Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance Leader
Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance Professionals
Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance Expertise
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans
Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance Related Sectors & Services

Employee Stock Ownership Plans

Clark Hill’s benefits attorneys have significant Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) experience. For example, our  attorneys and other professionals have:

  • Counseled clients (sponsors, trustees and shareholders) as to pros and cons of ESOP implementation; worked with clients to understand related issues (e.g., funding requirements, fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transaction rules, pass-through voting rights, related administrative and legal compliance issues, etc.)
  • Assisted sponsoring employers, trustees, advisors and administrators with adoption, implementation and communication of ESOP plans
  • Represented lenders in connection with negotiating, structuring and documenting ESOP loans
  • Advised a regional manufacturer S corp with an ESOP regarding adjustments to ESOP distribution options and processes, as well as managing and funding repurchase liabilities
  • Assisted a national rail transportation company to fix multiple plan document and administrative errors under company’s ESOP, and obtained compliance letter from IRS waiving excise taxes and other penalties
  • Advised an ESOP company on refinancing its ESOP loan and restructuring its ESOP design in connection with reorganization of company’s business
  • Counseled an ESOP trustee of a publicly-traded company regarding securities compliance and exemptions, as well as fiduciary issues, in connection with a going-private sale of the company’s stock
  • Advised a publicly-traded diversified manufacturer on structuring dividend payments as deductible contributions to ESOP
  • Advised an ESOP sponsor with respect to rebalancing and reshuffling guidance (IRS Technical Assistance Request 4)
  • Counseled and assisted ESOP plan sponsors with Department of Labor audits
  • Counseled ESOP trustees with respect to issues raised by Department of Labor and assisted with resolution of same
  • On behalf of a successor independent ESOP trustee, worked with Department of Labor and selling shareholder/prior trustee to resolve ESOP sale valuation issues resulting in substantial sum being returned to ESOP trust
  • Counseled an ESOP sponsor with respect to IRS voluntary compliance submission and related correction concerning IRC Section 409(p) failure


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"