Michelle M. McCarthy is partner in the employee benefits and executive compensation practice. She advises both multiemployer and single employer clients on a variety of issues, including legal compliance, tax-qualification, drafting and design, healthcare reform, participant communications, plan investments, fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transactions, withdrawal liability, service provider contracts, benefit claims and appeals, and ERISA litigation. Michelle also represents plans and plan sponsors in connection with US Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service audits.
Michelle has acted as counsel to a number of multiemployer pension and welfare plans. She advises these clients on issues pertaining to coverage, claims and appeals procedures, Medicare Part D, Medicare Secondary Payer rules, coordination of benefits, preemption, subrogation, eligibility, COBRA, HIPAA, USERRA, and GINA compliance. She also counsels on mental health parity, reporting and disclosure, fiduciary rules, claims and eligibility fraud, and state healthcare laws.
In addition, Michelle drafts and advises on all types of qualified employee retirement plans, including 401(k), defined benefit, 403(b) tax deferred annuities, and 457 plans. She also counsels employers on executive compensation issues and represents clients in Internal Revenue Service and US Department of Labor corrective programs and determination requests.
In the qualified employee welfare plans arena, Michelle drafts, amends, reviews, and revises plan documents, summary plan descriptions, summaries of material modifications, COBRA and other participant notices, claims and appeals procedures, and business associate agreements. She also handles third-party administrative agreements, fiduciary insurance documents, stop-loss insurance documents, HIPAA privacy practices, withholding and reporting documentation, third-party insurance documents, and investment policies.
Before joining Morgan Lewis, Michelle was a partner in the employee benefits and compensation practice of a national law firm, resident in Los Angeles.
University of San Diego School of Law, 1998, LL.M., Taxation
University of San Diego School of Law, 1998, J.D.
University of California, Riverside, 1995, B.A., cum laude
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Los Angeles, The Best Lawyers in America (2020)
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Chambers USA (2019)
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Employee Benefits (ERISA Law), US News/Best Lawyers – Best Law Firms (2019)
Member, Taxation Section, State Bar of California
Former chair, Taxation Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Member, Los Angeles Chapter, Western Pension and Benefits Committee
Member, Taxation Section, American Bar Association
Member, Women's Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
Vice-chair, Compensation and Benefits Committee, California State Bar
Member, Board of Directors, Free Arts for Abused Children