Practice Leader Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

Washington + 1.202.879.3749

Miguel Eaton guides clients through complex employee benefits issues that present significant business challenges. He began his career litigating Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other issues and grew his practice to include counseling on benefits issues in M&A, cyber, executive compensation, and bankruptcy. He co-chairs the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice.

A significant portion of Miguel's practice involves defending ERISA class actions (e.g., 401(k) fee cases) and litigating on behalf of employers that contribute to multiemployer plans. He also advises benefit committees regarding participants' claims and defends companies being investigated by the Department of Labor.

Miguel speaks frequently on benefits issues. He is the employer co-chair for various subcommittees of the ABA Employee Benefits Committee and has been a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law where he teaches a seminar on ERISA.

Miguel serves various firmwide and office roles: he leads the Firm's veterans initiative (VetLex); is a member of the firmwide Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement Committee; and the Washington Office's Recruiting Committee. He also co-chairs the office's Diversity Committee. Miguel serves on the boards of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Duke Law Alumni Advisory Board, and the Catholic Charities Legal Network.

He was a two-sport college athlete. He played in the 1994 NCAA basketball tournament and is the 1996 National Collegiate Boxing Association National Champion (Heavyweight).


  • Employers prevail in first appellate challenge to "Segal Blend"In the first appellate decision to confront the legality of the "Segal Blend" actuarial methodology for calculating withdrawal liability, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit adopted the position that Jones Day urged on behalf of a coalition of employers as amici curiae, and held that the Blend is contrary to law.
  • IBM resolves claims asserted under Federal Mental Health Parity ActJones Day defended International Business Machines Corporation ("IBM") and its health care plan in a federal lawsuit alleging violations of the Federal Mental Health Parity Act regarding the plan's handling of developmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorder.
  • ABM to acquire Able Services for $830 millionJones Day is advising ABM Industries Incorporated in the acquisition of Able Services, a leading facilities services company headquartered in San Francisco, in a cash transaction valued at $830 million.
  • Integrated Power Services acquires Delta Electric Motors and Eastside Electric MotorsJones Day represented Integrated Power Services Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of electric motor and generator repair services, in connection with its acquisition of Delta Electric Motors and Eastside Electric Motors.
  • Daikin acquires ElitAireJones Day advised Daikin in its acquisition of ElitAire.
  • J.F. Lehman & Company acquires ENTACTJones Day advised long-standing client J.F. Lehman & Company, a leading middle-market private equity firm focused exclusively on the aerospace, defense, maritime, government, and environmental sectors, in the acquisition by an investment affiliate and financing of ENTACT, LLC, a national provider of environmental remediation and geotechnical services.
  • TD Securities arranges $190 million acquisition financing for Whole Earth Brands, Inc.Jones Day advised TD Securities (USA) LLC, as arranger, in connection with a $190 million senior secured credit facility comprised of a $140 million term loan and a $50 million revolving credit facility to Whole Earth Brands, Inc, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
  • FlaglerCE sold assets to Alta Equipment Holdings Inc.Jones Day advised FlaglerCE Holdings, LLC in the sale of substantially all of its assets to Alta Equipment Holdings Inc.
  • MYR Group acquires CSI Electrical Contractors, Inc.Jones Day advised MYR Group Inc. in its acquisition of substantially all the assets of CSI Electrical Contractors, Inc., a full-service electrical contractor headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, California.
  • United Airlines wins dismissal with prejudice in USERRA class actionThe court granted Jones Day's motion to dismiss a putative class action with prejudice on behalf of United Airlines Inc. involving a novel theory of liability under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act ("USERRA").
  • Granite Construction acquires CIPP assets of Lametti & SonsJones Day advised Granite Construction Incorporation in its acquisition of the assets of Lametti & Sons, Inc.'s cured in place pipe lining (CIPP) business.
  • Blackstone Group sells 757 room hotel in Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaJones Day advised The Blackstone Group in connection with the sale of a 757 room full service hotel located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • WMATA engages advisors for executive boardJones Day is serving as the strategic executive advisor to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's General Manager/Chief Executive Officer and its Board of Directors in connection with its efforts to evaluate its finances, operations, and governance.
  • NRG Energy sells ownership in NRG Yield and NRG's Renewables Platform to Global Infrastructure PartnersJones Day represented NRG Energy, Inc. in the sale of NRG’s ownership in NRG Yield and NRG’s Renewables Platform to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for cash proceeds of $1.375 billion, subject to certain adjustments.
  • ABM acquires GCA Services Group for $1.25 billionJones Day advised ABM Industries, Inc. (NYSE: ABM), a leading provider of facility solutions, in its acquisition of GCA Services Group, a leading provider of facility services in the education and commercial industries, from affiliates of Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division for approximately $1.25 billion in cash and stock.
  • Peabody Energy successfully litigates and settles $644 million withdrawal liability assessment by UMWA 1974 Pension PlanJones Day successfully defended Peabody Energy Corporation against a $644 million withdrawal liability claim by the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan, which alleged that Peabody's spinoff of Patriot Coal Company was done to evade or avoid withdrawal liability.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs corrects erroneous denial of medical benefits for WWII veteran and provides compensation to estateMiguel Eaton and Daniel DeVougas, Jones Day Washington, were successful in persuading the Department of Veterans Affairs to correct the Veterans Health Administration’s erroneous denial of benefits for WWII veteran’s service-connected disabilities, and provide due compensation to the serviceman’s estate.
  • Alpha Natural Resources plan confirmed by U.S. Bankruptcy CourtOn July 12, 2016, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered an order confirming the Second Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. and 148 of its debtor affiliates, less than one year after Alpha, one of the largest coal companies in the United States, entered chapter 11 with liabilities of approximately $7.1 billion amidst the most challenging economic environment for coal producers in decades.
  • ABM completes sale of its Security Business to Universal Protection Service for $131 millionJones Day advised ABM Industries Incorporated in the $131 million sale of its Security Business to Universal Protection Service, a division of Universal Services of America.
  • City of Detroit's chapter 9 plan of adjustment confirmedJones Day served as lead restructuring counsel to the City of Detroit in connection with its chapter 9 bankruptcy case filed in July 2013 and its ongoing restructuring efforts.
  • Speaking Engagements

