Employee Benefits (ERISA)

Practice Contact

Sharon M. Fountain
Senior Counsel
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View Employee Benefits (ERISA)

Thompson & Knight's employee benefits practice is interdisciplinary, drawing on the skills of the Firm's tax, employment and labor, and corporate attorneys to assist clients in complying with ERISA, tax, labor, and securities laws that govern employee benefit plans. Our primary focus is on representing employers - large and small, closely held and publicly traded - in industries including oil and gas, banking, steel, cement, hotel and hospitality services, distribution, retailing, manufacturing, and charitable and other tax-exempt activities. Recently, Thompson & Knight was ranked among the nation’s top firms in Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation by The Legal 500 US 2017 by Legalease. According to clients quoted in the directory, the Firm has "excellent business acumen and industry knowledge" and provides "practical and timely advice," representing "excellent value for money."

We assist in the design, preparation, and review of plan, trust, and employee communication documents to implement pension, profit sharing, employee stock ownership, fringe benefit, flexible benefit, and all types of employee welfare plans. Our employee benefits attorneys represent clients in obtaining Internal Revenue Service determination letters and private letter rulings, handling Department of Labor advisory opinions and prohibited transaction exemptions, securing Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation plan termination approvals, and preparing plan registration statements and prospectuses in compliance with securities laws. We also help employers discharge their employee benefit plan fiduciary duties involving ERISA and Internal Revenue Code prohibited transactions, claims disputes, plan interpretations, administrative procedures, and compliance with reporting and disclosure requirements. We work with the Firm's corporate attorneys to address employee benefit plan issues arising in corporate mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions and also represent parties in litigation over employee benefit plan qualifications, administration, and fiduciary responsibility.

Our attorneys combine the Firm's full business counseling resources with extensive involvement in professional organizations and continuing legal training in order to stay current on the latest tax management techniques and on the newest tax and other law changes imposed by Congress, the Internal Revenue Service, and the courts. With extensive experience in ERISA and federal tax matters, we resolve our clients' employee benefit plan challenges by creatively applying current and comprehensive knowledge of applicable law and best practices to their needs.