Deborah M. Lerner

Deborah M. Lerner

Willig, Williams & Davidson

Recognized since 2006

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Practice Areas

Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
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The chair of Willig, Williams & Davidson’s employee benefits department, Deborah M. Lerner has more than 30 years of experience in tax and employee benefits law. She counsels and represents numerous public and private-sector single and multi-employer funds on a broad range of benefit and tax matters.

Deborah specializes in representing trustees of single and multi-employer pension and health and welfare plans with respect to tax, ERISA and plan administration issues. She also advises individuals regarding employment, pension and benefit matters.

Deborah also serves as an adjunct professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she teaches courses in the school’s graduate tax program. She is a member of the editorial board of theJournal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations . As a lecturer, Deborah has presented for groups such as the American Bar Association, the Conference of Consulting Actuaries, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

In 2006, Deborah’s peers elected her to membership in the prestigious American College of Employee Benefit Lawyers, the highest honor afforded to a practitioner in this practice area. She has been consistently selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Employee Benefits Law (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.) since 2006. Deborah has also been consistently named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters, published annually in Philadelphia magazine, since 2004.

Deborah earned an LL.M. in taxation from Villanova University School of Law in 1986. She received the Prentice Hall Award in Federal Income Taxation and was valedictorian of her graduating class. She also earned her juris doctor from Villanova University School of Law, where she was on the moot court board and served as a teaching assistant.

Deborah is AV® rated by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell® a registered certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • 1845 Walnut Street, 24th Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • Villanova University, LL.M., graduated 1986
  • Villanova University, J.D., graduated 1977
  • Bryn Mawr College, A.B., graduated 1973
Bar Admissions
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • American Bar Association - Member
  • Board of Advisors of Taxation of Exempts - Member
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans - Member
  • Villanova University School of Law - Adjunct Professor
Court Admissions
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Tax Court

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
  • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Philadelphia (2022)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:
  • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
Special Focus:
  • Employees
  • Multi-Employee Plans
  • Top Rated Lawyer, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Philadelphia Magazine, 2004-2015
  • American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, Fellow, 2007-Present

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