Employee Benefits


"A very good firm." "A very strong national practice."

– Chambers USA

BakerHostetler's Employee Benefits practice is among the largest in the United States. Our team provides a full range of legal services to clients and employers in the design implementation, administration, and governance of all types of retirement, savings, health and welfare, and compensation programs, including executive compensation, bonus and other incentive plans, deferred compensation arrangements, retention plans and severance plans.

Our benefits lawyers are regarded as practice leaders in their creativity and determination when seeking the right solution for a client problem or objective. We are known for our breadth and depth of experience in all areas of employee benefits and executive compensation. While having areas of concentration, team members are not niche specialists but rather handle high-level work in different substantive areas within the field. Our deep bench strength enables us to effectively and efficiently design customized benefits and compensation programs for a broad range of clients—from large multinational corporations to growing entrepreneurial businesses—that have unique compensatory objectives.

We also regularly handle merger and acquisition employee benefit-related activities for clients, including assisting with diligence, evaluating risks, negotiating terms, and guiding post-acquisition assimilation activities. In addition, our attorneys vigorously represent clients involved in ERISA-based litigation or governmental administrative agency enforcement proceedings. We have counseled, represented, and assisted clients in managing audits or enforcement actions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Our employee benefits attorneys can handle benefits plan litigation independently or, where appropriate, partner with attorneys from the firm’s Employment Law or Litigation practice teams to represent clients in a timely and efficient manner.

We provide fiduciary and related guidance to plans (in their capacity as an investor) and to promoters and sponsors of investment vehicles or funds with regard to duties under ERISA in the investment area. This advice can include the requisite related securities, tax, tax-exempt organization, real estate, financial compliance advice, counsel and representation by other firm attorneys who work regularly with our Employee Benefit attorneys.

We also have extensive experience in dealing with collectively bargained plans and arrangements, both single and multi-employer plans and work regularly with our labor law attorneys in this area both with regard to plan compliance and administration, and also with the collective bargaining aspects of a particular situation.

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Benefit Plans

Our employee benefits team members are practice leaders in their creativity and determination when seeking the right solution to meet a client’s retirement plan objectives or issues.

Health and Welfare Plans

Health Care Reform has left many organizations uncertain as to how to provide health plan benefits to their employees. We develop integrated benefits solution for clients of all sizes and types and in all industries. We work with clients to ensure that their benefit programs are in compliance with ACA, HIPAA, COBRA, ERISA, HITECH and all other federal and state laws which may impact health and welfare benefit plans.

Executive Compensation and 409A Compliance

Our executive compensation team has extensive experience providing both long- and short-term compensation strategies and sophisticated and innovative solutions for organizations and executives. We have substantial experience navigating and dealing with the restrictions imposed on executive compensation arrangements by Internal Revenue Code Sections 409A, 162(m), and 280G.


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
Associate Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Columbus
Counsel Cleveland
Staff Attorney Cleveland


  • 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