Press Release

Morgan Lewis Continues Chicago Expansion with Two ERISA Fiduciary Partners

February 09, 2012

CHICAGO, February 9, 2012: Morgan Lewis today announced that Marla J. Kreindler and Julie K. Stapel—two well-known ERISA fiduciary lawyers—have joined the firm as partners in its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice, resident in Chicago. Their arrival continues the firm's growth in the Windy City, where derivatives and commodity futures attorney Michael M. Philipp joined the firm's Financial Services, Investment Management, and Securities Industry practice earlier this week. Morgan Lewis has grown from 43 to 66 lawyers in Chicago over the past three years.

"At a time when U.S. retirement plan assets are valued at more than $18 trillion, Marla and Julie's extensive experience strengthens and enhances the services we offer our clients," noted Steve Spencer, leader of the firm's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice. "As respected members of the retirement plan investment bar—who are actively involved in leading buy-side and sell-side organizations—they are an exciting addition to our existing team of more than fifteen lawyers who practice primarily in the fiduciary area."

Ms. Kreindler and Ms. Stapel are active in the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association, and the Stable Value Investment Association. They are frequent presenters at events sponsored by Pensions & Investments, Women Investment Professionals and Worldwide Employee Benefits. They also often meet with federal government officials (IRS, DOL, and SEC) on retirement plan investment issues.

Ms. Kreindler concentrates her practice on the management and investment of employee benefit plan assets and tax-qualified retirement plans. She is well versed in the application of ERISA's fiduciary standards and prohibited transaction rules, and related banking, securities, and state insurance law requirements. Ms. Kreindler regularly counsels clients on their qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) and defined benefit plans. She represents a wide range of publicly traded and privately held corporations, as well as major banks, investment advisory and financial services firms, insurance companies, broker-dealers, and private and government pension funds.

Ms. Stapel focuses her practice on the investment and management of employee benefit plan assets. She advises and counsels a wide variety of clients on ERISA's fiduciary and prohibited transaction rules, with a focus on the application of these rules to investment products and services. She also negotiates investment management agreements, trust agreements, securities lending agreements, transition management agreements, ISDA agreements, and other investment-related agreements and documentation on behalf of both plans and service providers.

At Morgan Lewis, they join a national Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice that is one of the largest in the country and offers a level of substantive knowledge, industry experience, and technical skills that is virtually unmatched. Every day the firm's more than 80 lawyers and other benefits professionals use their skills as counselors, strategists, problem solvers and trial lawyers to assist clients in finding creative solutions to their employee-benefit-related business problems.