Overview

Bradford Campbell is a nationally recognized figure in employer-sponsored retirement plans who leverages his prior experience as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits to advise clients across a broad range of issues related to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). As ERISA’s former “top cop” and primary regulator, Brad has detailed and wide-ranging knowledge of the structure and operation of ERISA plans, insight that he applies to client engagements.

Brad advises financial service providers and plan sponsors, particularly in relation to ERISA Title I issues, such as fiduciary conduct and prohibited transactions as well as developing policy issues. A prominent voice in the debates over fiduciary and best-interest regulations, Brad has testified before various congressional committees more than a dozen times. He provides clients with analysis, commentary, and strategic and legal advice on significant updates and assists them in offering comments on proposed regulations.

He also helps clients develop products and compliance systems that meet the requirements for qualified retirement plans and IRAs, as well as fiduciary training programs for plan officials. Brad assists clients in requesting prohibited transaction exemptions and advisory opinions for activities related to employee benefits plans. Brad has a track record of successfully resolving Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigations and audits for large service providers and plan sponsors, and serves as an expert witness in ERISA litigation.

Brad is a contributor to the firm’s Broker-Dealer Law Blog, which provides practical insights into litigation, regulatory, compliance and fiduciary issues impacting broker-dealers, and is a frequent speaker and commentator in the media, including the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News and numerous trade press publications.

Government Experience

Brad is the former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits, head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Prior to serving in that role, he held other senior government positions, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits, senior DOL legislative officer, legislative director for U.S. Rep. Ernest Fletcher, and senior legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. and later Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Christopher Cox.

During his years in government, Brad played a key role in the Pension Protection Act and other significant ERISA retirement and health reforms, and his regulatory and policy decisions have had a fundamental impact on the structure and operation of ERISA plans, including promulgating the final rule establishing Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIA) facilitating automatic enrollment retirement plans.

Policy Work

Brad’s efforts on clients’ behalf are informed by his experience as the former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits. While in that position, Brad:

  • Issued final regulations establishing Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIAs) to facilitate automatic enrollment in defined contribution plans
  • Administered an enforcement program resulting in more than $2.6 billion in monetary results and more than 200 criminal indictments
  • Orchestrated the implementation of the Pension Protection Act’s sweeping changes to pension regulations, issuing nearly 30 regulations and major guidance documents
  • Proposed the original 408(b)(2) service provider and 404(a)(5) participant disclosure regulations
  • Issued final regulations improving participant access to professional investment advice
  • Issued final regulations requiring enhanced and electronic disclosure of plan expense and fee information on the Form 5500, Schedule C
  • Directed policy in major litigation, including DOL amicus briefs
  • Negotiated with Congress to modify final genetic discrimination and mental health parity legislation
  • Issued final Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations governing wellness programs and nondiscrimination requirements

Credentials

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
Virginia

Education

Georgetown University Law Center
J.D. cum laude

Harvard University
A.B.

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

Brad was part of a team that challenged narrow and burdensome Texas regulations improperly interpreting the state’s cottage food law preventing small businesses from offering many safe products for sale. Partly in response to the litigation, the Texas State Legislature changed the law in favor of the clients.

Professional Associations

  • American Benefits Council — Policy Board Member

Honors

  • Chambers USA — “Recognised Practitioner” District of Columbia, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, 2017-19
  • 401kWire — 100 Most Influential Persons in Defined Contribution Plans
  • National Association of Plan Advisers (NAPA) — Top 15 ERISA Attorneys in the U.S.

Awards Methodology

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