Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, ERISA Litigation, and Healthcare in the 2011 edition of The US Legal 500. Excerpts from the Guide are below.
Employee benefits and executive compensation: Groom is very responsive, knowledgeable in ERISA matters and provides practical advice, and the attorneys are easy to work with’. Commended for excellent Washington DC connections and keeping clients abreast of cutting-edge developments, the firm fields ‘experts in almost every issue related to employee benefits’. The firm, as the largest employee benefits specialty firm in the US, should be distinguished from the large law firms whose expertise in executive compensation and benefits is linked to transactional and regulatory instructions. It frequently receives referrals from other law firms in connection with benefits matters. The expert Washington DC-based practice group houses several former government lawyers, and the firm ‘knows its way around the corridors’. Recent representative assignments include serving as lead outside counsel in the re-design of a number of executive compensation arrangements at several Fortune 100 companies in connection with complex new requirements under section 409A of the Tax Code, and working with the in-house counsel of several Fortune 200 companies and large tax-exempt charities and foundations to redesign retirement and health benefits in line with current practice.
ERISA litigation: Groom garners high praise from its clients. The firm ‘knows its stuff, more importantly the advice it provides is practical and tailored to our unique circumstances’. ‘Advice and more importantly, results are exceptional.’ Recently, the firm obtained dismissal of a putative nationwide class action lawsuit against Paychex challenging its receipt of fees from mutual fund companies in which Paychex’s 401(k) plan clients invest. The firm is currently defending a putative class action lawsuit against New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and the NYSUT Member Benefits Trust challenging the receipt of fees in connection with an endorsement of a particular group annuity product.
Healthcare: Groom is recommended specifically for its extensive representation of healthcare industry entities in labor and employment matters, such as advising or litigating on employee benefits programs for retired medical workers or insurer health programs. Clients include Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association, Pfizer, Prudential Financial and UnitedHealth Group.
Congratulations to fourteen attorneys individually recognized for their outstanding work: Jon Breyfogle, Jenny Eller, Gary Ford, Tom Gigot, Lars Golumbic, Lonie Hassel, Chris Keller, David Levine, Mark Lofgren, Lou Mazawey, John McGuiness, David Powell, Mike Prame, Ted Scallet, Andrée St. Martin, Roberta Ufford and Brigen Winters. Mark Lofgren and Jon Breyfogle were also highlighted as “leaders in the field” and profiled online.