Elizabeth Van Clief works in the areas of Employee Benefits, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), and Taxation.

Elizabeth assists clients and provides consultation to attorneys on a variety of retirement benefits issues in the areas of family law, estate planning, litigation, and administration of qualified retirement plans.

Elizabeth serves as an expert witness in family law proceedings regarding the proper characterization and value of the community’s interest in retirement benefits.

Elizabeth also acts as ERISA counsel to San Diego businesses with respect to IRS and DOL audits, correction submissions, and litigation.

“Retirement benefits are a valuable but complicated aspect of business, estate planning, and divorces. My focus is to assist individuals and businesses with finding the best solution for their unique issue.

Our team of attorneys brings in-depth knowledge and compassion to legal services, and it is wonderful to work on employee benefits issues in such a strong team environment.”


  • Joined the firm in 2015
  • California Bar – member since 2007
  • University of California, San Diego, B.A. Mathematics and Economics
  • University of San Diego School of Law, Juris Doctor and L.L.M. in Taxation
  • Certified Tax Law Specialist from the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Treasurer and Member of Executive Committee of Western Pension & Benefits Council, San Diego Chapter
  • Member of Probate Attorneys of San Diego
  • Past Co-Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association, Taxation Section 2009-2011
  • Past President of Toastmasters of La Jolla 2012

Honors & Recognition

  • Top Young Attorneys Finalist
  • Super Lawyers – San Diego Rising Stars

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders; Western Pension Benefits Conference – San Diego Chapter, March 2015
  • Community Property Lecture on Retirement Benefits, California Western School of Law, each semester Fall 2009 to Spring 2015
  • Emerging Property and Compensation Issues – Do Our Beloved Formulas Always Apply, Certified Family Law Specialists Fall Seminar, October 10, 2012

Representative Cases

  • John Paul Micha, M.D., et al. v. Group Disability Benefits Plan for Gynecologic Oncology Associates Partners, LLC (9th 2015) No. 12-55816b. (Unpublished.)