Employee Benefits

Description

Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest teams of employee benefits and executive compensation practitioners in the United States.  As part of a firm that focuses on labor and employment law, our Employee Benefits Practice Group has a special ability to relate technical experience to the client’s “big picture” issues.  Our goal is to provide practical advice that allows an employer’s benefits strategy to work in harmony with the employer’s overall personnel, financial, and business objectives.

Employers nationwide have come to depend on Ogletree Deakins for their employee benefits regulatory and compliance advice, both on a day-to-day basis and for unique projects involving corporate restructurings, acquisitions, Section 409A-compliant executive compensation arrangements, or benefits plan redesign.

Our highly trained employee benefits practitioners advise clients regarding the full array of retirement plans and welfare plans, sponsored by employers in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors.  These include tax-qualified retirement plans, executive compensation arrangements, welfare and fringe benefits programs, incentive and other bonus arrangements, cafeteria plans, severance pay plans, stock option and other equity-based compensation plans, and defined contribution/consumer-directed health plans implementing cost-containment strategies, such as health savings account plans (HSAs) or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

We have helped clients with benefits arrangements for employees during international assignments, planning and implementation of early retirement and severance programs, the benefits aspects of mergers and acquisitions, and negotiating and drafting executive consulting and phased retirement arrangements. We also advise clients on such matters as health portability, privacy, and nondiscrimination (HIPAA) requirements, continuation coverage (COBRA) rules, reporting and disclosure obligations to the Department of Labor and to the Internal Revenue Service, retirement and welfare plan nondiscrimination requirements, and fiduciary compliance.

Our employee benefits attorneys routinely assist clients in dealings with government agencies regarding plan operations, including advance approvals of qualified plans (ranging from simple to often complex designs), exemptions from various regulatory requirements, rulings on disputed questions, and audits.  In this capacity we have successfully represented clients in audits or civil investigations conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and the Justice Department.

New and established clients often turn to members of Ogletree Deakins' employee benefits group for assistance in litigation involving employee pension or welfare benefits plans – sometimes brought on behalf of a single individual, but often brought on behalf of a class of plan participants – including claims under ERISA alleging breaches of fiduciary duties or violations of ERISA's substantive requirements. Our capabilities in defending employers, plans, and fiduciaries in benefits-related controversies set our employee benefits practice apart from the benefits departments of most firms.

What distinguishes us in this regard is that our employee benefits practice group includes seasoned litigators who also have a sound working knowledge of the complex tax and regulatory issues involved in employee benefit plan design and administration. The ERISA litigators in our practice group are an integral part of the overall benefits practice. They routinely draft plan documents and related instruments for qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, welfare plans, and fringe benefit plans; advise clients regarding the employee benefits aspects of corporate mergers, acquisitions, and restructurings; or counsel clients regarding other aspects of tax or regulatory compliance. Because our benefits litigators speak the language of employee benefits plan design and administration, they are able to communicate directly and effectively with the client's human resources personnel, actuaries, and other professionals to quickly recognize and marshal the facts essential to the defense.

