Employee Benefits & ERISA

Overview

“…notable expertise in executive compensation and employee benefits matters.”

— Chambers USA

A competitive employee benefits package can be a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent for your business. But regulatory and compliance requirements can make this an area of risk for employers large and small. For global and multinational companies, the risks escalate exponentially.

Blank Rome offers comprehensive employee benefits and ERISA support, from helping clients design and manage retirement and fringe benefit plans, to corporate transactions, to benefits and ERISA litigation. Supported by robust corporate and financial services, and backed by more than 300 litigators across 13 offices, our employment team can assist with a wide range of issues. 

The team serves as a “destination resource” for large employers, both for-profit and not-for-profit, seeking national benefits and compensation counsel. We also represent employers in connection with corporate transactions, such as mergers, stock sales, asset sales, as well as bank loans and bankruptcies, in which plan issues arise.

When litigation is necessary, our ERISA litigators apply a diagnostic approach to the operation of ERISA plans to ensure that they are legally compliant, to correct any deficiencies with minimum disruption to operations and, where necessary, to defend employers, plans, administrators, and fiduciaries in litigation. We routinely represent clients in ERISA matters before the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL"), arbitration panels, bankruptcy courts, federal district courts, and federal courts of appeal.

How We Can Help

  • design, drafting, and implementation of all kinds of retirement plans
  • welfare/fringe benefit plans and related documents
  • advice and counseling on COBRA compliance, HIPAA, and ACA requirements
  • drafting and negotiating benefits documents for corporate transactions
  • benefits and ERISA litigation
  • ERISA litigation counseling
  • Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") and DOL representation

What Sets Us Apart

  • Ranked nationally as a Tier 1 firm by U.S. News & World ReportBest Lawyers for Employment Law (Management), Labor Law (Management), and Labor and Employment Litigation.
  • Ranked as a top labor and employment firm by Chambers USA. Editors write that Blank Rome's Labor and Employment practice:
    • “Maintains a strong profile for its handling of complex trade secrets and restrictive covenant disputes. Also offers experience across labor law matters such as contract negotiation and unfair labor practice disputes. Fields notable expertise in executive compensation and employee benefits matters, as well as large-scale wage and hour litigation.”
    • "‘They certainly have a plethora of experts, and that's good when you need someone in niche areas.’”
  • We invest in long-term relationships and create client service teams to ensure effective and efficient delivery of legal services.
  • We place an emphasis on preventive measures to preempt problems before they arise.
  • We provide value-added services to our clients, including in-house training programs, CLE programs, legal briefings, and newsletters.

Experience

  • Representation of a global pharmaceutical business, including handling all benefits and compensation aspects of a transformative merger, and advice on all aspects of administration and compliance relating to qualified and non-qualified retirement, health and executive compensation plans and arrangements.
  • Representation of a large telecommunication and entertainment business in connection with all benefits and compensation matters.  Our work has included the redesign of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, the operation of the health and welfare plan, and the structuring of the incentive compensation programs of acquired businesses (and leveraging the combined employee group to lower per-unit administrative costs), as well as advice on all benefit aspects of the Company’s 100,000+ employee-controlled group, from daily employee communications to board and senior management advice.  
  • Representation of the U.S. arm of a global, publicly-traded French specialty chemical producer in connection with the operation of its tax-qualified 401(k) and defined benefit pension plan, including the successful representation of the client before the IRS in connection with a material operational failure relating to the defined benefit pension plan.
  • Provided employee benefits and executive compensation advice to a national specialty retailer with more than 5,500 employees, including advice in connection with the client’s initial public offering and ongoing benefits advice.
  • Advised a large regional healthcare system in connection with the failure to implement a healthcare policy for its employees that fully complied with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

News & Views

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