Jon is a Partner in the firm’s Litigation Department, and a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Health Care, ERISA Benefits Litigation, and Securities and Financial Litigation practice proups, as well as the firm’s Health Care Fraud and Provider Billing Litigation Specialty Team. He provides advice and counsel to clients in the healthcare, insurance, employee benefits, financial services, real estate, construction, and global defense industries. He has niche expertise representing welfare benefit plans and other payors in healthcare reimbursement and provider billing litigation under ERISA, RICO and state law, with a particular emphasis on “fraud, waste, and abuse” litigation. He also has substantial expertise representing insurers in complex coverage disputes, extra-contractual claims and litigation concerning life insurance, annuities, business property and commercial general liability policies, builder’s risk policies, hurricane and catastrophe claims, and business interruption coverages. For 10 years, Jon has been recognized by Northern California Super Lawyers as a business litigation “Rising Star.” Legal 500 recognized Mr. Braunstein for his “buoyant healthcare benefits litigation practice.” Jon serves as the Membership Vice-Chair of the ABA TIPS Section Life Insurance Committee, which works closely with the TIPS Section Health & Disability and Employee Benefits Committees.
Kathleen Cahill Slaught
Kathleen advises trustees, service providers and administrators of governmental and multi-employer benefit funds on all issues including pension plan design and administration, investment of plan assets, the qualification of state domestic relations orders, drafting plan documents and general compliance with ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, federal labor law and other laws affecting pension funds. She also advises companies on both qualified retirement plan and welfare plan design and technical compliance. She also has substantial experience representing welfare plans and ERISA plan administrators in all aspects of litigation and arbitration arising from disputes over welfare benefits and fiduciary claims. She is a member of the American Bar Association (Labor & Employment section), Bar Association of San Francisco (Employee Benefits section), and the Western Pension Benefits Committee.
Mark represents employers, plan sponsors, plans, fiduciaries and plan administrators in ERISA and employee benefits cases, including class actions, in courts throughout the United States, and before arbitrators and mediators. Mark has served as amicus curiae counsel of record in two United States Supreme Court ERISA cases. Mark is a fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He is ranked in Chambers in ERISA Litigation, and was selected by Lawdragon as a 2019 Most Powerful Employment Lawyer. Mark also is an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law.
Christina concentrates her practice in the employee benefits area, advising clients on issues involving ERISA, employee benefit plans, and executive compensation. With respect to ERISA and plan qualification issues, Christina has represented clients in matters before the Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service. She has considerable experience with qualified pension and defined contribution plans, 403(b) and 457 plans, and deferred compensation plans. Christina has also assisted clients with welfare plan issues, governmental plans, and executive compensation matters, including drafting and interpreting incentive plans, equity plans, and independent contractor, employment, and separation agreements. She has advised clients on fiduciary and governance issues and responsibilities related to tax-qualified plans.
Ben counsels clients on qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation. He regularly advises clients on defined benefit and defined contribution plan compliance, including corrections for plan operational errors. Ben assists clients in drafting plan documents, plan amendments, and participant communications. He also advises clients on health & welfare plan compliance, including medical and dental plans, cafeteria plans, flexible spending accounts and dependent care spending accounts. Ben counsels clients on plan design decisions relating to COBRA, HIPAA privacy regulations, and health care reform legislation.
Justin T. Curley
Justin focuses his practice on employment litigation, with a particular emphasis on wage and hour and ERISA class action litigation. He also handles claims for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, as well as employment-related tort and contract claims. Prior to joining the firm, Justin served as a law clerk to the Honorable James P. Donohue of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. Prior to law school, he earned his CPA license as a financial auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Ada represents clients in a wide range of labor and employment matters, with an emphasis on employment discrimination and ERISA litigation. Ada regularly counsels and defends clients in single and multi-plaintiff employment discrimination matters involving claims brought under state law, Title VII, ADA, Section 1981, ADEA, FMLA and involving the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Ada works with clients to advise them in employment disputes, position themselves for anticipated litigation, and vigorously and efficiently defend against investigations, charges and lawsuits. She has defended employment discrimination matters brought in local, state and federal agencies, state and federal courts, and against the EEOC.
Diane is chair of Seyfarth’s national Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Department, and has spent more than 30 years focused on the rules and regulations of employee benefits. Diane has a great deal of expertise in the health and welfare space, where she has counseled and trained clients extensively on HIPAA privacy compliance, health care reform, and wellness programs, including implementing compliant plans and policies. Diane’s focus on executive compensation matters includes employment and severance agreements, stock options, restricted stock, and performance-based compensation, as well as the international aspects of employee benefits issues. She works with clients on establishing and conducting appropriate benefits governance and fiduciary compliance processes—critically important in this era of intense scrutiny.
Jim is a member of the Labor & Employment Department and focuses his practice on the representation of management in a variety of employment law matters. Prior to joining the Firm, Jim was an associate at a boutique litigation firm, where his practice focused on defending financial institutions in class action litigation. He also served as a law clerk to Justices Barry R. Schaller and David M. Borden of the State of Connecticut Supreme Court.
