District of Columbia

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - District of Columbia


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What the team is known for Weighty employee benefits-focused boutique, dealing with complex benefits and tax for finance, public sector and pension services industries. Numerous subspecialty practice groups providing substantive expertise across the spectrum, including fiduciary responsibility, health and welfare, and multiemployer/Taft-Hartley plans.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Groom has been spectacular from day one! They tell us the law and help us assess practical business solutions. They work very hard to understand who our business partners are and their personalities, and what they need from us. No cookie-cutter answers."

"They do exceptional work and are careful with the billing."

Work highlights Retained by various fiduciaries of Fortune 100 companies and significant Taft-Hartley Funds as outside counsel on ERISA and alternative investment vehicle considerations. 

Continues to advise numerous large private pension plan clients through all manner of cutting-edge transformation, preservation and derisking plans, including IRS compliance, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) funding and termination matters.

Notable practitioners  

Gary Ford continues to excel in litigation, planning and advice, particularly in bankruptcy contexts, capitalizing on his experience as former ERISA counsel to the Senate committee on labor and human resources, and former general counsel of the PBGC. He is well regarded by peers across the board, and one interviewee hails him as "the best ERISA lawyer I have ever met."

Louis Mazawey remains focused on the tax side of employee benefits, with clients commenting: "The level of expertise and ease in dealing with him is superlative." His considerable range of experience encompasses all aspects of benefit and compensation plans, from 403(b) and 457 plans, through IRAs and life insurance and annuity considerations. 

David Levine concentrates his tax and benefits expertise in the field of qualified, nonqualified and tax-exempt retirement programs. One sources attests: "He is terrific. We really appreciate his assistance, and relationships with regulatory agencies, which are critical in what we do. He gives us and our board very good guidance all the time."

Andrée St Martin has particular expertise in fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transaction work falling under Title I of ERISA. Her chief competencies include contract negotiation, investment structuring and obtaining prohibited transaction DOL exemptions. Market observers describe her as "knowledgeable, responsive, thorough and practical."

Head of the executive compensation group, John McGuiness has numerous areas of subspecialty savvy, including performance-based compensation, rabbi trusts, Sarbanes-Oxley issues and 409A deferred compensation rules. In addition to being a prolific writer and speaker, he too garners client praise for his "superlative level of expertise."

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What the team is known for Small but formidable group serving a significant proportion of the Fortune and Global 100 companies across the financial, restaurant, energy and technology sectors. Offers comprehensive, personalized subject matter expertise and staunch advocacy in complex arenas such as information reporting, fringe benefits and government agency matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Miller & Chevalier provides a level of tax advice to our company that is of the very highest quality. The firm always has a vast pool of talented professionals on the bench and under the watchful eye of the most experienced, top attorneys in any given area of tax law."

"In my view the firm is head and shoulders above other tax advisers and provides significant value to every project they are assigned. They have the unique ability to identify potential issues and recommend solutions that are practical."

Notable practitioners  

Marianna Dyson has an expansive perks and fringe benefit consulting, compliance and tax controversy practice that continues to go from strength to strength. She is noted for her wealth of government and private sector experience.

Fred Oliphant focuses on the federal tax concerns of employee benefit and executive compensation within Fortune 500 companies, with extensive representation experience in front of the IRS, Treasury and DOL. His sophisticated understanding of various plan intricacies and IRS section codes is celebrated by clients, who note both his "very strong technical knowledge" and his ability to "boil the complicated down into understandable fashion."

Gary Quintiere maintains his concentration on benefits matters, including 401(k)s, ESOPs, and Pension Protection Act funding and cash balance conversions for pension plans. He continues to bring his lengthy experience to bear, with clients commending his acumen, responsiveness and "breadth of experience in dealing with agencies."

Dual tax and employee benefits practitioner Michael Lloyd covers, among other concerns, a broad range of information reporting and withholding issues, especially for large, multinational and tax-exempt organizations.

Up-and-comer Elizabeth Drake continues to build on her existing counsel and advocacy experience, working across the varied plans spectrum, including on fringe benefit, multiemployer, health and welfare, and defined benefit plans - with a particular concentration on ERISA compliance and tax requirements. Clients note her "really strong technical knowledge and ability to research practical, sound legal solutions."

Fellow rising star Anthony Provenzano holds a triple focus on tax, ERISA and securities as applied to compensation and benefits, including IRS, PBGC and DOL controversies. Clients rate him "very good on 409A issues."

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What the team is known for Capitalizing on full-service capabilities - including discrimination, securities and healthcare expertise - to develop high-quality solutions to complex benefits and compensation issues. Strong presence at the cutting edge of regulatory developments, such as the ADA, to help shape and react to policy affecting benefits.

