Hinshaw's attorneys provide comprehensive counsel and advice to clients in a wide range of complex employee benefits matters involving qualified retirement plans, ESOPs, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation and employment agreements, as well as other employee benefits. The group's attorneys have provided counseling and litigation representation throughout the United States to business corporations, tax-exempt organizations, local governmental entities and individuals.
Litigation and Governmental Investigations
Hinshaw's Employee Benefits attorneys represent clients in all types of litigation involving employee benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other applicable laws. Such litigation has included cases involving contested benefit claims, breaches of fiduciary responsibility, insolvent group health plans, service provider errors and omissions, plan termination liability to the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and COBRA continuation coverage liability.
The group's attorneys also represent clients in connection with investigations by the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor and in connection with employee plan audit examinations by the Internal Revenue Service.
Pension and Profit Sharing Plans
Hinshaw's Employee Benefits attorneys' experience with qualified pension and profit sharing plans runs the gamut. It includes correcting serious operational and document failures of qualified retirement plans through the various IRS correction programs; terminating qualified retirement plans; securing the necessary administrative approvals from the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation for dealing with residual plan assets in over-funded defined benefit plans; advising with respect to plan fiduciary obligations, prohibited transactions, participant disclosure and communication, and IRS and Department of Labor reporting obligations; and designing, drafting, and amending various types of qualified retirement plans, including defined benefit plans, ESOPs, target benefit plans, profit sharing plans, 403(b) plans, and 401(k) plans.
Health and Welfare Plans
Hinshaw's attorneys assist clients in structuring, administering, and terminating both insured and self-funded health and welfare plans in compliance with the requirements of ERISA, COBRA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions
The firm's Employee Benefits attorneys work with Hinshaw's corporate and securities attorneys in ensuring the proper handling of employee plans and other benefit programs in corporate mergers and acquisitions, including advising buyers and sellers on due diligence issues, merging target company benefit plans into acquiring company benefit plans, and taking steps to terminate or spin off overlapping, conflicting or costly benefit programs.
Executive Compensation Plans and Agreements
The firm's Employee Benefits attorneys have assisted clients in implementing various compensation arrangements, such as stock option plans, phantom stock plans, restricted stock awards, and supplemental retirement and deferred compensation arrangements, as well as complex individualized employment and stock option agreements for top management.