- Managing Partner: John F McGuiness
- Firm Chair: Stephen M Saxon
Groom Law Group, Chartered has been at the forefront of developments in the nation’s employee benefits laws since Congress passed ERISA in 1974, drawing many of its attorneys from the federal agencies that regulate employee benefits and forging strong ties with key players in all three branches of government.
With fifty-five attorneys dedicated to the employee benefits practice, Groom offers clients unparalleled coverage of issues and disputes arising from ERISA, the Tax Code, securities laws, HIPAA, COBRA, ADEA, and the many other laws that govern employee benefits. Working in nine different practice groups, Groom’s attorneys build upon their diverse backgrounds to share a common understanding of employee benefits law that enables them to integrate their efforts across areas of specialization to produce the best results for their clients. The firm prides itself on offering state-of-the-art advice on best practices and emerging trends in employee benefits to a diverse group of clients across the country. The firm recently expanded to serve the employee benefits needs of clients maintaining plans covering workers in Puerto Rico. Groom emphasizes a team approach to clients that assures responsive and efficient service.
Main Areas of Practice:
Executive compensation practices have recently received unprecedented attention from the media, corporate shareholders, Congress, the IRS, and the SEC. The attorneys in Groom’s Executive Compensation Group navigate this highly charged climate for clients, helping them to design and implement executive compensation arrangements that satisfy corporate objectives while holding up under the scrutiny of federal regulatory agencies.
From the first regulations and exemptions issued by the Department of Labor to issues seen in today’s news, the attorneys in the Fiduciary Responsibility Group have helped to shape every major administrative initiative related to ERISA’s fiduciary responsibility provisions. Their long-standing relationships with senior policymakers at the Department of Labor enable them to provide state-of-the-art advice and effective advocacy for Fortune 100 plan sponsors and major players throughout the community of plan service providers.
Governmental plans are some of the largest plans in the nation, and while exempt from ERISA and significant parts of the Internal Revenue Code, they are subject to state or local law and special rules under the Internal Revenue Code. The firm represents many state and local plans of all types, including Code 401(a), Code 403(b) and Code 457 plans.
Health & Welfare:
The attorneys in Groom’s Health and Welfare Group are regularly called upon to advise and provide planning assistance to employers, trustees, administrators, boards of directors and other plan fiduciaries and professionals on awide variety of ERISA and tax issues. The group is playing a major role helping clients meet the challenges posed by the massive new federal healthcare reform legislation. The firm provides an array of services to managed care organizations, insurance companies, benefit funds, trade associations, benefits consulting firms, and others on a broad range of health and welfare matters.
Combining across-the-board expertise in employee benefits law with a recognition that some disputes can and must be won in the courts, Groom takes on cases throughout the country for plan sponsors, financial institutions, managed care organizations, service providers, trade associations, and other clients who are seeking practical, tough-minded representation in employee benefits disputes.
Groom’s attorneys have been working on multiemployer plan issues since before the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 was passed. Since then, the firm has continued to focus on multiemployer plan issues, representing both multiemployer pension and welfare plans, as well as contributing employers, with respect to issues such as plan funding, fiduciary compliance, mass withdrawal, insolvency, and compliance with ‘endangered’ and ‘critical’ status requirements.
Plan Design & Taxation:
Groom’s Plan Design and Taxation Group has earned a national reputation for its expertise in the creation and operation of all forms of employee benefit programs. Drawing on decades of experience, the attorneys on this team work with Fortune 100 companies, associations, government entities, churches, and financial institutions to design and maintain plans that adhere to regulatory standards and evolve to meet the needs of their sponsors.
Plan Funding & Restructuring:
Drawing on their unparalleled experience and longstanding relationships with key federal agencies, Groom’s Plan Funding and Restructuring Group negotiates and litigates benefits issues and provides creative, forward-looking advice on pension and health liabilities to clients involved in corporate transactions, bankruptcies, and restructurings outside bankruptcy.
Policy & Legislation:
Drawing on their substantive expertise and hands-on experience – one member of the firm’s group was the tax and pension counsel to the House Ways and Means Committee and another was the chief legislative liaison for the Department of Labor – Groom works on benefits-related policies and legislation with members of Congress and the Executive Branch on behalf of trade associations, plan sponsors, financial institutions, healthcare organizations, and other clients from the benefits community.
Clients:Areas of PracticeExecutive Compensation
Health & Welfare
Plan Design & Taxation
Plan Funding & Restructuring
Policy & Legislation
Public & Multiemployer Plans
Representative Clients: American Benefits Council, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, California State Teachers Retirement System, Eli Lilly, Hess Corporation, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, Pfizer, Prudential Financial, Toshiba America, Viacom.