John H. Wilson

Co-Chair, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation


(412) 620-6511

(412) 275-2390

John's practice is primarily focused on employee benefits, ERISA, and deferred compensation matters. He is accomplished in many facets of the design, implementation, and administration of qualified and nonqualified employee benefit plans. 

John has experience with matters relating to the employee benefit concerns in corporate acquisitions, dispositions, and mergers; employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs); ERISA fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction matters; and matters involving the tax and ERISA concerns for employee health, life insurance, and other welfare benefit plans.

In addition to these activities, John has engaged in strategic planning and advice for managing ERISA and employee benefits litigation and for administrative claim disputes. He assists clients in their dealings with various federal and state government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor.

John has been a contributing writer for the Compensation Planning Journal and the Tax Management Portfolio series, including co-authoring a recent memorandum titled "Fiduciary Duties in the Face of Troubled Economic Times." John has lectured on numerous occasions for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the American Corporate Counsel Association – Pittsburgh Chapter. John is also a certified public accountant.

John has been ranked in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2009 and was ranked the “Best Employee Benefits Lawyer – Pittsburgh” in 2013.



More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Nine Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named 2021 “Lawyers of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America

August 20, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that nine of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized as “Lawyers of the Year” in their respective practices by Best Lawyers in America.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

100 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 23, 2017

Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.

Cozen O’Connor Welcomes Six More Attorneys from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

May 17, 2017

Cozen O’Connor has announced the following attorneys have joined the firm: employee benefit/ERISA attorneys John H. Wilson, Lynn Brehm and Matthew Clyde, labor and employment attorney Brian A. Casal, and commercial litigators William J. Moorhead and Gabrielle Lee.


IRS Issues Guidance Implementing Coronavirus-Related Retirement Plan Provisions Under the Cares Act [Alert]

June 23, 2020

Robert Kaplan and John Wilson discuss the IRS's latest guidance for 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) retirement plans, including the expanded definition of a qualified individual.

ERISA Fiduciaries Get Protection as a result of High Court Ruling [Alert]

June 04, 2020

Rob Kaplan discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Thole vs. U.S. Bank N.A., and what it means for fiduciaries of ERISA-regulated employee pension plans.

IRS Allows Greater Cafeteria Plan Flexibility During COVID-19 Crisis [Alert]

May 14, 2020

John Wilson, Jay Dorsch, Lynn Brehm, Robert Kaplan, and Matt Clyde discuss IRS Notice 2020-29 allowing employers to provide flexibility to employees to change their elections under cafeteria plans through December 31, 2020.

IRS and DOL Release Employee Benefits Guidance for COVID-19-Related Administration [Alert]

May 11, 2020

John Wilson and Rob Kaplan discuss guidance from the Department of Labor and the IRS regarding retirement plans, COBRA, and employee benefits subject to ERISA.

Return to Work Post-Coronavirus Checklist

April 24, 2020

Cozen O'Connor Labor and Employment attorneys addressed how employers should plan returning to work post-coronavirus.

Layoffs, Furloughs, and the Impact of WARN Acts on Reorganizations [Alert]

March 20, 2020

Jen Williams, Peter Ennis, Arielle Eisenberg, and Nandini Sane discuss what employers must consider under state and federal WARN Acts before laying off or furloughing employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

2017 Labor and Employment Law Update - Chicago

October 05, 2017 - Chicago, IL


  • Ohio State University–Columbus, J.D., with honors, 1983
  • University of Cincinnati, B.B.A., magna cum laude, 1980

Awards & Honors

Best Lawyers in America 2009-2021

  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio