ERISA does not allow a plan to impose an equitable lien on settlement funds that are not in a law firm's possession, the federal Eighth Circuit ruled today. The unanimous decision marks another win in ERISA litigation for CCL, which represented a plaintiff’s firm in litigation against an ERISA plan. The ERISA plan argued that the law firm was itself responsible for reimbursing the plan for medical expenses incurred by an ERISA beneficiary, which was a client of the law firm. But the court of appeals, like the district court before it, rejected that argument. The court of appeals also affirmed an award of attorneys’ fees in favor of the plaintiffs’ firm.

CCL’s Jeffrey White was lead appellate counsel for the law firm in this appeal, Trustees of Drury Indus., Inc v. Goding, No. 11-2885 (8th Cir. Sep. 7, 2012).