Practice Areas

Fiduciary Responsibility & Investments

Investing the assets of employee benefit plans (both pension and welfare) presents unique issues. That’s why we regularly advise plan sponsors and trustees on the plan asset, fiduciary conduct and prohibited transaction rules to help them comply with the numerous requirements of ERISA Title I that apply to their investments.

In conjunction, we provide advice on the structural issues surrounding investments and the associated tax consequences, such as unrelated business income.

Our practice group routinely provides legal guidance about traditional investments, as well as private placements, offshore, real estate and other alternative investments. This includes advising about the prohibited transaction rules and related exemptions, and unrelated business income tax.

We have a long history of negotiating, drafting, or reviewing discretionary investment management agreements, side-letter agreements, custodial agreements, service provider agreements, and other related documents.

We regularly counsel clients on compliance with ERISA Section 404(c) when defined contribution plans permit participants to direct investments, including the requirement to select qualified default investments. We have provided expert advice to help several investment-managed defined contribution plans convert to participant-directed.

We also routinely address issues involving the fiduciary aspects of reporting and disclosure, including the representation of employee benefit plans in audits and investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Awards

employment_awards

Who’s Who Legal Awards

Charter Fellows of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Former Chairs of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section

New York Super Lawyers

Former Chairs of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section

Former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Equal Employment Opportunity Committe

AV Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell

Practice Highlights

  • Counsel to multi-billion dollar pension funds.
  • Successfully designed, created and obtained regulatory approval of a cutting-edge welfare benefit plan with multiple employer participation.
  • Negotiated a severance package and agreement for a senior executive of a Fortune 500 company.
  • Successfully defended a multiemployer pension plan against the Department of Justice, having several hundred thousand dollars in penalties abated.
  • Counsel to the employee benefit plans of professional athletes.
  • Established nonqualified deferred compensation plans for tax-exempt entities with significant assets.
  • Counsel to VEBAs with individual assets exceeding $500 million.
  • Negotiated an employment agreement for a senior executive in conjunction with a change in control.