Emily Rickard focuses her practice on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and has devoted a substantial portion of her practice to the implementation and maintenance of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). She regularly represents companies, internal ESOP trustees, and external ESOP trustees in transactions as well as in ongoing compliance matters. Outside of the ESOP context, Emily advises clients—including employers, insurers, plan administrators, and consultants—on health and welfare programs, qualified retirement plans, nonqualified retirement plans, and executive compensation.
Emily represents employers in connection with fiduciary issues under ERISA, ERISA’s prohibited transaction rules, US Internal Revenue Code requirements, audits of employer-provided benefit plans, regulatory enforcement actions, and ERISA litigation. She also leads due diligence and addresses employee benefits liability related to mergers and acquisitions of public as well as private companies.
Emily is well-versed in design, administration, and compliance matters related to health and welfare programs. She frequently advises on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security requirements, continuation coverage (COBRA), disability leaves, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), consumer-driven healthcare (including HSAs and HRAs), on-site clinics, telemedicine, expatriate health programs, as well as on state and local laws.
Emily regularly writes and speaks on issues she encounters in her practice, including ESOP compliance, Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service enforcement activity, investment menu design, the history of ERISA, and ERISA’s fiduciary obligations.
Emily is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt University Law School. While in law school, Emily was executive student writing editor for the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. She is a 2014 Gary S. Tell ERISA Litigation Scholar. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Emily was an employee benefits associate at a large international law firm in Washington, DC.
Vanderbilt University Law School, 2015, J.D.
University of Pennsylvania, 2012, B.A., History
District of Columbia
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Benefits, Law360 (2022)