Calfee's nationally recognized Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group advises business and governmental clients on managing their most challenging legal and business issues related to benefits and compensation.
In addition to extensive experience with tax-qualified retirement and employee health and welfare benefit plans, the group’s practice also has a significant focus on the design and implementation of sophisticated executive compensation programs, ESOPs, merger and acquisition matters, and ERISA litigation.
We are experienced in all types of benefit plans, including defined benefit pension plans, 401(k) plans, ESOPs, executive compensation arrangements, welfare plans, Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Associations (VEBAs), governmental plans, church plans, 403(b) plans and 457(b) plans. Areas of recent growth include forming ESOPs and pooled employer plans and negotiating pharmacy benefit management contracts.
Chambers USA Band 2 Ranking in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Ohio)
Calfee's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group is consistently recognized by Chambers USA. Most recently, Calfee was ranked in 2021 in Band 2 for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation.
Chambers USA researchers stated the team is a "Respected group that works with a range of clients, including nonprofit organizations, public entities and private corporations. Noted capabilities in ESOPs, ERISA litigation and M&A-related issues. Well equipped to advise clients on compliance with fiduciary rules and other regulations." A client interviewed by Chambers USA researchers commented, "[My company] is extremely satisfied with the work [Calfee] has done for us. They are thorough, creative and responsive." Another source reported, "I have been impressed by the team and have strong confidence in its work and capabilities. I value responsiveness, and they have delivered that on a consistent basis. They display very strong knowledge of the matters in which I have involved them." One interviewee highlighted the practice's "strong knowledge of benefit plans and amazing ability to link things together."
In the Chambers USA 2020 guide, one client commented that "They're trusted partners who are fantastic and cost effective and their guidance is always top-tier, on point, calculated and strategic." Another commentator stated, "Their strength is their knowledge of ERISA, employee benefits and our plans; they always make time for our team, no matter how much we throw at them, they always get it done."
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice Chair, Robert A. Miller, was ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 2. A client interviewed by Chambers USA researchers relayed, "[Bob] is very knowledgeable and provides practical advice." In the Chambers USA 2020 guide, a commentator noted, "[He] is very knowledgeable and helpful in identifying solutions to complex problems. He always makes himself available and is thorough in all his work."
Partner Steven W. Day was ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 3. A client interviewed by Chambers USA researchers appreciates Steve's "level of performance, advice, diligence and historical knowledge of our plans." In the Chambers USA 2020 guide, he is noted as an attorney who "works the timelines very well, gets [us] good work product, and meets [my] expectations every time."
U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings
Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2021 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in Litigation - ERISA (National Tier 2, Metropolitan Tier 1 Cleveland) and Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (National Tier 3, Metropolitan Tier 1 Cleveland).
- Employment and consulting contracts
- Equity and phantom equity compensation plans
- Incentive compensation / bonus plans
- Non-qualified deferred compensation (Section 409A)
- Change in control arrangements
- Supplemental executive retirement plans
- 401(k) wraparound plans
- 457(b) plans
- Executive perquisites
- Public disclosure and reporting requirements for publicly held companies
Qualified Retirement Plans
- 401(k) plans
- Pension, profit sharing, stock bonus plans and 403(b) plans
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
- Cross tested plans
- Cash balance plans
- IRS approval process
- Plan design and documentation
- Coverage and nondiscrimination testing support
- Governmental retirement plans
- Church retirement plans
Health and Welfare Benefits
- Self-insured health plans
- Health Savings Accounts
- Health Reimbursement Accounts
- Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) arrangements
- Retiree Health Plans
- Medicare Parts C and D
- Employer Group Waiver Plans (EGWPs)
- Cafeteria (Section 125) Plans
- Flexible benefit plans
- Governmental health plans
- Church health plans
- Affordable Care Act compliance
- Investment Management Agreements for separate accounts
- Investments in private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate funds, collective investment trusts, infrastructure funds
- Arrangements with 3(38) and 3(21) fiduciary managers and advisors
- Transition management arrangements
- CFTC, NFA, ISDA compliance
- Investment policy statements
- Regulatory interpretation
- Fiduciary compliance
- Reporting and disclosure
- Investment management compliance
- ACA, HIPAA and COBRA compliance
- IRS and DOL audits
- IRS and DOL correction programs
Mergers and Acquisitions
- Transaction structuring
- Compliance and liability analysis
- Defined benefit and multi-employer plan liabilities
- Plan mergers and spin-offs
- Alternative equity transfer techniques
- Analysis of stock redemption issues
- Assistance in obtaining appraisals and financing
- Corporate governance and equity issues
- S corporation ESOPs
- Phantom and synthetic equity arrangements
- Disputed benefit claims (administrative proceedings and litigation)
- Breach of fiduciary duty claims
- Discrimination claims under ERISA Section 510
- COBRA claims
- Multi-employer withdrawal liability claims
- Department of Labor proceedings
A list of Calfee's representative Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice clients include the following:
- Align Capital Partners
- American Consolidated Industries
- Americhem, Inc.
- Automated Packaging Systems, Inc.
- CapitalWorks, LLC
- The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
- Chart Industries, Inc.
- Clark-Reliance Corp.
- Clearstead Advisors LLC (formerly known as Hartland & Co.)
- Covia Holdings Corporation
- Ferro Corporation
- FirstEnergy Corp.
- Hartzell Propeller Inc. / Tailwind Technologies, Inc.
- Hickok Incorporated
- Hyland Software, Inc.
- Invacare Corporation
- The J. M. Smucker Company
- Keller Group, Inc.
- Key Bank Investment Services
- Kirkwood Holding Inc.
- Koroseal RJF International Corporation
- Linsalata Group
- MavenHill Capital
- Medical Mutual of Ohio
- Morrison Products, Inc.
- MYR Group, Inc.
- Nestlé USA, Inc. and Nestlé Holdings, Inc., and related companies, including Nestlé Prepared Foods Co., Nestlé Purina Petcare Company and Nestlé Healthcare Nutrition, Gerber Products Company, Gerber Life Insurance Co. and Nestlé Dreyers Ice Cream Company
- Oatey Co.
- Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System
- Oswald Companies
- Playhouse Square Foundation
- Royal Appliance Manufacturing Company
- RPM International Inc., and related companies, including Tremco Incorporated, Carboline Company, Day-Glo Color Corp. and Dryvit Systems, Inc., Rust-Oleum Corporation, DAP Products, Inc., and Zinsser Co., Inc.
- School Employees Retirement System of Ohio
- State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio
- Tradesmen International, LLC