Employee benefits are key to the compensation package provided by employers. But they can be fraught with peril. Arent Fox offers the experience to anticipate even the most difficult and technical of issues.
Employee benefit plans and the laws that govern them are inherently complex and constantly evolving. By combining substantive knowledge in employee benefits laws with the talents of experienced litigators, Arent Fox provides clients with the requisite tools, resources, and experience for success.
Legal 500 2012
Arent Fox LLP’s “excellent” Washington DC-based ERISA transactional team has a well-regarded employee benefits and, in particular, ERISA practice. The firm is very active in the correction of “problem” benefit plans for companies. The head of the practice is the “highly competent” William Charyk, who specializes in benefits, compensation, and real estate investment vehicles. Quana Jew is “extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of ERISA law” and has the “ability to work with people on all different experience levels and adjust her explanations.” The firm is also active in the representation of tax-exempt organizations, and has been retained by a large church organization to advise on a range of ERISA and employee benefits matters.
The “excellent” ERISA litigation group at Arent Fox LLP impressed in 2011. “The firm”s knowledge of ERISA and client services is “exceptional.” Practice head Carol Connor Cohen is “very smart, very responsive” and “is among the foremost ERISA experts in the country,” according to one client. Recent representative work highlights include a matter for Monsanto Company and its cash balance plan that involved four class actions involving seven corporate and plan defendants that were consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois. The Monsanto defendants prevailed on the largest claim in the case – age discrimination in the treatment of prior plan accrued benefits – on summary judgment. The decision in the District Court was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2010, and the United States Supreme Court then denied the plaintiffs’ petition for review in 2011. Nancy Heermans and Caroline Turner English are much admired; the former for her expertise in the interplay between employee benefits and bankruptcy, and the latter for her experience in class action lawsuits and cash balance plan litigation.