Raymond M. Malone

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7879
F +1.216.696.0740

"Raymond Malone has significant experience handling executive compensation and employee benefit concerns. His areas of expertise include retirement plans and fringe benefit matters."

— Chambers USA 2018

Overview

Ray Malone has more than 35 years' experience in the employee benefits and executive compensation areas. He assists public and private companies and other types of employers with executive compensation arrangements and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)–related issues, including transactional support. Ray has handled matters covering most aspects of the design, implementation, maintenance, operation, amendment and termination of the many types of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans and programs, tax-deferred annuity plans, 457 plans, and funded and unfunded welfare and fringe benefit plans. He has extensive experience in representing employers in all types of matters involving multiemployer pension plans, withdrawal liability, and other types of collectively bargained retirement and health and welfare plans. Ray also has represented employers, lenders and fiduciaries in numerous matters relating to employee stock ownership plans.

The types of employers with which Ray has worked include corporations (ranging in size from midmarket corporations to Fortune 100 corporations to large, privately held corporations), partnerships, limited liability companies, venture capital funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and tax-exempt employers, such as hospitals, universities, local school systems, government entities and church-affiliated institutions.

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.
  • 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.
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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.
  • 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 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 Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (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 2019)
    • Band 2 (2006 to 2019)
  • The Legal 500 United States 
    • Recommended in Labor and Employment: Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans (Transactions) (2016 to 2019)
    • Recommended in Recommended in Labor and Employment: Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans: Design (2017 to 2019)
  • 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)

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