    • March 27-29, 2019
      2019 Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys Conference
    • January 7-8, 2019
      All About the Benefits: An Introduction To ERISA and Employee Benefits, Duke Law School
    • November 16, 2018
      The Evolving Landscape of Multiemployer Plans, American Conference Institute
    • October 11, 2018
      ERISA Ethical Issues and Concerns
    • October 11, 2018
      ABA JCEB ERISA Basics National Institute: ERISA Preemption
    • May 1, 2018
      Jones Day's Media Labor & Employment Law Roundtable
    • January 7 - 8, 2016
      All About the Benefits: An Introduction to ERISA and Employee Benefits, Duke Law School Wintersession
    • May 2017
      Class Action Litigation Strategies - ERISA's Statute of Limitations, Advanced ERISA Litigation National Institute
    • January 4 - 5, 2017
      All About The Benefits: An Introduction to ERISA and Employee Benefits, Duke University School of Law
    • March 24, 2016
      Worldwide Employee Benefits Network - Cleveland Chapter: Litigation Update
    • October 1, 2015
      The Detroit Bankruptcy - Employee Benefits Consultants Forum, Gaylord Resort and Convention Center
    • February 8, 2014
      Sweet (ERISA) Mystery of Life (Insurance), ABA Midwinter Conference
    • February 21, 2013
      Benefit Claims Update - Standard of Review, Discretionary Authority and Conflict Discovery, ABA Employee Benefits Midwinter Conference
    • November 1, 2012
      Is Your Executive Compensation Agreement Covered by ERISA?, ABA Labor and Employment Law Conference
    • September 20, 2012
      Expert's Guide to Employee Benefits Research, ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits
    • February 16, 2012
      Multiemployer Plans and Funding Issues, ABA Employee Benefits Committee Midwinter Conference
    • February 18, 2011
      Update on Fee Litigation and the Impact of the Regulations, ABA Employee Benefits Committee Midwinter Conference