in class actions, appeals, regulatory investigations, bet-the-firm litigation as well as arbitrations regarding the discharge of ERISA duties. He is currently representing some of the country’s largest companies in ERISA litigation, and a wide range of other ERISA litigation challenging the discharge of fiduciary obligations.

Known for being “creative, quick on his feet, and excellent in oral and written arguments,” Jamie 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 US Department of Labor, Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and state authorities.


Jamie 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. His major victories for clients include:

  • Successfully secured dismissal of a putative class action alleging that a plan’s target date fund and certain other investments were excessively expensive and underperformed. The court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss with leave to amend, and plaintiffs subsequently voluntarily dismissed the complaint. Locascio et al. v. Fluor Corp. et al., 2023 WL 320000 (N.D. Tex. 2023)
  • Successfully secured denial of a motion to certify a class in a case in which two named plaintiffs alleged that Stadion Money Management, LLC (Stadion) violated certain provisions of ERISA based on its provision of managed account services to certain ERISA retirement plans whose plan sponsors or responsible plan fiduciaries selected Stadion’s service for their individual plans. The case was then voluntarily dismissed. Davis v. Stadion Money Management, LLC, No. 8:19-cv-556, in the District of Nebraska
  • Successfully leading the trial team in Wildman v. American Century, 362 F. Supp. 3d 685 (W.D. Mo. 2019) where the Court, after a three week trial, rendered a full defense verdict on all claims that plan fiduciaries violated ERISA by utilizing primarily actively-managed, proprietary mutual funds in the first such case in over a decade to go to full verdict
  • Successfully obtained dismissal, affirmed on appeal, for the sponsor of one of the nation’s largest retirement plans in an ERISA action challenging the propriety of continued use of company stock despite purportedly under-reserving for the liabilities of insurance subsidiaries by approximately $15 billion. Varga v. General Electric Company, 2020 WL 1064809 (N.D.N.Y. 2020), aff’d, 834 Fed. Appx. 686 (2d Cir. 2021)
  • Successfully obtained dismissal in a novel ERISA class action challenging the procedures used by a leading provider of long-term disability insurance when offsetting social security disability payments. Perry v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 4:19-cv-00106 (M.D. Ga. 2020)
  • Successfully obtained a rare summary judgment ruling in favor of an investment adviser in Redus-Tarchis v. New York Life Investment Management LLC, 2018 WL 5307546 (D.N.J. 2018), in a derivative suit brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 challenging the reasonableness of the fees charged by the investment adviser to four sub-advised mutual funds, with assets totaling over $40 billion
  • Successfully obtained dismissal, and affirmance on appeal, of one of the first nationwide class action suits to combine claims under ERISA and the Investment Company Act of 1940 for alleged excessive fees involved with proprietary funds utilized on a 401(k) platform. Santomenno v. John Hancock, 768 F.3d 284 (3d Cir. 2014)
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of a putative nationwide class action against one of the nation’s largest retirement recordkeepers in novel ERISA claims concerning the way in which revenue sharing was treated. Malone v. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, 2017 WL 913699 (S.D.N.Y. 2017)
  • Successfully defended a leading multinational bank in ERISA arbitration involving the investment of over $1 billion in a stable value account for the benefit of retirement plan participants. Jamie led the defense at arbitration that secured a ruling in the client’s favor on all claims

Professional Activities

Jamie has been involved in numerous community and philanthropic organizations, including as a member of the North American Board of the Union of Reform Judaism, 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.

Jamie’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.




University of Connecticut School of Law

(magna cum laude)


Trinity College




  • Massachusetts


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Recognition & Awards

Jamie has been recognized across the industry. Jamie is ranked Band 1 by Chambers USA for ERISA Litigation and has been named a top-ranked partner since 2014. Jamie is "highly skilled at litigation and one of the preeminent litigation lawyers in the country." He excels in “explaining the very complicated, technical and specific concepts of ERISA law” and is “consistently terrific to work with.” Jamie is consistently recognized as a Leading Lawyer by Legal 500 for his work in ERISA Litigation and was named by BTI a “Client Service All-Star for 2020.” In 2019, Jamie was recognized by Law 360 as an MVP in ERISA Litigation. His success in litigating cutting edge legal issues has been profiled in The American Lawyer’s Big Suits and Litigator of the Week features. Since 2015, he has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the list of Who’s Who Legal: Pensions and Benefits.


Jamie is a nationally recognized lecturer and author on ERISA, Investment Company Act, and related litigation topics. He has presented at over 100 conferences across the United States to legal and non-legal audiences, including as the co-chair of the 2020 ACI’s 18th Annual ERISA Litigation Conference. His other recent speaking engagements include:

  • “2023 ERISA Litigation Update: DOL ESG Rule Lawsuit, Fiduciary Duty Claims, Third-Party Administrator Liability,” Strafford Publications Webinar, April 2023
  • “Suit ‘Routes’: Lessons Learned from Litigation,” NAPA 401(k) Summit, April 2023
  • “The Arbitration Dilemma: The Supreme Court Declines to Play Umpire in an ERISA Dispute,” Pensions & Investments East Coast Conference, March 2023
  • “Litigation Lessons – Tales From the Trenches,” 10th Annual NAPA D.C. Fly-In Forum, July 2022
  • “Defined Contribution Litigation: What Plan Sponsors Need to Know Now,” NEPC Webinar, September 2021
  • 2021 Bechtel Benefits Virtual Conference, Litigation Session, August 2021
  • "Supreme Court Litigator Roundtable: Dissecting Recent, Winning (and Losing) Arguments — and the Impact on Future Litigation Outcomes," ACI'S 18th Annual ERISA Litigation Conference, November 2020
  • Institutional Certified 401(k) Professional (“iC(k)P”) Designation Program, November 2020
  • American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (“ASPPA”) — Seattle and Portland Chapter, November 2020
  • “Legislative and Regulatory Update,” 2020 PLANSPONSOR National Conference, September 2020
  • “Recent Plan Litigation: Key Takeaways for Fiduciaries,” DCIIA/SPARK Summer Public Policy Series, August 2020
  • ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Class Actions, Strafford, July 2020
  • “Risk Management for Advisors — Litigation, Insurance, Audits,” PLANADVISOR, September 2019
  • Napa 401(k) Summit, April 2019

Jamie also has been quoted in numerous publications, including Forbes, Ignites, Pensions & Investments, Pension & Benefits Daily, The United States Law Week,, California Lawyer, New York Law Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.

Jamie’s recent publications include:

  • For Law Alumni Couple, Community is Everything,” UConn Foundation, May 2022
  • “ERISA Litigation Update,” April 2021
  • “Q+A With Goodwin’s ERISA Litigation Group,” March 2021
  • “Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ERISA Claims Challenging the Inclusion of Company Stock in 401(k) Plan,” February 2021
  • “Healthcare Issues + Trends: Current Trends in ERISA Healthcare Litigation,” September 2020