Joel Wood advises clients on a wide range of issues arising under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, and other laws and regulations as they relate to employee benefits and insurance. His practice encompasses health and welfare arrangements, insurance, federal income and employment taxes, qualified retirement plans, and ERISA and benefit issues that arise both before, during and after corporate transactions.

Joel has extensive experience with regard to employee benefits issues in ERISA (including especially the reporting and disclosure rules of ERISA Title I, and ERISA’s claims-procedure requirements), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), COBRA issues, issues involving Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs), integration of state and local laws (including paid-leave laws and local health-care ordinances and requirements) with employer plans and policies, and all issues involving mental health parity, including the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).

For many years, Joel has focused on the ERISA and employee-benefits issues that arise in the corporate-transaction context.  Joel reviews, advises and helps companies navigate these issues – before, during and after any corporate transaction. From review and analysis of diligence material, drafting of parts or all of key transaction documents, negotiating resolution of crucial deal issue, and helping to make smooth the post-transaction integration process, Joel has been a key player at all stages of corporate transactions.

Joel represents employers, insurance companies, plan administrators, associations, financial institutions, and plan trustees on a broad range of employee-benefits issues. He counsels clients with regard to review and drafting of plan documents, policies, and communications, also working with clients to ensure compliance.

Additionally, he counsels clients on reporting and disclosure as well fiduciary matters under Title I of ERISA, and prohibited transaction issues for ERISA plans. Joel frequently drafts and negotiates contracts for insurance companies and health and welfare plans, including contracts regarding HMOs, PPOs, consultants, life insurance companies, and health care providers.

Joel writes and speaks frequently on a broad range of issues arising under ERISA, MHPAEA, and the ACA.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Maryland Bar Association


  • Senior Judicial Clerk, The Honorable Bruce Kasold, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • Judicial Clerk, The Honorable William P. Greene, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • Senior Judicial Clerk, The Honorable Jonathan R. Steinberg, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

Honors & Distinctions

  • Listed, The Legal 500 US, Healthcare: Health Insurers (2017)