Advised a large multi-state employer on the maintenance of grandfathered plan status through complex mergers and acquisitions.
Prepared policies to track full-time employees for several companies, non-profit organizations, and municipalities.
Advised small and large employers on W-2, PCORI, and coverage reporting requirements.
Representation of religious publishers on a variety of pension, welfare benefit, and other compensation matters.
Work on pension and other retirement plan matters for an international distributor of religious texts.
Representation of a major church-affiliated university in connection with various retirement and welfare plan matters.
Claims & Litigation
Blankenship v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 644 F.3d 1350 (11th Cir. 2011). Reversing judgment in favor of Plaintiff and rendering judgment for defendant insurer, holding that denial of disability benefits was not arbitrary and capricious.
Cosgrove v. Raytheon Co. Long Term Disability Plan, 277 Fed. Appx. 879 (11th Cir. 2008). Affirming summary judgment and holding that burden under ERISA of establishing disability remained on a plaintiff even though disability benefits had been paid and then terminated.
McCay v. Siemens Corp., 247 Fed. Appx. 172 (11th Cir. 2007). Affirming summary judgment for defendants on claims seeking job separation benefits and holding that ERISA provision restricting plan mergers was inapplicable.
Piazza v. EBSCO Industries, Inc., 273 F.3d 1341 (11th Cir. 2001). Reversing class certification of claims alleging that ERISA fiduciaries incorrectly valued stock of plan sponsor.
Ex parte Bonner,171 So. 3d 614 (Ala. 2014). Granting petition for writ of mandamus and ordering dismissal of putative class claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty as to investment policy, based on sovereign immunity.
McCay v. Siemens Corp., 247 Fed. Appx. 172 (11th Cir. 2007). Affirming summary judgment for defendants on class claims seeking job separation benefits and holding that ERISA provision restricting plan mergers was inapplicable.
Adair v. Johnston, 221 F.R.D. 573 (M.D. Ala. 2004). Denying motion for class certification of ERISA reporting and disclosure claims based on indefiniteness of class definition.
Represented the employer and initial target defendant in 14 consolidated class actions of plan participants of an ESOP.
Collectively Bargained Plans
Representation of aviation company in connection with a stock sale and related issues regarding the multiemployer plans to which the company was obligated to contribute.
Representation of national health care provider in connection with various retirement and welfare benefit plan obligations arising from the collective bargaining obligations with different groups of represented employees.
Representation of employers attempting to discontinue obligations to contribute to various multiemployer plans, and in negotiations with such plans regarding the payment terms of assessed withdrawal liability amounts.
Deferred Compensation, Section 409A
Restatement of numerous deferred compensation plans and documentation of new arrangements for both publicly-traded and private companies.
Advice to numerous employers regarding the changes that can be made to various arrangements subject to Section 409A regarding both the design and administration of such arrangements, with special emphasis on the changes that can, and cannot, be made without violating Section 409A.
Advise clients on relief available for correction of certain operational failures under Notice 2008-113.
Ongoing benefits work for regional university.
Representation of a major church-affiliated university on various retirement and welfare plan matters.
Employee Stock Ownership Plans
Representation of technology company in conversion to a wholly owned Subchapter S ESOP
Regular representation of lending institutions in ESOP loan transactions.
Representation of Trustee of a wholly owned ESOP company in connection with the sale of a $60,000,000 manufacturing facility.
Representation of the plan sponsor and the selling shareholders in a $20,000,000 100% leveraged ESOP transaction.
Representation of an ESOP Trustee in a $18,500,000 100% leveraged ESOP transaction.
Representation of plan sponsors, Trustees, selling shareholders and lenders in various other ESOP matters.
Michael G. Marchant, et al. v. LaSalle Bank, N.A., et al. Represented Amsted Industries, Inc., the initial target defendant in this class action of 14 consolidated cases as returned to the N.D. Ala. after referral to Multi-District Litigation.
Equity Compensation Plans
Design and drafting of omnibus equity compensation plans for public and private employers.
Analysis of Code Section 280G (Golden Parachute) issues in transactions.
Advice on Code Section 162(m) issues in the design and restatement of plans.
Ongoing representation of government contractor on defined contribution plan, ESOP, and executive compensation arrangements.
Representation of government contractor regarding controlled group issues involving multiple lines of business.
Representation of government contractor in conversion to 100% S corporation ESOP.
Representation of administrative committee of one of the largest U.S. public retirement systems.
Representation of a state retirement system in connection with all type of tax-qualification, administrative, and litigation matters.
Representation of numerous municipal governments in connection with a myriad of plan design, administration and funding issues associated with their retirement and welfare plans.
Advice to various political subdivisions and governmental-affiliated organizations regarding the governmental plan status of their retirement and welfare plans.
Representation of employers who, despite having paid contributions into a state retirement plan, have been told by such plans that their employees were not eligible to participate in such plans.
Representation of both public and private national hospital companies in connection with the employee benefits and related compensation issues in various mergers and acquisitions, including both asset and stock sales, for more than 25 years.
Representation of all types and sizes of health care providers regarding the maintenance of the tax-qualified retirement plans of such providers when maintaining multiple plans that provide differing levels of benefits to the employees in different parts of the employer’s controlled group of corporations.
HIPAA Privacy & Security
Representation of employers of all sizes with data breach notification compliance as applicable to self-funded group health plans.
Work and advice for business associates of health plans and health care providers with respect to documentary compliance.
Assist covered entities and business associates of all sizes with implementation of policies and procedures.
Ongoing representation of religious organization on pension plan and welfare plan matters.
Representation of religious publisher on retirement and welfare plan matters as well as supplemental retirement arrangements.
Representation of private universities regarding benefit plan matters including 403(b) plans and early retirement incentive plans.
Representation of manufacturing company regarding transfer and assumption of defined pension benefit plan obligations.
Work on the design, implementation and administration of all types of defined benefit pension plans, including cash balance plans, for all sorts of employers, from small medical practices to large public companies.
Representation of employers in connection with the termination of their defined benefit pension plans, including the required notification of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation regarding such proposed termination and the submission of such terminated plans to the Internal Revenue Service for the issuance of a favorable determination letter.
Representation of large public companies in the spin-off of defined benefit pension plans and related required notifications to Internal Revenue Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.