Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance Leader
Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance Professionals
Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance Expertise
Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance Related Sectors & Services

Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance


Clark Hill’s employee benefits team combines knowledge and experience in ERISA and state-law employee benefits issues with skills honed in a variety of related practice areas. This diverse team of attorneys and professionals combines their labor & employment, taxation, trusts, insurance, commercial litigation and appellate practice with their knowledge of plan design and administration, multiemployer plans, benefit claims and fiduciary duty issues to provide an integrated approach to serving the full range of our clients’ employee benefit needs. Our attorneys are all active members of the industry and bar association groups that deal with employee benefits matters and have authored many articles, webinars and other presentations in the benefits area. We have substantial experience in dealing with the IRS, Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.


Clark Hill’s employee benefits team of attorneys counsel businesses, governmental entities and individual clients regarding a full range of benefits issues. Our full line of employee benefits services include:

Drafting and implementation of plans
Preparation of IRS, Department of Labor and PBGC filings
Assistance with IRS, Department of Labor and PBGC plan audits
Qualified plan correction program compliance

QUALIFIED PENSION PLANS. We deal with all types of tax-qualified plans, including profit sharing, defined benefit, 401(k), money purchase, employee stock ownership and multiemployer and multiple employer plans.

WELFARE AND FRINGE BENEFITS PLANS. Our expertise regarding welfare and fringe benefit plans includes cafeteria plans, flexible spending accounts, HRAs, severance plans, VEBAs, group health plans and disability plans.

GOVERNMENT AND TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATION PLANS. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with issues particular to governmental entities and tax-exempt organizations, including 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans, 457(f) plans and intermediate sanction rules.

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION. Our attorneys also represent and counsel clients regarding all areas of executive compensation, including non-qualified deferred compensation and incentive compensation, stock option plans, phantom stock plans and SERPs.


Clark Hill attorneys represent employers, fiduciaries, insurers and third party administrators regarding all manner of claims before federal and state trial and appellate courts and administrative agencies. Our litigation experience includes defending claims in the following areas:

  • Medical benefits claims
  • Disability benefits claims
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Discrimination claims
  • ERISA reporting and disclosure claims
  • Multiemployer plan contribution claims
  • Withdrawal liability claims

Combining their plan design and administration, and litigation skills and experience, our attorneys also counsel employers and fiduciaries on methods for avoiding adverse claims. When matters reach the litigation stage, Clark Hill attorneys are experienced in handling claims both under ERISA and, where ERISA is inapplicable, under pertinent state laws. 

For more information on our ERISA Litigation services, click here.


With assistance from  Kristi Gauthier,  Ed Hammond, Peter Domas and Bishop Bartoni, Kevin Hendrick and Nicole Tersigni successfully defended an insurance priority dispute, resulting in an extremely favorable judgment for firm client, United States Steel Corporation’s ERISA-governed Retiree Benefits Plan.  U. S. Steel Retirement Plan was joined as a third-party defendant in a pending dispute by a No-Fault Automobile Insurance carrier,  which had been sued by a healthcare service provider for unpaid patient attendant care fees.  The No-Fault Carrier claimed that the obligation to pay for these services under Michigan No-Fault law  fell to U. S. Steel Retirement Plan, which covered the patient (who was a former U. S. Steel employee).  Ed, Bishop, Kristi and Peter lent their expertise to Kevin and Nicole in interpreting alleged conflicting insurance priority provisions and explanations of benefits.  Kevin and Nicole crafted a legal argument that ultimately led to summary disposition in favor of U.S. Steel Plan, and against the No-Fault carrier, saving U.S. Steel Plan from payment of the healthcare fees, and also reimbursing U.S. Steel Plan for benefits it had earlier paid by mistake, out of priority.  As the No-Fault carrier had rejected the Case Evaluation award prior to the filing of cross motions for summary disposition, it also appears that attorney  fees are recoverable for our client.  Kristi and Ed on Employee Benefit law, Bishop on Michigan No-Fault law, and Pete on Health Care issues, proved to be unbeatable resources.