Work highlights ERISA counsel to Verizon in its recent $7.5 billion 'derisking' shift of pension liabilities to Prudential Financial.

Acted for The ERISA Industry Committee members in hearings on proposed regulations from the Treasury, DOL, IRS and Department of Health & Human Services (ADA legislation) affecting large employers' employee benefit plans across the USA.

Notable practitioners  

Chair of the benefits and compensation practice Richard Shea remains a leading light in the areas of cash balance, pension equity and complex benefit plan design, with peers asserting: "He's great on the Title II tax stuff." 

Amy Moore sustains her impressive reputation in strategic benefit and compensation plan development for a broad range of corporate, government and tax-exempt organization clients. Peers laud her as "a great lawyer, just terrific - very solid, knowledgeable, careful and organized."

Senior member John Vine continues to utilize his wealth of experience, particularly as long-serving ERISA Industry Committee counsel. His impressive career to date has included numerous appearances before institutions like the PBGC, IRS, DOL and Congress on the whole spectrum of benefits and compensation issues.

Significant clients Dow Chemical, GE, Textron, NFL, Xerox.

第二等 |

What the team is known for Boutique federal tax and employee benefits firm trusted by a wealth of impressive clients. Constantly evolving practice to keep up with the perpetually changing advice and counsel needs of a broad sweep of industry sectors.

Notable practitioners  

Tax and ERISA specialist Rosina Barker offers extensive tax legislation experience, honed in her former House Ways & Means Committee position, and in serving numerous large corporate clients, such as Ford, IBM and Barclays Capital. She bolsters her authoritative reputation across the tax and benefits spectrum with various speaking and writing engagements, most recently on the impact of Defense of Marriage Act changes in the workplace.

Kevin O'Brien possesses a long history covering the entire benefits gamut, with emphasis on defined benefit and contribution plans, executive employment, separation and compensation agreements, and ERISA fiduciary matters. His abundance of experience is built on a sturdy foundation in the DOL Pension & Welfare Benefits Administration.

Significant clients Boeing, FedEx, The Cheesecake Factory, AIG, Bayer.

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What the team is known for Substantial full-service benefits and compensation team feeding into robust national and international practice. Truly comprehensive coverage, including expertise in fringe benefits and payroll tax, and issues related to M&A, the Pension Protection Act and the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're all incredibly knowledgeable and responsive. Amazing turnaround time, even on in-depth information. Really insightful too, especially on issues we may not have thought of."

"Morgan Lewis has been particularly attuned to trying different billing arrangements and coming up with fair and reasonable proposals."

Work highlights Achieved a Fifth Circuit win for BNSF Railway, in relation to relocation benefit and stock option railroad retirement taxes, valued at over $22 million.

Providing benefit and compensation advice and counsel - particularly in Affordable Care Act compliance - for numerous big-name clients such as George Washington University, Toyota and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Notable practitioners  

Mary Hevener concentrates her practice on nonqualified retirement plan benefits for employees and independent contractors, encompassing everything from stock options and golden parachutes to fringe benefits including health and life insurance, planes and prizes. Satisfied clients affirm: "She is high on my list of respected lawyers."

Daniel Hogans combines a busy employee benefit speaking career, with considerable experience in equity and incentive compensation plans, ERISA and ESOPs. His broad knowledge base is reinforced by a history in the Treasury's Office of Benefits Tax Counsel, causing peers to assert: "I think he's excellent."

Althea Day holds a broad tax focus that includes qualified retirement, multiemployer and tax-exempt employer plans. Clients commend her as "extremely attentive and highly skilled" and report that "the gamut of what she covers is pretty amazing!"

Significant clients Google, Citi, American Airlines, Kimberly-Clark, Alliant Techsystems.

第二等 |

What the team is known for Strong track record in the employee benefits and executive compensation field. Encyclopedic coverage of plan issues for a host of clients, encompassing large and medium employers, trade associations and tax-exempt organizations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"All in all their ERISA advisory and litigation practice is great. Smart, accessible, efficient people there."

"Excellent in all aspects: service, knowledge and response time."

Work highlights Ongoing operation and compliance advice provision relating to the cash balance and other qualified pension plans of a large insurance company.

Notable practitioners  

"One of the most influential and sought-out practitioners in the ERISA space for good reason," Melanie Nussdorf retains her star status this year. Her expansive work across the benefit and compensation field includes a focus on fiduciary issues and ERISA prohibited transaction exemptions. Impressed peers label her "terrific in her field," while delighted clients note that "she's been really excellent at guiding us through the maze of ERISA," and assert that "she delivers clear, cogent advice in an exceptionally timely and professional manner, and is a joy to work with."

Head of the ERISA, labor and employment group, Paul Ondrasik has particular expertise in the litigation side of the benefits and compensation area. Major clients testify to his "very good strategic mind, practicality and ability to get people out of trouble."

