Employee Benefits

Overview

Well known for its expertise in ACA, ERISA and other plan compliance and litigation matters. Routinely handles Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation aspects of M&A. Works with a broad range of clients, including multiemployer plans, healthcare entities and national retailers.”

– Chambers USA, 2021

We provide full-spectrum legal advice and counsel regarding employee benefits issues that draw on the knowledge and experience of our team, one of the largest in the U.S. Our attorneys deliver practical solutions across the full range of health and welfare benefits, retirement plans, executive compensation, transactional issues, and resolution of employee benefits-based controversies.

Our deep bench strength enables us to efficiently staff any project and to design customized benefits and compensation programs for a broad range of clients. When mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and other transactions raise key issues regarding benefits, we solve problems and keep the deals moving. In addition, our attorneys vigorously represent clients involved in Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)-based litigation or governmental administrative agency enforcement proceedings.

Employers of all sizes come to us for guidance regarding issues such as the following:

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Retirement Plans

We work with plan sponsors, administrators and fiduciaries to ensure compliance, troubleshoot and assist in taking corrective actions when necessary. We are experienced in defined benefit pension, 401(k), 403(b), 457, cash balance and hybrid plans, and we have in-depth knowledge regarding employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), multiemployer plans and multiple employer plans as well as not-for-profit and governmental employer retirement plans.

Employee Benefits Controversies

We deliver pragmatic counsel that not only addresses immediate concerns but also anticipates potential outcomes and effectively manages future risk. Our team handles controversies that arise under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA); Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs); health and welfare plans, tax issues, fiduciary issues, bankruptcies and receiverships, multiemployer pension plan withdrawal liability disputes, and more. We work collaboratively with vendors and regulators to achieve optimal results.

Employee Benefits Transactional Support

We provide a robust array of services for clients across a diverse range of sectors, including public and private businesses and private equity funds, in all stages of M&A transactions, including providing comprehensive due diligence support, negotiating benefits-related provisions of purchase and sale agreements and compliance issues, navigating funding and termination liability rules, and working through multiemployer pension plan funding and withdrawal liability issues. We also develop and implement pre- and post-closing employee benefits and workforce transition strategies.

Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

From plan design to compliance, we bring a thoughtful yet pragmatic approach to health and welfare benefit programs, including the traditional menu of medical, dental, vision, life, disability, cafeteria plans and fringe benefits as well as strategic options designed to address critical concerns over benefit plan costs and outcomes. We are distinguished by our experience in representing stakeholders that include employers, insurers, administrators and governmental entities. Many of our team members also focus on strategic healthcare initiatives, forging direct relationships between and among employers, healthcare providers and data recordkeepers.

Executive Compensation

We represent employers, executives, funds, and executive management teams, advising on compensation and benefits related issues ranging from taxation, equity and nonqualified deferred compensation design and compliance, corporate governance, arbitration and litigation strategies to securities regulation, estate planning, and creditors’ rights/bankruptcy. Our efficient approach results in compensation plans, programs, or agreements that can be presented fairly to stakeholders while keeping attention focused on the client’s strategic and organizational objectives.

Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Counsel Cleveland
Of Counsel Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Of Counsel Los Angeles
Associate Atlanta
Counsel Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Partner Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Columbus
Counsel Cleveland
Staff Attorney Cleveland

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation – Ohio (2007 to 2021)
  • The Legal 500 United States:
    • Labor and employment – Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation & Retirement Plans: Design (2016 to 2021)
    • Labor and employment – Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation & Retirement Plans: Transactional (2016 to 2020)
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”
    • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law: National (2012 to 2020); Cleveland (2011 to 2020); Columbus (2018 to 2020); Orlando (2012 to 2020);
    • Litigation – ERISA: National (2012 to 2020); Cleveland (2012 to 2020);
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2020 BTI Client Service 30 for the sixth consecutive year.

Key Contacts