Newsletter Alerts
2018 Benefits LimitsSupreme Court Unanimously Extends the "Church Plan" ERISA Exemption to Plans Originally Established by Non-Church AffiliatesDOL Extends Fiduciary Rule Effective Date for 60 DaysPresident Issues Executive Order Addressing Affordable Care Act RepealSome Small Employers May Reimburse Employees' Premium and Other Uninsured Medical ExpensesIRS Offers A Short Extension For Certain ACA ReportsIRS Taketh and Giveth: Plan Determination Letter Program Scaled Back, Remedial Amendment Period Extended“They’re Here!” – Department of Labor Issues Final ERISA Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest RegulationsSome Small Employers May Have Reporting Obligations Under the Affordable Care ActHealth Coverage Providers: Deadlines for Health Coverage Providers to Report Minimum Essential Coverage are Approaching Supreme Court Reaffirms Limits on Benefit Plan Subrogation ClaimsWisconsin Court Rules Wellness Program Not a Violation of the ADAIRS Announces Short Extension in Affordable Care Act ReportingCadillac Tax Delayed Until 2020 Under New Spending BillThe Impact of the Obergefell Decision on Employer Health and Welfare Benefits Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the "Cadillac" Health Plan TaxEEOC to Issue Proposed Rule on the Impact of the ADA on Wellness ProgramsDOL Issues Much-Anticipated Fiduciary Definition and Conflicts of Interest RuleDOL Final Rule Provides Flexibility on Annual Participant Fee Disclosure RequirementsIRS Issues Transitional Relief for Certain Employers Sponsoring Employer Payment PlansEEOC Sues Employers Over Wellness Programs, Despite Lack of Guidance2015 Benefits Limits - Multiemployer Pension Reform Signed Into LawEmployers Prohibited From Reimbursing Individual Plan Premiums Even On An After-Tax BasisHealth Plan Identifier (HPID) Requirement Delayed Indefinitely by HHSFinal Regulations Issued on Excepted BenefitsContradictory Court Rulings on Tax Credits for PPACA Federal ExchangesSupreme Court Strikes a Long-standing Presumption of Prudence for ESOP FiduciariesBREAKING NEWS: Final Regulations Issued on PPACA's Employer Shared Responsibility ProvisionsAgencies Expand Definition of "Excepted Benefits" Under PPACA and HIPAARecent Guidance Issued on PPACA and its Impact on Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Flexible Spending Accounts and Employee Assistance ProgramsImportant Reminder: PPACA'S Marketplace Notice Must be Provided to Employees by October 1stGuidance Issued on Federal Tax Implications of DOMA Ruling and Impact on Employee BenefitsDOL Issues Guidance on PPACA's Marketplace Notice to Employees and Revised COBRA Model Notice RequirementsDOL Issues Guiddance on PPACA'S Marketplace Notice to Employees and Revised COBRA Model Notice RequirementsHealth Care Reform Special Transitional Relief for 2014 Measurement Periods -- Are You Prepared?Questions Employers Should be Answering Now in Preparation for 2014 Employer Shared Responsibility ProvisionsHealth Care Reform Compliance in 2012 and Beyond...Are You on the Right Track?Health Care Reform Compliance in 2012 and Beyond... Are You on the Right Track? New Health FSA Employee Contribution Cap Fast ApproachingPPACA's Summary of Benefits and Coverage: Are You Ready?Healthcare Reform UpheldMichigan Pay to Play Law Targeting Service Providers to Public Employee Pension Plans Takes Effect
Sixty-Seven Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2018 Leading LawyersClark Hill Attorneys Named to DBusiness Magazine's 2018 Top Lawyers ListClark Hill PLC Receives National and Regional Tier 1 Rankings in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms”Sixty-Six Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2017 Michigan Super Lawyers & Rising StarsSeventy-Four Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Attorneys Named 2017 “Leaders in their Field” by Chambers USATwenty-Eight Clark Hill Attorneys Named to DBusiness Magazine's 2017 Top Lawyers ListClark Hill PLC Receives National Rankings in the 2017 Edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms”Sixty Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers & Rising StarsSixty-Four Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2017 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Attorneys to Present During the 2016 MCMCFC Spring Management Conference & Trade ShowClark Hill Attorneys Named 2016 “Leaders in their Field” by Chambers USATwenty-Six Clark Hill Attorneys Named to Pennsylvania Super Lawyers & Rising Stars 2016 ListSixty-Six Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for the 2015 Super Lawyers Business EditionTwenty-Eight Clark Hill Attorneys Named to DBusiness Magazine's 2016 Top Lawyers ListClark Hill PLC Receives National Tier 1 Ranking for Litigation – Construction in the 2016 Edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms”Clark Hill Attorney Kristi R. Gauthier will Present to the Arizona Chapter for the Association of Corporate Counsel on the Impact of the Affordable Care ActClark Hill Attorney Kristi Gauthier will Present on Wellness Program Compliance for the Arizona Small Business AssociationClark Hill Continues to Grow Phoenix Office with the Addition of Arizona Employee Benefits Attorney Kristi R. GauthierClark Hill PLC Attorney Kristi R. Gauthier to Present During Crain's Detroit Business Webinar, "Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Small Business Community"