Fiduciary Duties and Governance
We represent committees, boards and other fiduciaries and governing bodies responsible for safekeeping the assets of retirement, health and welfare plans. We work with fiduciaries across the country, and unlike many other law firms, we will act as independent fiduciaries on select engagements.
Our experience allows us to understand the issues that our fiduciary clients face on a daily basis.
Most fiduciaries responsible for the prudent oversight of employee benefit plan assets are also employees of the companies sponsoring such plans. This “two hat” dilemma exposes fiduciaries to a unique set of risks and issues. As a result, fiduciaries of employee benefit plans are often held to a much higher standard than traditional governing bodies.
We advise clients and fiduciaries concerning governance practices that limit risks associated with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plans and help employers establish and maintain fiduciary diligence committees. As part of our counsel, we assist with the design and review of investment policies, fiduciary charters, governance documents, ethics policies, standard operating procedures manuals, conflicts-of-interest manuals and Sarbanes-Oxley policies and procedures.
The standards for fiduciary conduct continue to evolve and change alongside industry developments. We regularly attend committee meetings to train and update fiduciaries and assist in managing and documenting the diligence process. Our fiduciary calendar approach assures our clients that all of their responsibilities are being addressed in a systematic fashion design to minimize risk and maximize efficient operations.
We consult with clients regarding ERISA fiduciary duties, plan assets, investment selection, prohibited transactions, reporting and disclosure obligations, service provider fees, default investments and other ERISA matters, including the United States Department of Labor (DOL) audits, ERISA fiduciary assessments, fiduciary training, and filings under the DOL’s Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program.