D. Ward Kallstrom
Ward has practiced employee benefits law, and employee benefits litigation in particular, representing employers, fiduciaries, multiemployer plans, and insurance companies and other plan service providers, for more than 30 years. He has handled virtually every type of ERISA dispute, but his work focuses on class and fiduciary breach litigation. Ward has written and lectured on a broad variety of employee benefits and related topics and served as a Senior Editor of the BNA/ABA Employee Benefits Law treatise through its first two editions. Currently, he represents the interests of Management as a member of the Council of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law. Among other honors, he is a Charter Fellow and founding Governor of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, has been ranked in Chambers USA in ERISA Litigation and Employee Benefits Law since 2005, and has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer since 2004.
Jon collaborates with his clients to craft practical solutions to strategic and operational challenges regarding retirement plans, group health plans, and executive compensation arrangements. He also helps clients implement and administer pension and 401(k) plans. Jon also advises clients on the effects of reductions-in-force, spin-offs and other corporate events on existing retirement plans. He routinely assists clients with the correction of plan operational errors, and has represented clients in numerous IRS and DOL audits. In addition, Jon advises investment committees and plan fiduciaries on the legal implications of all types of managed investments and financial instruments. He also helps plan administrators respond to participant claims and appeals, and uses project management tools and technology to efficiently manage high-volume claim loads.
Ian focuses his practice on representing employers, plan sponsors, employee benefit plans, and fiduciaries in litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and related laws. Ian also co-chairs the firm’s national ERISA Litigation Practice Group. He has represented employers, employee benefit plans, and fiduciaries in court litigation and arbitration, including trials and appeals. His ERISA and employee benefits litigation experience includes defense of claims for benefits, breach of fiduciary duty claims, reporting and disclosure claims, severance pay and stock option claims, and ERISA Section 510 employment discrimination claims.
John is partner in the firm’s ERISA Litigation practice group. John has extensive experience defending plan sponsors, employee benefit plans, and plan fiduciaries in ERISA litigation matters, ranging from complex multi-district litigation and class actions to single-plaintiff cases in both the trial and appellate courts. He has successfully defended “stock drop” fiduciary actions, employee benefits discrimination and interference claims, and claims for benefits under virtually every kind of employee benefit plan including claims for severance, pensions, disability, and medical benefits, and claims under top hat plans. In addition, he frequently counsels clients on ERISA-related matters.
Caroline focuses on health and welfare benefit plans, ancillary benefits, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and health data privacy compliance matters. Not only does she handle legal matters for both fully insured and self-funded plans, she also routinely manages plan administration, design, documentation, and implementation for both single employer and multiemployer plans. Caroline assists in drafting, revising, and negotiating service provider agreements; ensuring disclosure and reporting compliance to government agencies and individuals; performing fiduciary training; and facilitating both internal and external audits of benefit plans.
Kelly advises clients on all matters pertaining to defined contribution and defined benefit plan compliance. She also counsels clients on health and welfare issues including Affordable Care Act and COBRA compliance and HIPAA privacy regulations. She assists clients in drafting plan documents, plan amendments and participant communication materials, and has experience resolving plan document and operational errors under the IRS’s correction program.
Richard G. Schwartz
Richard has one of the legal industry’s premier practices focusing on benefits work for health sector clients. His practice involves all aspects of employee benefits law, including qualified and non-qualified plan design, deferred and executive compensation, corrections under the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor correction programs, plan governance and fiduciary best practices, dealings with the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor, and day-to-day employee benefits advice and counsel. A significant part of his practice involves the special tax and ERISA rules that apply to tax-exempt, non-profit organizations. Moreover, he handles transactional due diligence as well as all aspects of plan integration following mergers and acquisitions.
Sam is a partner in the Labor and Employment practice group. He is particularly well-versed in benefits-related litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Sam defends complex class actions and single-plaintiff lawsuits under ERISA. In the class action realm, he has defended various types of claims, including claims for benefits and claims for breach of fiduciary duty, including 401(k) fee litigation.
Sherry focuses her practice on employment litigation, particularly the defense of wage and hour class and collective actions arising out of alleged violations of the California Labor Code and/or the Fair Labor Standards Act. She has been lead counsel or co-counsel on numerous matters in a wide range of industries, including financial services, insurance, and consumer retail. Ms. Skibbe also has experience litigating ERISA class actions and wrongful denial of benefits cases as well as securities-related employment matters before FINRA, and on employment litigation of discrimination and harassment cases brought as multi-plaintiff and class actions under federal and state statutory laws.
Brian defends complex class actions and single-plaintiff lawsuits under ERISA. In the class action realm, he has defended various types of claims, including claims for benefits, claims of employment discrimination, and claims for breach of fiduciary duty, including 401(k) “stock-drop” claims. Brian also counsels clients on employee benefits matters, including the termination and modification of pension benefits and retiree medical benefits in both union and non-union workplaces, and he represents clients in connection with investigations by U.S. Department of Labor into alleged ERISA violations.
Sarah practices in all aspects of employee benefit plans, with a primary focus on matters involving defined contribution plans. Sarah has assisted plan sponsors with qualified plan design issues, compliance review, the preparation of participant communication materials, and with reporting and withholding requirements. She also has extensive experience working with plan sponsors and the IRS to resolve plan document and operational errors under the IRS’s correction program.
Megan focuses her practice on the representation of employers in the area of ERISA litigation, including class action and multi-plaintiff litigation. Her ERISA and employee benefits litigation experience includes representing employers in multiemployer withdrawal liability assessments, claims for benefits, breach of fiduciary duty claims, cash balance plan claims, and “stock drop” claims.