Employee Benefits/ERISA

We make compliance simple, designing employee benefit plans that give our clients a competitive edge while keeping them in step with the law.

Our approach

Employee benefits have been revolutionized.

Health Care Reform, the demise of DOMA and an aging workforce all contribute to the new landscape. While potentially overwhelming for employers, these changes also present new opportunities to attract and retain talented workers.

We approach employee benefits with a real-world, business savvy outlook.

Having spent time “in the trenches” as HR, governmental, general counsel and CPA professionals, we know the ins and outs of the laws and regulations governing employee benefits, which means we go beyond legal advice to provide strategic counsel on how your benefits programs can align with your overall business objectives.

Employee benefits touch many areas of your business—your employees’ health and future, your financial stability, tax obligations and your ability to compete in the market.

Our team is built around specific areas of practice, which allows us to identify the nuanced issues that can bring your benefits plans to the next level.

We see the whole picture and are committed to designing plans that will carry you safely and successfully into the future.

Who we work with

  • Employers to design and implement retirement, health and welfare and other benefit plans
  • Fiduciaries on the special rules that govern their conduct
  • Public and private for-profit corporations of all shapes and sizes
  • Universities, hospitals, arts institutions and other tax exempt organizations to structure retirement and deferred compensation plans that comply with the special rules of Sections 403(b) and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Banks, investment advisers and other financial institutions on compliance issues that arise in investment management and trust and custody services to employee benefit plans
  • Third-party administrators and insurance brokerages seeking a competitive edge in developing innovative benefits services
  • Multiemployer and Taft-Hartley fund administrators and boards of trustees on the administration of their plans

Pol says city should help employees buy out their retiring bosses

Crain’s New York | May 24, 2017

San Francisco labor and employment partner Karen Ng is quoted in this article about NYC Public Advocate Letitia James’ policy brief advocating for employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) as a succession plan for employees of businesses whose owners are preparing to retire.

Sneaky pitfalls that can turn your FSA plan into a compliance nightmare

HR Morning | May 12, 2017

This article is about Rochester labor and employment partner Kate Saracene’s presentation on company FSA plans at the Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Courts reject Oracle, Anthem bids to kill 401(k)-fee suits

Ignites | March 27, 2017

San Francisco labor and employment counsel Charles Dyke is quoted in this article about recent 401(k)-fee cases surviving motions to dismiss.

Avoiding retirement plan risk

University Business | November 01, 2016

Rochester Labor & Employment partners Eric Paley and Christian Hancey are both quoted in this article discussing the impact retirement plan fee litigation, which many colleges and universities are facing, has on the higher education community.

Cash Balance Plans Face an Amendment Deadline

Confero | June 01, 2016

Chicago Labor & Employment partner Yelena Gray authored this column discussing the upcoming compliance deadline for cash balance plan sponsors.

Attorneys React to High Court ERISA Reimbursement Ruling

Law360 | January 20, 2016

San Francisco counsel and leader of the ERISA Litigation team Chuck Dyke discusses the Supreme Court’s ruling that a retirement plan cannot sue under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for reimbursement of medical expenses from a third-party settlement that a plan participant has already spent.

Washington Oks last-minute changes to health care rules

Rochester Business Journal | January 04, 2016

Rochester partner and leader of our Health and Welfare Employee Benefits team, Kate Saracene provides commentary in this feature article discussing the potential impact of recent changes to the Affordable Care Act.

For Firms, King Ruling Means ‘Business as Usual'

Rochester Business Journal | July 02, 2015

Rochester Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment partner Kate Saracene authored this op-ed on the impact on employers following the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision.

Attorneys React To Supreme Court's ACA Save

Law360 | June 25, 2015

Rochester Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment partner Kate Saracene provides commentary on the Supreme Court’s highly-anticipated Affordable Care Act (ACA) decision.

With Supreme Court Case Over, ACA's Loose Ends Are New Target

Crain's New York Business: Health Pulse | June 25, 2015

As the Supreme Court winds down its current term, Rochester Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment partner Kate Saracene discusses the Court’s highly-anticipated Affordable Care Act (ACA) decision.

Lawyers Weigh in on High Court ERISA Ruling

Law360 | May 18, 2015

Chicago Labor & Employment counsel Catherine Gonzalez is quoted in this article discussing the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Tibble v. Edison International.


Christian D. Hancey



Phone: 585-263-1147

Brian Kopp



Phone: 585-263-1395

Thomas J. McCord



Phone: 617-345-1337

Eric Paley

Practice Group Leader, Labor & Employment


Phone: 585-263-1012

  • Recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2017 as a national Tier 1 leader for Employment Law—Management, Labor Law—Management, and Litigation—Labor & Employment
  • Employment attorneys ranked as leading lawyers in their fields by Chambers USA/Global
  • Ranked by Law360 as an Employment 100 firm
  • National and metropolitan honors from publications like Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and other directories and publications
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