Morgan Lewis Continues Dramatic Growth of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice with Fiduciary Team in Washington, D.C.
- date: 02/04/2009
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 4, 2009: Morgan Lewis today announced the addition of two more attorneys to its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice. Their arrival brings the total number of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation professionals at Morgan Lewis to 85—an increase of nearly 33% in the past year alone.
Donald J. Myers—a former Counsel for ERISA Regulation and Interpretation at the Department of Labor, who also served as Assistant Chief of the Office of Disclosure Policy and Attorney Advisor at the SEC—has joined the group as partner in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. He is accompanied by Michael B. Richman, who joins Morgan Lewis as of counsel, after serving as counsel with Myers at one of the 15 largest law firms in the world.
"As difficult decisions about pensions, benefits, and executive compensation continue to make headlines, we are poised to help clients navigate exceedingly complex issues," said Bob Lichtenstein, leader of Morgan Lewis's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice. "Don and Michael's national reputation as go-to fiduciary lawyers for financial institutions and pension funds adds to our strength."
"Particularly in Washington, D.C.—where the size of our Employee Benefits group has nearly tripled over the past three years (from nine professionals, including one partner, back in 2006, to 25 professionals, including eight partners, today)—the firm has invested in a practice area that is especially important in today's volatile market and changing regulatory landscape," added Grace Speights, Managing Partner of the firm's Washington, D.C. office. "We are thrilled to welcome Don and Michael to the team."
Morgan Lewis's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice consists of 85 professionals based in 10 offices. It is one of the largest in the country and offers a level of substantive knowledge, industry experience, and technical skill that makes the firm a nationwide leader in finding creative solutions to companies' benefits and compensation problems.
Mr. Myers is knowledgeable on matters concerning ERISA fiduciary law. He is a charter fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, a member of the BNA Pension and Benefits Advisory Board, and a former adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. He has been recognized by Chambers USA and The Best Lawyers in America as a leading benefits attorney. He speaks regularly on fiduciary matters and, with Mr. Richman, is co-author of a number of publications on ERISA fiduciary issues.
Messrs. Myers and Richman focus their practice on the fiduciary responsibility provisions of ERISA and have experience counseling clients, including plan sponsors, money managers, broker-dealers, banks, and other financial institutions, on ERISA compliance issues. They have worked with plan sponsors on fiduciary governance issues, including fiduciary oversight of plan investments in employer stock, and with financial institutions in structuring investments for pension plans. As a former government official, Mr. Myers is familiar with government practices and procedures and regularly represents clients before the U.S. Congress and government agencies.
In their years of practicing together, Messrs. Myers and Richman have developed a special focus on ERISA-prohibited transaction issues. They have counseled clients on how to structure transactions in compliance with those rules, and have assisted clients in seeking exemptions from those rules from the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition, they have published a book on class exemptions, as well as a chapter in the treatise ERISA Fiduciary Law and an online compliance report on the subject.
Messrs. Myers and Richman join an impressive team that includes a number of former U.S. government officials, such as Dan Hogans, who was the Treasury Department's lead on Section 409A. In addition to working with colleagues in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice, they will work closely with other notable former government officials like former Deputy IRS Commissioner Mark Matthews, former IRS Deputy Chief Counsel Gary Wilcox, and Treasury's Former Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel Susan Brown, each of whom has brought considerable tax policy and planning experience to the firm.
In addition, they will be working with the former deputy solicitor of labor at the Department of Labor, Jonathan Snare, who will join Morgan Lewis later this month as a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice. They also will be coordinating with the firm’s Investment Management Practice—including a number of former SEC officials—to expand the scope of services Morgan Lewis offers its investment management and securities industry clients, which include eight of the 10 largest money managers listed by Institutional Investor and more than half of the largest 100 securities firms.
Michael B. Richman