Elizabeth brings valuable prior experience as ERISA in-house counsel which gives her a welcome perspective when helping clients  implement and manage employee benefit plans to achieve business objectives while minimizing risks.

Overview

Elizabeth advises clients on employee benefits matters, including 401(k), pension and profit sharing plans as well as executive compensation arrangements. She has experience both in-house and as an outside legal advisor, assisting clients with the design and implementation of plans, general consulting on benefit matters, issues regarding plan qualification as well as fiduciary compliance.  Elizabeth counsels private, governmental and tax-exempt employers.

As employee benefits counsel, Elizabeth advises clients on the requirements of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code as well as the compliance aspects of new and evolving laws such as the SECURE Act and the CARES Act and on implementing best practices consistent with cybersecurity guidance from the DOL. She helps clients identify and correct plan compliance errors, working through available IRS and DOL correction programs and also negotiates on behalf of clients with the IRS and Department of Labor to correct plan errors.

Experience

Elizabeth negotiates a wide variety of employee benefit service provider agreements for her clients,  incorporating best practices  terms and conditions and provisions that favor the client.

Elizabeth advises clients on the design and operation of equity- based compensation arrangements. She also counsels clients on compliance with Code Section 409A and other issues arising in executive employment agreements and deferred compensation plans.

While at J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services, Elizabeth advised the sales division and client relationship managers. She negotiated complex client plan administration and service agreements, which informs her current work with employers as they negotiate and review contracts with service providers.  She also counseled internal clients on fee arrangements, participant communications and regulatory disclosures.

When she was in-house at Hallmark, Elizabeth worked with internal clients on strategic and legal issues involving the company’s total rewards programs as well as ERISA compliance and all other aspects of employee benefits matters, including fiduciary issues, and the day-to-day operation of 401(k) plans and health and welfare plans. She worked closely with HR regarding the application of employee benefits laws to employment matters and disputes and was involved in the acquisition and integration of acquired companies.

Elizabeth  routinely represents and advises clients on employee benefits and executive compensation issues in corporate transactions including due diligence and integration.

Recognitions

Recognitions

Rated Top Rated - AV® Preeminent™ Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

The Missouri Bar

American Bar Association

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Admissions

  • Missouri, 1994

Education

Drake University, J.D., 1994

  • Order of the Coif
  • Drake Law Review, Staff Member, 1992-93
  • Drake Law Review, Notes Editor, 1993-94

University of Iowa, B.A., 1991  

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