Raymond M. Malone

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7879
F +1.216.696.0740

"Raymond Malone is highly experienced in advising on the full life cycle of plans, ranging from both qualified and nonqualified retirement programs to welfare and fringe benefit plans." "He is very knowledgeable in his specialty of ERISA law. He is a strategist." "He is high-quality in all regards."

— Chambers USA 2021

Overview

Ray Malone has more than 35 years of experience handling all facets of employee benefits and executive compensation matters for clients ranging from multinational public corporations to large and mid-market public and private corporations, private equity funds and portfolio entities, to large tax-exempt organizations such as research universities and hospital systems. He helps his clients attain their desired goals and solve problems in the area of employee benefits, including retirement plans, health and welfare plans, transactional benefit work, multi-employer pension plans and collectively bargained plans.

Ray’s depth of experience in this area enables him to handle matters covering most aspects of the design, implementation, maintenance, operation and termination of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans and programs, executive compensation arrangements, C-suite employment agreements and tax-exempt organization plans. He has particular experience with employee benefits in merger and acquisition transactions.

For the last 10 years, he has been Co-Chair of BakerHostetler's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice, which is one of the largest in the state of Ohio and of significant size nationwide. In addition, Ray is a frequent speaker and author of topics and articles in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation. He routinely is listed among those named in Chambers USA, The Legal 500 United States, The Best Lawyers in America, and Ohio Superlawyers.

Select Experience

  • For many employers, or for compensation committees, provides advice on the design, implementation, maintenance, operation and termination of executive incentive compensation programs for both taxable and tax-exempt employers, to counsel employers on compliance with Code Section 409A rules or design to avoid their application, and to avoid or comply with the so-called Golden Parachute provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, including the new provisions applicable to large, tax-exempt employers. These include funded, unfunded, stock-based, stock option and unit stock-based programs and other types of equity and cash incentive plans.
  • Regularly negotiates employment and separation agreements for such entities for their most senior or highest level executives, as well as for C-suite executives.
  • Regularly provides transactional employee benefit advice in merger, acquisition and disposition transactions involving multinational corporations, large public and private companies, and in the private equity context.
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Experience

  • For many employers, or for compensation committees, provides advice on the design, implementation, maintenance, operation and termination of executive incentive compensation programs for both taxable and tax-exempt employers, to counsel employers on compliance with Code Section 409A rules or design to avoid their application, and to avoid or comply with the so-called Golden Parachute provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, including the new provisions applicable to large, tax-exempt employers. These include funded, unfunded, stock-based, stock option and unit stock-based programs and other types of equity and cash incentive plans.
  • Regularly negotiates employment and separation agreements for such entities for their most senior or highest level executives, as well as for C-suite executives.
  • Regularly provides transactional employee benefit advice in merger, acquisition and disposition transactions involving multinational corporations, large public and private companies, and in the private equity context.
  • Has extensive experience in withdrawal liability matters involving multiemployer pension plans, and has represented and counseled employers on withdrawing from such plans, as well as on arbitrating or litigating over withdrawal liability issues.
  • Has handled labor and employment law matters that relate to or directly affect employee benefit plans but that arise under general employment law. These matters include certain issues, problems or projects under the National Labor Relations Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (for example, with respect to the design of early retirement programs), the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Has extensive experience in designing and implementing workforce reduction plans and in counseling employers in labor negotiations concerning employee benefit plans.
  • Has extensive experience in counseling Taft-Hartley retirement and welfare funds of all sizes, and has represented such funds before the IRS, U.S. Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), and in matters between the funds and their participants or beneficiaries.
  • Has represented and counseled numerous employers in administrative, litigated and other contested matters involving employee benefit plans. These include matters before the IRS, U.S. Department of Labor and PBGC, and among employers, fiduciaries, plan sponsors and private plaintiffs, such as plan participants or their beneficiaries.
  • Provides counsel and advice on assisting businesses with the design of employment and worker equity incentive programs for startup and emerging companies while balancing the needs and expectations of investors and owners. This discipline involves navigating the overlapping areas of employment law, employee benefits, taxation of deferred compensation, corporate governance and related securities matters.
  • Has counseled issuers of securities, lenders, borrowers, purchasers and sellers with regard to employee benefit issues that affect the issuance of securities, the extension of credit, and the acquisition or disposition of assets or of the stock of subsidiary, affiliated or unrelated organizations. Has provided advice and strategy on designing, structuring and documenting private equity, venture capital and REIT transactions involving investment by ERISA plans and other benefit plan investors.
  • Has counseled both providers and purchasers of healthcare in complying with requirements under healthcare laws such as the Affordable Care Act, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Medicare Part D and numerous other laws involving the design, implementation, delivery and sale of healthcare services.
  • Served as general counsel for a large manufacturer of prefabricated housing and commercial buildings. Handled a great variety of employment, financial, commercial, tax and bankruptcy matters for the client and its former holding company and subsidiaries.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation in Ohio (2006 to 2021)
    • Band 2 (2006 to 2021)
  • The Legal 500 United States 
    • Recommended in Labor and Employment: Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans (Transactions) (2016 to 2020)
    • Recommended in Recommended in Labor and Employment: Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans: Design (2017 to 2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2001 to Present)
    • Ohio: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
      • Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" (2018)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Ohio "Super Lawyer" (2004 to 2006, 2008 to 2014)

Memberships

  • Certified Public Accountant in the State of Ohio (1982, non-practicing)

Community

  • The Cleveland Play House: Trustee
  • Kirtland Education Council, an educational advocacy organization for children with learning differences
    • President
    • Founding member
  • Beaumont School: Trustee

Pro Bono

  • The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation
    • President (former)
    • Trustee
  • The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Trustee
    • Executive Committee
  • Legal Aid Society
    • Lawyer Volunteer
    • Firm Representative

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • Colorado, 1986
  • Ohio, 1982

Education

  • J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 1982, Order of the Coif
  • B.S., Miami University, 1979, cum laude