McDermott Employee Benefits Partner Joseph Urwitz Wins Burton Award for Top Legal Writing


BOSTON (April 24, 2015) – International law firm McDermott Will & Emery announced today that Boston-based Employee Benefits partner Joseph K. Urwitz has been named a 2015 winner of the Burton Awards, placing him among the “finest law firm writers” in the nation.

Since 1999, the Burton Awards has recognized writing excellence among the nation’s law firms; the program is run in association with the Library of Congress. This year’s competition produced 35 winners from published work submitted by 1,000 law firms. Submissions were judged by a team of law school professors from Harvard, Columbia, Stanford and other institutions, as well as by a former California Superior Court judge.

Urwitz was chosen for his commentary, “What Private Equity and Hedge Funds (and their Benefit Plan Investors) Should Know About ERISA,” published in Bloomberg BNA’s Pension & Benefits Daily on May 7, 2014. The article examines issues and problems that private equity and hedge funds face from serving as an ERISA fiduciary, as well as ways to avoid ERISA coverage. His winning article can be found here.

Urwitz is a regular commentator on the intricacies of employee benefits issues. He represents clients in benefits, executive compensation and ERISA fiduciary matters. His areas of expertise include prohibited transactions, deferred compensation arrangements, equity award and bonus plan design, employment and severance arrangements, qualified plan work, employee benefit matters arising in mergers and acquisitions, and benefit issues unique to non-profits.

“We’re extremely honored to see that Joe, who is a certified authority on ERISA issues, has been recognized for his excellent writing on a subject of great importance for our clients,” said David Rogers, partner and head of McDermott’s Employee Benefits, Compensation, Labor & Employment Practice Group.

“McDermott has long taken pride in ensuring that our clients receive clear and cogent advice on benefits topics that can often turn highly technical and granular,” Rogers added. “Joe’s article is an outstanding example of our attorneys meeting this goal. And, it is a nice testament that the judges at the Burton Foundation agreed.”

The non-profit program will hold an award ceremony for the winners on June 15 at the Library of Congress, with featured speaker Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Robert Katzmann will also participate.

About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.

Media Contacts