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Baker Botts Welcomes Leading ERISA Litigator in San Francisco


SAN FRANCISCO, November 19, 2020 – Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international technology, energy and life sciences law firm, announced today that Christopher J. Rillo, a prominent lawyer in ERISA litigation, has joined the firm as a partner in the Litigation Department in the San Francisco office. 

“The addition of Chris is another key step in our strategic growth strategy in the Bay Area,” said Baker Botts Managing Partner, John Martin. “He is a premier lawyer in the highly active area of ERISA litigation and will supplement our core expertise in this national practice, which has a deep client roster. We are delighted to welcome him to Baker Botts.”

Mr. Rillo joins Baker Botts from Jenner & Block, where he was a member of the firm’s ERISA Practice. A labor and employment lawyer at the outset of his career, he moved into ERISA litigation as the practice area developed. He has handled cutting-edge class actions involving company stock and conversion of defined benefits plans to cash balance arrangements. He has also successfully represented clients in several 401(k) fee class actions, including claims involving the country’s largest defined contribution plan. Some of his major matters involve issues of company stock, 401(k) plan fees, cash balance conversions and fiduciary personal liability for pension plan funding. 

“Chris is a go-to ERISA defense lawyer who will bring still greater depth to our formidable West Coast litigation team,” said Jonathan Shapiro, the Firm’s West Coast Litigation Department Chair.

“We will benefit from the addition of another preeminent partner with both a national reputation within the defense bar and such deep connections and visibility in the Bay Area,” said Partner-in-Charge of the San Francisco office, Samuel Dibble. 

Chambers USA and The Legal 500 have both recognized Mr. Rillo in ERISA litigation. He serves on the Board of the American Benefits Council, and has long been known for his thought leadership and frequent commentary on the defense of fiduciary and benefit litigation. He earned his J.D. from Rutgers Law School, and his B.A., with distinction, from Rutgers University.

“I am excited to join Baker Botts,” Mr. Rillo said. “The firm is enjoying a great deal of momentum and has ambitious growth plans, which it has started to achieve in the Bay Area and elsewhere. I look forward to hitting the ground running.”

Baker Botts litigators bring sound commercial judgment and pragmatic solutions to clients’ most critical disputes. Drawing on an intimate familiarity of clients’ needs and the resources of its global platform, Baker Botts has amassed an enviable record of experience on clients’ behalf. Baker Botts is committed to bringing value to clients' business goals by offering creative, timely and strategic advice. The firm routinely collaborates with clients to develop litigation strategies using early case assessment methods and implementing the plan with efficiency and the latest technology.

Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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