Our Employee Benefits attorneys frequently represent clients in complex fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transaction matters, both in counseling and litigation, including controversies involving the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We have obtained groundbreaking prohibited transaction exemptions for the contribution of employer stock to retirement and health plans. In addition, we have obtained the two key favorable Advisory Opinion Letters permitting employers to use plan assets to reimburse the compensation and related expenses of employees who provide services to their plans.
Firm attorneys have extensive experience in assessing the need for and retaining independent fiduciaries when a plan’s normal fiduciaries are conflicted, particularly in situations involving ESOPs, tender offers and settlement of fiduciary breach claims. We have assisted a number of clients in preparation for DOL audits, including identifying problem areas, helping them respond to questions from government auditors and negotiating favorable settlements when there have been adverse determinations.
We provide ongoing fiduciary counseling, routinely advising fiduciaries and plan administrators of their duties with regard to investment decisions, governance issues, plan amendments and design, and participant communications. Firm attorneys assist clients with standardizing their review processes, developing tools and checklists and establishing sound policies and procedures for all employee benefit plans. Kilpatrick Townsend has a well-developed cross-team practice in pension management.