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, FINRA, Allstate.

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What the team is known for A respected team offering support across four distinct subspecialty groups: executive compensation, health and welfare plans, tax-qualified retirement and savings plans, and ERISA litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They can predict or tell you where things are going. They are preemptive and keep us compliant."

"A national presence and a good solid practice." 

Work highlights Assisted the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans on regulatory provision to ensure smooth transition in health coverage following implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  

Made significant progress for The Washington Post Company in obtaining a favorable determination letter on an extremely long-running retirement plan filing with the IRS, concerning assets worth $1.6 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Thomas Schendt retains his focus on qualified plan compliance, with an emphasis on appearances before agency bodies.  In addition to a strong IRS background he is regarded by clients as "terrific, top-notch" and "exceptional and always available."

Significant clients Louisiana-Pacific, Ingersoll-Rand, Hilton Worldwide, Nokia, Regions Financial.

Band 3 | Arent Fox LLP

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What the team is known for Primarily tax and compliance advisory support for regional and national clients, with additional transaction-based benefit plan concentration. Covering the gamut of plans, from employee stock ownership and 401(k)s, to severance, fringe benefits, and health and welfare.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Honestly, I would not be as successful without the guidance and expertise provided by the attorneys at Arent Fox. Their responsiveness is impeccable. They keep us informed way in advance of important laws and changes, and the actions we need to take, which is something we truly value."

"The firm is responsive, highly competent and easy to work with."

Work highlights Acting as principal outside benefits counsel for international optical and opto-electronic company Carl Zeiss, encompassing advice on deferred compensation, retirement and welfare plans, and acquisition-based tax and regulatory issues.

Serving as outside benefit counsel to Par Pharmaceutical Companies, in its acquisitions, acquisition-based benefit transition and complex benefit needs.

Notable practitioners  

Quana Jew offers a multifaceted practice that includes tax, regulatory and design work on a variety of plans, such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457. One impressed source notes: "Ms Jew is the model of a valued external counselor. She elevates the legal profession, standing out for her responsiveness, knowledge, and ability to communicate."

Head of the benefits and compensation practice William Charyk retains his dual focus on benefit and compensation tax planning, and taxation of partnerships. Clients laud him as "very smart, professional and personal, all at the same time."

Significant clients Carl Zeiss, Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Choice Hotels International.

第三等 |

What the team is known for Pragmatic advice across benefits, tax and legislative matters. Particular emphasis on Congressional relations, tax and ERISA compliance and all manner of plans, annuities and insurance, including long-term care.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Legislative and lobby work - I would certainly give them high marks for that."

Notable practitioners

Kent Mason has a practice that covers the entire gamut of employee benefits, with recognized strength in tax, thanks to former roles in Congress and the Treasury.

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What the team is known for Collaborative practice encompassing ERISA, tax, securities and corporate governance, in addition to more traditional employee benefits and executive compensation matters. Extensive experience with governmental and agency bodies including the SEC, DOL, IRS and PBGC in underfunded pension plan contexts.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent. The employee benefits and executive compensation group’s responsiveness is unmatched, in my opinion. I am always confident in their practical approach to situations."

"I have great respect for the firm, largely due to their excellent client service."

Work highlights Currently acting for Boeing in two considerable ERISA litigation matters - one concerning transfer of defined benefit pension assets and liabilities in the sale of Midwestern parts manufacturing facilities, the other alleging mismanagement of Boeing's 401(k) plan.

Continue to serve Credit Suisse on investment fund ERISA plan asset concerns.

Notable practitioners  

Group cochair Michael Collins covers an impressive spectrum of matters in his practice, from traditional benefits and compensation work to more niche concerns such as split dollar life insurance, rabbi trusts, and excess benefit and top hat plans. Contented clients say: "He is extremely responsive and is quite helpful in relaying messages and information to nonlawyers. I trust him with all of our benefits work."

Senior compensation and benefits, and labor and employment partner William Kilberg is hailed by clients as "very well known in the industry. At the forefront of a lot of the law in ERISA from past cases." He combines excellence in the labor and employment field with a specialty in complex ERISA, frequently representing clients before state and federal courts, as well as in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

Significant clients Boeing, Textron, Kodak, Credit Suisse, UBS Financial Services.

Band 3 | Jones Day

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What the team is known for Interdisciplinary breadth and depth providing comprehensive expertise in benefits and compensation, as well as related fields such as labor and employment.

Notable practitioners

Evan Miller concentrates his practice on complex ERISA litigation, including stock-drop cases and defending contributors to Taft-Hartley plans. Miller cochairs the firm's benefits and compensation practice

Significant clients GM, JohnsonDiversey, HBO, CBS, Macy's.

