Julia Penny Clark has been Senior Counsel at Bredhoff, after having actively practiced law at the firm from 1975 through 2019. Penny has extensive experience in federal litigation and focused her practice in the employee-benefit area.
Penny was counsel to a number of large multiemployer pension and health-benefit plans, as well as multiemployer 401(k) plans and funds that provide training or legal services to employee participants, and to a public-employee pension plan. She also represented labor unions and groups of employees in benefits litigation.
Penny argued M&G Polymers v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015), and Beck v. PACE Int’l Union, 551 U.S. 96 (2007). Some of her other major litigation cases include appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for former employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers, confirming a cause of action for equitable relief to enforce ERISA’s mandatory benefit standards, Laurent et al. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, 945 F.3d 739 (2019), for employees of Foot Locker, affirming a judgment that the employer had wrongfully concealed a “wearaway” provision in the pension plan, Osberg v. Foot Locker, Inc. 862 F.3d 198 (2017); and for former employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers affirming that their “normal retirement age” under a cash balance pension plan had been impermissibly defined as 5 years of service, Laurent et al. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, 794 F.3d 372 (2d Cir. 2015).
Penny also handled numerous complex class-action and other cases at the trial and appellate levels, including class-action litigation to preserve health benefits for a class of retired Virginia truck assemblers, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a jury verdict that the employer could not unilaterally change retiree health benefits that were created by a collective bargaining agreement, Quesenberry, et al. v. Volvo Group North America, Inc., 651 F.3d 437 (4th Cir. 2011).
Penny is an Emeritus Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a member of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia. From 1990 to 1996 she served on the Committee on Admissions and Grievances for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Before joining the firm, Penny served as a law clerk to the Hon. Lewis F. Powell, Jr., of the U.S. Supreme Court, and to the Hon. J. Braxton Craven, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She obtained a J.D. with highest honors from the University of Texas Law School in 1973 and a B.A. with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969.