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Robert Newman is a partner in the firm’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice group.  He represents clients ranging from small employers to some of the nation's largest employers, including for-profit and tax-exempt entities.  His practice includes:

  • designing, drafting, and amending a wide range of retirement plans (including 401(k) plans, ESOPs, and traditional and hybrid defined benefit plans) and welfare plans (including health, severance, and cafeteria plans);
  • creating executive compensation arrangements including nonqualified deferred compensation plans, stock option plans, and other incentive plans;
  • representing clients before the IRS and the Department of Labor;
  • assisting clients with legislative initiatives;
  • providing benefits expertise in corporate transactions and ERISA litigation;
  • counseling clients with respect to pension fund investments in private equity funds and hedge funds; and
  • negotiating and writing employment agreements.
  • Advised General Electric Company in the settlement of $1.7 billion in pension obligations via the purchase of a group annuity contract covering approximately 70,000 plan participants.
  • Testified at hearing before the ERISA Advisory Council on “Model Notices and Disclosures for Pension Risk Transfers."
  • Testified at hearing before the ERISA Advisory Council on “Private Sector Pension De-risking and Participant Protections."
  • Served as ERISA counsel to Verizon Communications Inc. on its transfer of $7.5 billion in pension liabilities to The Prudential Insurance Company of America.
  • Represented AstraZeneca on employment and benefits matters in its up to $4 billion acquisition of Bristol-Myers Squibb's interests in the companies’ diabetes alliance.
  • Designing and drafting a pension plan document converting a client’s traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balance pension plan.
  • Counsel to Xerox in Supreme Court case concluding that plan administrator is owed deference for plan interpretation.  See Conkright v. Frommert, 130 S. Ct. 1640 (2010).
  • Drafting comprehensive amendments to nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements for two of the nation’s largest employers to comply with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Chambers USA, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation (2015-2020)
  • Lawdragon, "The Most Powerful Employment Lawyers" top 20 practitioners in the area of Employee Benefits (2016-2019)
  • Lawdragon, "40 Up and Comers in Employment Law" (2015)
  • Selected for inclusion in Human Resource Executive's "The Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys" (2014)
  • Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment - ERISA Litigation; Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation (2013-2016)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Employee Benefits/ERISA (2013-2020)
  • Recipient of the 2012 "Burton Award for Legal Achievement."