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Ethan Lipsig Partner, Employment Law Department
Los Angeles Paul Hastings LLP Paul Hastings LLP T 1(213) 683-6304 F 1(213) 683-5938
Ethan Lipsig is a partner in the Employment Law practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. He founded its 40-plus lawyer Global Compensation, Benefits, and ERISA Practice Group. Although he is experienced in the entire range of employment and employee benefit issues, Mr. Lipsig concentrates in executive employment matters, reduction-in-force programs, and employee benefits litigation. In addition to handling major employee benefit litigation, Mr. Lipsig has many innovations to his credit: he pioneered the Section 401(k) plan, the use of convertible debentures to compensate executives, and Section 401(h) retiree health plan funding.

Accolades and Recognitions

  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, and Who’s Who in America
  • Chambers USA ranked him as one of California’s five leading employment lawyers and one of California’s two leading employee benefit lawyers in its 2006 survey
  • In 2011, Best Lawyers named him the ERISA litigator of the year in Los Angeles

Speaking Engagements and Publications

  • Written numerous books and articles, most notably Downsizing (BNA Books 1996) and its subsequent editions, renamed, Reduction In Force In Employment Law (BNA Books 2d ed. 2011), the definitive treatise on that subject; the “Fiduciary Disclosure Obligations” chapter in ERISA Fiduciary Law (BNA Books 1998); and the Redundancy and Transfers of Undertakings chapter relating to the United States in International Labor and Employment Laws (BNA Books 1997)
  • Recent articles include “Eleventh Circuit Brings Clarity to the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act: ADEA Release Disclosures are Limited to the Decisional Unit,” co-author Patrick W. Shea; 2006 Bender’s Calif. Lab. & Empl. Bull. 335 (September 2006)
  • “How Does Section 409A Affect My Company? A Self-Diagnostic Guide for Employers,” BNA Pension & Benefits Reporter, Vol. 5, No. 198 (October 14, 2005), reprinted in 11 Journal of Deferred Compensation 51 (Fall 2005)
  • Frequent speaker and chaired or spoken at programs sponsored by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association), ABA National Institutes, PLI (Practising Law Institute), CCEB (California Continuing Education of the Bar), The Institute for Corporate Counsel, NELI (National Employment Law Institute), the Profit-Sharing Council of America, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the U.S.C. Tax Institute, the Western Pension Benefits Conference, and the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys

Professional and Community Involvement
  • Member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law
  • Member of the Committee on Employee Benefits of the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association
  • Charter member of the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel



  • University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 1974
  • Pomona College, B.A., 1969