Employee Benefits Policy

Our Employee Benefits Policy practice provides strategic representation to clients before Congress and the federal agencies on health plan, retirement plan, executive compensation, and payroll practices. In some cases we work on an issue at a discrete stage in the legislative process, for example obtaining clarifying committee report language; other times we will assist with an issue from the early phases of consideration by Congress through to the final rulemaking by the appropriate agency. Throughout, we focus on helping our clients navigate the political process to best advance their companies’ business strategies and objectives.

With respect to legislative matters, we typically provide clients with summaries and analysis of proposed legislation, draft legislative language, assist clients in developing policy positions and draft position papers, prepare testimony for Congressional hearings, and represent clients during meetings with Congressional members or staff. We also have experience managing and representing large coalitions of companies who choose to work together to advance a common goal on a specific issue. Our lawyers have worked closely with the Senate Committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, as well as the House Committees on Education and Labor, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce.

Our Employee Benefits Policy practice also assists clients with regulatory matters, particularly as the agencies are developing new guidance or policy positions. To this end, we have provided written comments on proposed rulemaking, testified at public hearings, represented clients in meetings with agency staff, and worked to resolve specific issues of interpretation on behalf of our clients. We have worked closely with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Labor, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Members of this practice include lawyers with a variety of government and policy experience. Our practice features a former Special Assistant for Fringe Benefits in the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits and Exempt Organizations), IRS, and a former Majority Tax Counsel for the House Committee on Ways & Means, among others.

Representative Engagements|View All
  • Launched a successful coalition of large companies from a wide range of industries for the purpose of urging IRS and Treasury to develop simpler rules applicable to substantiating the business use of cellular telephones, BlackBerry smartphones, and similar telecommunications. This initiative was ultimately instrumental in raising awareness of ongoing payroll tax controversies with the IRS, resulting in proposed legislation to remove cell phones from the category of "listed property" under IRS rules.
  • Provide Washington, D.C. representation for an insurance company during the current health reform debate, including monitoring and analyzing proposed legislation, drafting materials for Capitol Hill briefings, and representing client’s interests in meetings with members of Congress and their staffs.
  • Represented clients in successful lobbying efforts to narrow the scope and limit the effective date of Code Section 409A and persuaded Congressional staffers to adopt favorable rules in applying proposed $1 million cap on deferred compensation to supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP) benefits.
  • Represented Fortune 100 company at a meeting with U.S. Department of the Treasury regarding the taxation of wellness programs.
  • Analyzed legislative proposals in various states that would affect a health plan client and helped develop a response strategy, as well as draft legislative amendments.
  • Obtained closing agreement with IRS for prototype plan provider approving correction for 375 plans.
Government Experience
Corporate Experience
Rankings and Recognition
  • Chambers USA: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Team of the Year, 2015
  • Legal 500: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Team of the Year (U.S.), 2015
  • Chambers USA: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (National), 2015 - 2016
  • Chambers USA: ERISA Litigation (National), 2015 - 2016
  • Chambers USA: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (District of Columbia), 2008 - 2016 
  • Legal 500: Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (U.S.), 2010 - 2016
  • Legal 500: Government: Government Relations (U.S.), 2015 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (National), 2013 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (District of Columbia), 2010 - 2016