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Employee Benefits / ERISA

The Adams and Reese Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Team advises and represents clients in all phases of employee benefits design and administration and legal representation before regulators and courts.

The Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Team handles plan design issues, performs qualified plan work and offers ongoing legal counsel on timely reporting and fiduciary compliance.  We perform qualified plan work under the Internal Revenue Code; if there is an issue with a plan document or the way the plan has been operated, our team will help you correct the issue and obtain IRS approval. We can often suggest different ways to correct a problem so that you can choose the one that best meets your needs. Our clients often find a cost-effective solution due to our extensive experience.

Core Practice and Clients

Benefit Plan Design and Review: including pension and health/welfare plans, deferred compensation arrangements, executive employment agreements and stock option contracts, 403(b), 457 and other plans for governmental employers, not-for-profit and publicly traded and privately held companies.

Deferred Compensation:  restating numerous nonqualified deferred compensation plans for compliance with IRC Section 409A; advising clients with respect to plan design to avoid ERISA and 409A problems; working with 457 plan designs.

Fiduciary Counsel: addressing plan maintenance, administration and termination; we can advise on the spectrum of fiduciary responsibility and explain the actions you might take to avoid breach of responsibilities.

Compliance Matters: obtaining favorable determination letters for client plans, voluntary corrections, relief from penalties and excise taxes, and representation before state insurance regulators, other legal counsel and a variety of state and federal agencies.

ESOPs: designing types of ESOPs, advising on tax aspects and financial projections, answering questions relating to operations, dealing with tax elections and their consequences, handling IRS audits and DOL examinations, and providing general counsel for plans that have completed their cycle, transferred ownership and are ready to be terminated.

Representative Matters:

  • Advised plan and plan sponsor in the correction of prohibited transactions with court approval and represented the plan in the multi-year correction process.
  • Advised and assisted in the rehabilitation and correction of numerous qualified plans sponsored by private and tax exempt corporations.
  • Obtained qualification of several statewide governmental retirement systems, including advising system administrators, meeting with Boards of Trustees, drafting legislation and appearing before legislative committees. 
  • Advised and assisted in the successful assimilation of qualified and non-qualified benefit plans in corporate acquisitions.
  • Advised and assisted in the successful spin-off or termination of qualified and non-qualified plans in  corporate sales and reorganizations.
  • Represented clients in connection with Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor examinations.
  • Advised Compensation Committees concerning executive compensation issues.
  • Drafted health and welfare plans and cafeteria plans providing funding for such arrangements.
  • Advised plans in connection with claims and internal appeals filed by plan participants.

Our Attorneys

Members of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Team tailor their services for each client’s particular needs. This attitude grows out of the Adams and Reese philosophy of showing the client how it can be done, rather than telling them why it cannot be done. In order to meet their unique needs, our team members provide each client with customized services in numerous disciplines. As a result of the depth and breadth of our legal talent, our clients no longer need to sacrifice their time and money hopping from one firm to another in order to find the experience they need. Adams and Reese and its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Team solve those problems under one umbrella of services.

To minimize your time and expense, we have designed and archived many standard documents and plan provisions, avoiding duplication of effort whenever possible.  We have obtained IRS approval of our prototype defined contribution document for use by our clients. We will work directly with your other advisers and return calls promptly. Acting as a single point of contact, we gather the right information from our firm resources and team to answer your most complex and time-sensitive questions.