Attorneys

Name Offices Contact Practice Groups
Christopher M. Ahearn
Associate
San Francisco p: 415-536-3411
f: 415-442-4870
vcard / print / email
Tina M. Bengs
Shareholder
p: 219-242-8664
f: 219-242-8669
vcard / print / email
Brian D. Black
Shareholder
Greenville p: 864-271-1300
f: 864-235-8806
vcard / print / email
Violet H. Borowski
Of Counsel
Chicago p: 312-558-1220
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Karen N. Brandon
Shareholder
Chicago p: 312-558-1425
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Christina Maistrellis Broxterman
Shareholder
Atlanta p: 404-870-1748
f: 404-870-1732
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Preston R. Burch
Shareholder
Columbia p: 803-252-1300
f: 803-254-6517
vcard / print / email
Nancy A. Case
Of Counsel
Chicago p: 312-558-1421
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Robert P. Casey
Shareholder
Chicago p: 312-558-1250
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Thomas M. 'Tom' Christina
Shareholder
p: 864-271-1300
f: 864-235-8806
vcard / print / email
Ruth A. Cramer
Of Counsel
Chicago p: 312-558-1220
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Christina M. Crockett
Associate
Washington p: 202-887-0855
f: 202-887-0866
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Ellisa H. Culp
Of Counsel
Greenville p: 864-271-1300
f: 864-235-8806
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Joel A. Daniel
Shareholder
Greenville p: 864-271-1300
f: 864-235-8806
vcard / print / email
Christopher W. Decker
Of Counsel
Los Angeles p: 213-438-1283
f: 213-239-9045
vcard / print / email
Thomas E. Deer
Shareholder
p: 312-558-1238
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Benjamin I. Delancy
Shareholder
p: 202-263-0240
f: 202-887-0866
vcard / print / email
Bruce J. Douglas
Shareholder
Minneapolis p: 612-336-6858
f: 612-339-0061
vcard / print / email
Vance E. Drawdy
Shareholder
Greenville p: 864-271-1300
f: 864-235-8806
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Aimee E. Dreiss
Associate
Chicago p: 312-558-1426
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Theresa Donahue Egler
Shareholder
Morristown p: 973-630-2309
f: 973-656-1611
vcard / print / email
William A. Gray
Shareholder
Atlanta p: 404-870-1709
f: 404-870-1732
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Jon M. Gumbel
Shareholder
Atlanta p: 404-870-1829
f: 404-870-1732
vcard / print / email
Thomas L. Henderson
Shareholder
Memphis p: 901-766-4317
f: 901-767-7411
vcard / print / email
E. Burke Huber
Shareholder
San Antonio p: 210-354-1300
f: 210-277-2702
vcard / print / email
Stacey A. Huse
Of Counsel
Indianapolis p: 317-916-2137
f: 317-916-9076
vcard / print / email
Steven Hymowitz
Of Counsel
New Orleans p: 504-648-2600
f: 504-648-3859
vcard / print / email
Robert L. Ivey
Of Counsel
Houston p: 713-655-5755
f: 713-655-0020
vcard / print / email
Kimberly A. Jones
Associate
Chicago p: 312-558-1237
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Ann Carr Mackey
Shareholder
Indianapolis p: 317-916-2525
f: 317-916-9076
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Tevis Marshall
Of Counsel
Richmond p: 855-843-1808
f: 855-843-1809
vcard / print / email
Eric P. Mathisen
Shareholder
p: 219-242-8666
f: 219-242-8669
vcard / print / email
Gayle M. Meadors
Of Counsel
Chicago p: 312-558-1255
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Ruth Anne Collins Michels
Shareholder
Atlanta p: 404-870-1725
f: 404-870-1732
vcard / print / email
John A. Morrison
Shareholder
p: 404-870-1751
f: 404-870-1732
vcard / print / email
Sean P. Nalty
Shareholder
San Francisco p: 415-442-4810
f: 415-442-4870
vcard / print / email
Vicki M. Nielsen
Of Counsel
Washington p: 202-263-0176
f: 202-887-0866
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Elizabeth W. O'Gara
Of Counsel
Indianapolis p: 317-916-1300
f: 317-916-9076
vcard / print / email
Eric D. Penkert
Associate
Greenville p: 864-271-1300
f: 864-235-8806
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Robert S. Phifer
Shareholder
Charlotte p: 704-405-3139
f: 704-342-4379
vcard / print / email
Peter D. Post
Of Counsel
Pittsburgh p: 412-394-3333
f: 412-232-1799
vcard / print / email
Amanda T. Quan
Associate
Cleveland p: 216-241-6100
f: 216-357-4733
vcard / print / email
Catherine R. Reese
Shareholder
Indianapolis p: 317-916-2536
f: 317-916-9076
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Stephen A. Riga
Associate
Indianapolis p: 317-916-2502
f: 317-916-9076
vcard / print / email
Grace H. Ristuccia
Associate
Chicago p: 312-558-3027
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
David S. Rosner
Of Counsel
Washington p: 202-263-0164
f: 202-887-0866
vcard / print / email
Jason A. Rothman
Shareholder
Cleveland p: 216-241-6100
f: 216-357-4733
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Mark E. Schmidtke
Shareholder
p: 219-242-8668
f: 219-242-8669
vcard / print / email
Stanley G. Schroeder
Shareholder
St. Louis p: 314-827-3429
f: 314-802-3936
vcard / print / email
Karen Trapnell Shriver
Associate
Atlanta p: 404-260-1475
f: 404-870-1732
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Kurt J. Smidansky
Shareholder
Cleveland p: 216-241-6100
f: 216-357-4733
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Stephanie A. Smithey
Shareholder
Indianapolis p: 317-916-2501
f: 317-916-9076
vcard / print / email
Timothy J. Stanton
Shareholder
Chicago p: 312-558-1249
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Daniel T. Sulton
Shareholder
Greenville p: 864-271-1300
f: 864-235-8806
vcard / print / email
Laura M. Summers
Associate
Atlanta p: 404-870-1713
f: 404-870-1732
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Michael R. Tricarico
Of Counsel
p: 305-455-3702
f: 305-374-0456
vcard / print / email
Natalie N. Turner
Shareholder
Atlanta p: 404-870-1735
f: 404-870-1732
vcard / print / email
Thomas Vasiljevich
Shareholder
Chicago p: 312-558-1224
f: 312-807-3619
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
Timothy G. Verrall
Shareholder
Houston p: 713-655-5751
f: 713-655-0020
vcard / print / email
Employee Benefits
C. John Wentzell, Jr.
Shareholder
Greenville p: 864-271-1300
f: 864-235-8806
vcard / print / email
Penny C. Wofford
Shareholder
Greenville p: 864-271-1300
f: 864-235-8806
vcard / print / email
John R. Woodrum
Shareholder
Washington p: 202-263-0247
f: 202-887-0866
vcard / print / email