On November 26, 2021, Groom Law Group lost its founder, friend and leader, Theodore R. Groom.

In 1975, Ted co-founded Groom and Nordberg, which evolved to become Groom Law Group, Chartered, the nation’s foremost benefits, retirement and healthcare law firm. Prior to founding the firm, Ted had clerked for the Chief Judge for United States District Court of Maryland and worked as a tax lawyer at the Washington, D.C. firm, Hedrick & Lane. Ted practiced law at the Groom firm for 45 years, the major portion of his nearly 60 year career.

In the 1970s, Ted was instrumental in the development of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), particularly its landmark fiduciary responsibility provisions. Following its enactment in 1974, Ted worked closely with federal regulators to develop the initial guidance on ERISA to enable the prudent and efficient management of billions of dollars in pension plan assets.

Several years later, Ted represented one of the largest multiemployer plans in the U.S. as part of a broad coalition of management, labor and pension funds. He was a leader in the coalition’s development and advocacy of the major amendments to ERISA that were enacted by Congress as the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments of 1980.

Throughout this same period, Ted expanded his reputation as a highly skilled tax lawyer. He was nationally recognized for his representation of the mutual life insurance industry in connection with the sweeping tax law changes in the mid-1980s. Ted’s tax expertise was widely respected by IRS and Treasury officials, congressional tax committee staffs, and other legal practitioners across the country.

Ted was whip smart, intellectually curious and creative. He was unerringly honest and upright, and unfailingly courteous in his dealings with adversaries and allies alike. Ted worked tirelessly in the service of the Firm’s clients and believed that the Firm’s work was critical to the well-being of millions of people. He was an exacting, supportive and influential mentor and friend to generations of lawyers.

Ted was honorable to his core. He preached and exemplified what he called “firm values,” including professional integrity, dedication to client service and respect for all who touch the firm in any way. These values took root and served the firm well. They continue to guide us today.

We remember Ted as a mentor, teacher, trusted colleague and friend, as a man who loved the law, and, most of all, as a man who loved and supported his family, friends and colleagues.


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Journal of Pension Benefits