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Employee Benefits

As employee benefit plans become more complex, compliance issues now require a degree of legal sophistication not readily found in all law firms. The lawyers of our Employee Benefits group have both the knowledge and experience to provide that sophistication on a number of fronts.

We design, draft and advise on the administration of all the different types of benefit plans: qualified (defined benefit and defined contribution), non-qualified, welfare, fringe benefit, etc. Our practical experience as well as our technical expertise is a valuable resource for clients who are considering outsourcing their plan administration to third party vendors, especially in drafting service agreements and reviewing standardized plan documents, as well as for clients that have already outsourced their plans, when compliance issues arise. We have extensive experience in negotiating appropriate corrections with third party recordkeepers at the recordkeeper’s expense, as well as with evaluating correction alternatives under IRS and Labor Department correction programs and preparing filings and other documents required for available relief.

In addition, we spend a considerable amount of time supporting other practices within the firm, especially corporate, bankruptcy, and litigation. For clients involved in acquisitions, we review the benefit aspects of purchase agreements and advise on both liability issues and the practical considerations related to employees migrating to new plans. In bankruptcy and restructuring matters, we advise clients regarding under-funded pension plans, government claims, and fiduciary issues. In employee benefits litigations, we provide extensive advice and assistance on all substantive issues.

Our principal areas of focus include: 

  • Plan design and operational compliance 
  • Fiduciary and benefit claim litigation 
  • Independent legal advice to plan fiduciaries responsible for investment decisions 
  • Benefit issues in transactions, including Title I fiduciary issues