Our clients range from publicly and privately held companies to non-profits, trade associations and governmental entities.  Benefit programs are subject to increasingly complex legal requirements imposed by both federal and state law, and Vorys attorneys have broad experience with all laws affecting benefit programs, including:

  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)
  • The Internal Revenue Code
  • Federal and state securities laws
  • Relevant state insurance laws

Vorys employee benefits and executive compensation attorneys monitor the evolving federal and state laws and regulations and advise clients on resulting compliance challenges.  Vorys employee benefits and executive compensation attorneys also regularly provide advice on the design and operation of:

  • Executive compensation arrangements, including:
    • Employment agreements
    • Deferred compensation plans
    • Supplemental retirement plans
    • Cash- and equity-based incentive programs
    • Executive perquisites
  • Qualified retirement plans, including:
    • Pensions
    • Profit-sharing
    • 403(b) plans
    • 457 plans
  • Welfare benefits, including fully insured and self-insured medical, dental, vision, life and severance benefits for single employers and multiple employer welfare arrangements
  • Corrections, including:
    • VCP
    • VFCP
    • Self-correction
  • Mergers and acquisitions, including:
    • Diligence
    • Transaction structuring
    • Post-transaction integration issues
  • ERISA litigation, including:
    • Arguing and winning our case before the Supreme Court of the United States in Marietta Memorial Hospital Employee Benefit Health Plan et al. v. DaVita Inc. et al.


Our employee benefits and executive compensation practice is nationally recognized.  Most recently, we were recognized as a “Leading Law Firm” in employee benefits & executive compensation (Ohio) by Chambers USA in the 2023 edition.

Key Areas of Focus

Health and Welfare Plans

What We Do

Our attorneys help our clients develop and implement employment-based health and welfare plan benefits programs such as:

  • Medical, dental and vision plans
  • Health reimbursement arrangements
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Employee assistance plans
  • Life insurance plans
  • Short and long-term disability plans
  • Voluntary benefits
  • Severance plans
  • Wellness programs

In addition to focusing on compliance with legal requirements, such as those existing under ERISA, COBRA and HIPAA, we work with our clients on effective administration of their plans, vendor contracting, employee communications and preparation of summary plan descriptions.  We have also assisted clients with evaluating compliance with limitations under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

We have experience with single-employer plans, multiple-employer plans and multi-employer plans and the various legal issues that affect each of these types of arrangements.

Qualified Retirement Plans

Our lawyers regularly assist our clients in designing, administering and terminating qualified retirement plans.  This area of the practice involves complex rules and regulations under both the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

We have experience with all types of qualified retirement plans, including:

  • Defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans
  • Traditional defined benefit pension plans
  • Cash-balance and other non-traditional defined benefit plans
  • Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)
  • Multi-employer Taft Hartley plans

Furthermore, our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with the regulatory agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, that regularly monitor the administration of qualified retirement plans.

Executive Compensation

What We Do

Vorys lawyers often counsel our clients on all aspects of executive compensation.  We regularly advise clients on matters such as:

  • Nonqualified deferred compensation plans (including compliance with 409A and 457)
  • Supplemental executive retirement plans
  • Stock options and other equity-based compensation programs
  • Cash based bonus programs
  • Golden parachute arrangements
  • Severance benefits
  • Employment contracts

We assist clients with the design, drafting and administration of such arrangements, and work closely with attorneys in other practice areas, including our securities attorneys, to assist our clients in attaining their goals and objectives in an efficient and effective manner. 

ERISA Litigation

We have extensive experience litigating actions involving health and welfare plans and pension plans that are subject to the Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). 

Who We Represent

The clients we represent in ERISA litigation have included insured and self-funded plans, plan sponsors, insurers, fiduciaries (and alleged fiduciaries) and service providers, such as accountants and administrators, who may become involved in cases involving the payment of benefits under employee benefit plans.  In addition to representing clients in single-plaintiff and class-action litigation focused on pension plans and health and welfare plans, we have also represented clients involved in litigation surrounding company stock plans.  In fact in 2022, we successfully defended a client in litigation involving a health plan before the United States Supreme Court. 

What We Do

ERISA litigation can be quite complex, but there are few issues that our attorneys have not previously experienced and handled.  This experience and knowledge – coupled with the firm’s robust employee benefits, labor and employment, litigation and health care practices – allow our attorneys to handle matters efficiently and cost effectively. 

Our attorneys have litigated a broad range of ERISA-related actions for our clients.  Our experience includes defending clients in many different benefits actions related to Section 502 of ERISA, as well as Section 510 interference cases, delinquent contribution cases, and cases asserting breaches of fiduciary duties – among others.  For years, our attorneys also have been on the cutting edge of ERISA subrogation and reimbursement litigation, in working to secure recoveries for health and welfare plans. 

our experience

Vorys attorneys served as trial counsel representing a BP corporate entity and the BP Retirement Accumulation Plan (collectively “BP”) in an ERISA class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.  We defended BP against the $100 million+ putative class action alleging underpaid retirement benefits dating back to the 1989 amendments made to the Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio) pension plan.  Plaintiffs alleged breach of fiduciary duty and sought equitable relief in the form of plan reformation. 

News & Insights




  • Educational Resources
    for HR Professionals

    The Vorys labor and employment team has developed an educational platform – Vorys at Work – to provide important updates and training for HR professionals and in-house counsel on labor and employment law trends, employee benefits issues, developments, decisions and law changes from across the U.S.  From frequent alerts and blog posts to complimentary webinars and podcast episodes, Vorys at Work provides critical information in a vast array of formats.

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