Employee Benefits & ERISA

Crowe & Dunlevy’s Employee Benefits & ERISA team combines depth and breadth of knowledge with extensive experience in addressing health/welfare and retirement/profit-sharing plan benefits issues, including those arising under ERISA, FEHBA, FEGLIA, Medicare, COBRA, HIPAA, ACA, and the U.S. Tax Code.

Comprehensive Service

Our attorneys advise on employee benefit plan issues at every stage, from design through implementation, administration, amendment and termination. We also represent clients in regulatory audits and investigations as well as handle disputes in mediation, arbitration, litigation, and before administrative agencies. Further, our attorneys have guided clients through the maze of the Affordable Care Act and are well prepared to take on the challenges of an evolving healthcare benefits landscape.

Advisory and Transactions Guidance

Recognized as leaders in the field by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers, our Employee Benefits & ERISA Practice Group has decades of experience advising on pension/profit-sharing and health/welfare benefits matters.* Our team includes attorneys with advanced tax degrees who have navigated corporate and commercial tax issues affecting both qualified and nonqualified retirement/profit sharing plans and executive compensation arrangements. Additionally, we are well-versed in the nuances of ERISA and thoroughly familiar with the complex array of statutes, regulations, regulatory guidance and case law governing health and welfare benefits.

Crowe & Dunlevy’s Employee Benefits & ERISA attorneys are adept at addressing benefits and compensation issues that arise when establishing and operating a business and throughout the business life cycle. Our specific experience includes:

  • Equity and incentive compensation, including stock options, profit sharing and a host of other benefits
  • Health and welfare insurance and benefits, including medical, dental, vision, life, disability, AD&D, dependent care, wellness and employee assistance
  • ACA application and compliance
  • Qualification, vesting and termination of benefits
  • Employment and severance arrangements
  • Qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, defined-benefits plans and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
  • Pension plans and pension investments
  • Governmental plans
  • Tax-sheltered annuities
  • Nonqualified deferred-compensation arrangements
  • Regulatory compliance and the establishment and implementation of voluntary compliance programs
  • Plan terminations, plan mergers and plan-to-plan transfers
  • HRA, HSA, FSA, MERP, cafeteria and other expense reimbursement and fringe benefit arrangements
  • HIPAA, COBRA and Medicare compliance
  • ERISA fiduciary matters
  • Employee benefits issues in business transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances and divestitures
  • ERISA reporting and disclosure matters
  • Employment agreements and executive compensation
  • Employee benefits matters in bankruptcies, restructurings and reorganizations
  • Tax structuring and tax implications
  • Plan design, drafting, implementation and amendment

Dispute Resolutions, Audits & Investigations

Our Employee Benefits & ERISA litigators represent employers, plan administrators and plan fiduciaries in disputes involving benefits and compensation issues and handle ERISA litigation. From individual plan participant and beneficiary claims through multiparty, multidistrict litigation and class action claims, we have represented clients in matters involving:

  • Plan interpretation, administration and modification
  • Qualification, vesting and termination
  • Payment practices, including medical provider subrogation and reimbursement
  • ERISA, FEHBA, FEGLIA, and Medicare preemption of state law, including tort and punitive damages claims
  • Exhaustion of ERISA and Medicare remedies
  • Benefits and coverage disputes
  • Continued medical coverage under COBRA and state statutes
  • Fiduciary obligations and breach allegations
  • Penalties for failing to furnish information or notice under ERISA and COBRA
  • Benefits issues in the context of bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings

In addition, our attorneys also have a wealth of experience advocating for our clients before the U.S. Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and state and local taxing authorities, and we regularly advise and assist clients in government audits, investigations and hearings.

Representative Experience

  • Achieved a favorable settlement for a national PBM in a multimillion-dollar dispute with pharmacies and state insurance department over application of new, aggressive state laws purporting to govern drug cost transparency in employee benefit plans. The case presented a novel application of ERISA and Medicare preemption.
  • Providing ongoing advice to the benefit plan committee of a major oil and gas company, attending weekly meetings regarding claims under health/welfare benefit plans and successfully avoiding litigation since being retained.
  • Represented major state hospital in a putative class action dispute regarding propriety of hospital lien to recover medical expenses excluded from coverage under employee benefit plan. Won dismissal of case, which involved first-of-its-kind application of ERISA preemption of claims against a third-party provider.
  • Representing major telecommunications company’s defined benefit pension plan in dispute seeking alternative ERISA remedy for overstatement of benefits. The case involves novel interpretation and application of ERISA’s remedial scheme.
  • Represented a major health insurance company in a putative class action asserting RICO violations arising from exclusion of coverage of ear implants. This case involved a unique application of ERISA to preclude application of RICO.

Contact us for more information regarding employee benefits and ERISA.

*Crowe & Dunlevy provides no input for the mentioned rankings methodologies.

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