第四等 |

What the team is known for Full-service firm providing comprehensive benefits and compensation support, with emphasis on media, banking and finance, real estate, healthcare, education and securities regulation sectors. Wealth of experience across the board, including in matters pertaining to M&A, joint ventures and IPOs, health and welfare and qualified retirement plans, and fringe benefits and employment taxes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They understand the issues, since we've been working together for many years. They take our suggestions or concerns and are good about saying if they can't pursue it in a certain way."

Work highlights Advised Dell in compensation and benefits matters surrounding its $24.4 billion go private transaction, including golden parachute payments, retention plans and equity compensation awards.

Provided broad scope compensation and benefits support for Papa John's International, including healthcare reform implementation and Section 409A compliance. 

Notable practitioners  

Kurt Lawson focuses his practice on benefit plans for partnerships, LLCs, governmental and tax-exempt employees. One satisfied client remarks that he is "very responsive and accessible. He is very interactive and knowledgeable in the areas we need."

Significant clients Dell, News Corporation, Papa John's International, Janus Capital Group, The McClatchy Company.

第四等 |

What the team is known for Supporting the benefits, compensation and ERISA needs of a diverse array of businesses. Strong Congressional and regulatory agency links, including with the Treasury, IRS, DOL and PBGC.

Work highlights Acted as outside counsel to the independent fiduciary committee representing participant interests in GM's recent derisking of its salaried pension plan, via annuity sale to Prudential Financial.

Represented the benefits and compensation interests - including protective arrangements of core benefits and compensation plans, and due diligence support - of ING Direct in its $9 billion acquisition by Capital One.

Notable practitioners  

Leader of the employee benefits practice group Mark Wincek is noted for his counseling, transaction and controversy work in the benefits field. Peers describe him as "a smart, able executive compensation lawyer."

Significant clients GM, ING Direct, Dun & Bradstreet, Frontier Communications, Yum! Brands.

第四等 |

What the team is known for Interdisciplinary aptitude covering employee benefits, executive compensation, ERISA litigation, tax, and public and private investment funds. Operates a Health Care Reform Task Force enabling a presence on the cutting edge of current and impending reforms.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have an incredible bench. The team I have there gives me everything I need."

Work highlights Represented Neuberger Berman's management team in the redemption of $850 million in preferred equity from Lehman Brothers ownership, and ongoing buyout of remaining common equity interests, with the view to eventual full employee ownership and control for Neuberger Berman.

Assists Chrysler Group on a range of benefits and compensation matters, including preparation of plan documents and bargaining agreements, required notices and government filings, and ongoing consultation.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the DC benefits, compensation and ERISA litigation practice Paul Hamburger continues his impressive track record in the field, continuing to serve as outside benefits counsel to a number of notable names, including Chrysler and SCANA. One satisfied client asserts that he is "strategic, accountable and can think outside the box."

Significant clients AOL, Bloomberg BNA, EMC Corporation, Honeywell, Reed Elsevier.

Band 4 | Venable LLP

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What the team is known for Noted emphasis on practical and commercially-aware advice on restructuring of employee benefit programs. Substantive experience across the board in benefits, particularly in the ERISA sphere, including dealing with varying requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We trust them, they're our go-to as a starting point on any issues. They're just an exceptional firm, providing top-notch legal advice. They'll give you the answer that's legally accurate, and can work through issues from a business perspective, for practical day-to-day application."

Notable practitioners 

Kenneth Hoffman heads up the firm's DC employee benefits and executive compensation practice.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

William Schmidt of K&L Gates handles employee benefits and institutional investing, and advises on the fiduciary responsibility side of ERISA. His financial institution clients include registered investment advisers, large employee benefit plans, banks and insurance companies.

Head of McDermott Will & Emery LLP's employee benefits, compensation and labor and employment practice, David Rogers has expertise in a broad range of benefits plan matters. One client notes: "His work is an outstanding combination of skill, knowledge of the area, and ability to fashion practical and economical solutions to problems, and practical and economical planning to avoid problems."

Raymond Cotton of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC concentrates his benefits and compensation practice on various nonprofit executives and boards of trustees, particularly with respect to the higher education sector. Sources describe his performance as "exemplary" and attest that he is "professional and a good listener."

The "incredibly good" Eric Keller of Paul Hastings LLP is regarded by clients as "a great lawyer - very knowledgeable and highly responsive." He represents clients on matters across the compensation and benefits spectrum, including plan design and preparation, particularly tax-qualified retirement plans.

Adam Cohen of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP's tax practice group works across the board in benefits and compensation, with particular strength in advising on extremely high-value M&A and dispositions. Sources say: "Adam is exceptional at translating advice for practical recommendations. He has taken the time to understand our company culture; and when you call, despite his popularity, he makes you feel like you're the only client."

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.