Practice: ERISA & Employee Benefits

Vandeventer Black’s ERISA & Employee Benefits Team partners with our clients for all their employee benefits needs. Our attorneys are experienced in the full range of retirement and welfare benefit issues. If plan administration issues arise, we are always available for consultation. Particular areas of expertise are as follows:

Retirement Plans

Our attorneys have extensive experience with IRS qualified defined benefit pension plans and defined contribution plans. We work with our clients and their vendors, accountants, actuaries and financial professionals to help them provide safe, attractive retirement benefits for their employees at the lowest administrative cost. Our services include IRS and DOL compliance, plan drafting and amending, determination letter submissions, Pension Protection Act issues, administration issues, audits and IRS and DOL remedial procedures. Additionally, we assist with non-qualified plans, including 457 plans, that are offered for the employer’s workforce in general, as well as special plans just for Executives.

Multiemployer & Governmental Plans

Our attorneys have decades of experience representing Taft-Hartley multi-employer and governmental plans. The three attorneys leading our ERISA and Employee Benefits Team have a combined 74 years’ experience in Taft Hartley Plan matters. We routinely handle complex issues such as withdrawal liability and Pension Protection Act compliance. We routinely guide plans through DOL audits, IRS compliance and determination letter filings, and the unique issues facing governmental employers. We work with our labor attorneys when collective bargaining issues intertwine with benefits matters.

Fiduciary Advice

We work with trustees of ERISA plans to guide them in accordance with the fiduciary standards imposed by federal law. Protecting individuals from liability in such a complex and changing area is important in insuring plans are able to attract and retain qualified individuals to successfully administer their plans for the benefit of plan participants.

Health & Welfare Benefits

Our Benefits Team routinely assists employers with health and welfare benefit matters arising under ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, USERRA, and the ACA. We assist in drafting and amending plans, and IRS and DOL compliance. We review QDROs and QMCSOs, and advise on VEBA and Cafeteria Plan issues. Our attorneys are always available when a client has a quick question related to a particular employee’s question.

Executive Compensation

Vandeventer Black’s active executive compensation practice is focused on structuring non-qualified arrangements. We design and assist our clients in implementing various packages such as phantom stock plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, “rabbi” trust arrangements, stock purchase and option agreements and other incentive or bonus plans, in order to supplement or replace traditional vehicles such as 401(k) plans and ESOPs. We also work with lawyers in our Labor & Employment Department to coordinate severance packages that implement special deferred compensation components.

ERISA Litigation

Our employee benefits lawyers work with the firm’s litigation department in any litigation that arises under ERISA or in state court relating to employee benefit plans, including employee claims, fiduciary breaches, document compliance and financial issues. Representative Matters:
  • We serve as co-counsel to the HRSA-ILA Pension and Welfare Funds; seven Taft-Hartley plans providing income, retirement, vacation, short-term disability as well as other benefits to the longshore industry.
  • Successfully guided a plan with multiple operating failures through the VCP process and negotiated a nominal penalty.
  • Settled a matter with the IRS, in which the government threatened disqualification of a non-amended plan.  Participants’ assets were safeguarded.
  • Negotiated an exemption from a prohibited transaction with the DOL.
  • Reviewed multiple investment manager contracts, including amendments to investment guidelines.
  • Litigated the collection of mistaken overpayments to participants.

Jane D. Tucker

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.A. College of William & Mary J.D. Marshall-Wythe
    • School of Law, College of William & Mary
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • American Bar Association, Section on Intellectual Property
    • Virginia Bar Association, Section on Intellectual Property
    • Virginia State Bar, Section on Intellectual Property
    • Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association, Program Committee
    • Virginia Beach Bar Association
    • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite” – Intellectual Property (2004-present)
    • Coastal Virginia, “Top Lawyers” – Intellectual Property Rights (2016-present)

Jane Tucker is a member of the firm’s Business Practice Group and concentrates her practice in intellectual property lawcommercial business and real estate transactionscommercial foreclosuresERISA and employee benefits matters, and community associations law. She has earned recognition for her achievements as one of Virginia’s Business’s Legal Elite and Coastal Virginia’s Top Lawyers. 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Jane’s intellectual property practice involves trademark and copyright registration, as well as protection, sale and/or licensing of all forms of intellectual property, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. 

COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS

Her business practice includes commercial real estate acquisitions and dispositions, foreclosures and general business transactions geared toward closely held entities. 

ERISA AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Jane’s ERISA and employee benefits practice concentrates on qualified retirement plans and welfare benefits, particularly in the areas of COBRA, USERRA, and qualified domestic relations orders, with an emphasis on multiemployer plans.

Jane received her B.A. in History from the College of William & Mary and her J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary.  She is a frequent speaker on topics related to intellectual property law and is a member of the Intellectual Property Sections of the Virginia Bar Association and the American Bar Association. 

As a longtime resident of Virginia, she is involved in a number of community and civic organizations.

  • Representative Matters:

  • News

    Vandeventer Black Attorneys Selected as 2020 Legal Elite
    / Firm News
    Thirty Vandeventer Black attorneys have been recognized as ‘Legal Elite’ for 2020 by Virginia Business Magazine. Every year, the magazine partners with the Virginia Bar Association to grant this award to attorneys nominated by their peers for this recognition. The selected attorneys are: Christopher Ambrosio, Business Law Anne G. Bibeau, ...
    Read More
    Twenty-two Vandeventer Black Attorneys Selected as 2019 Legal Elite
    / Firm News
    Twenty-Two Vandeventer Black attorneys are being recognized as ‘Legal Elite’ for 2019 by Virginia Business Magazine. The magazine partners with the Virginia Bar Association every year to grant this award to attorneys nominated by their peers for this recognition. The selected attorneys are: Christopher Ambrosio – Business Law Anne Bibeau ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
    / Firm News
    Several attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been awarded as Coastal Virginia’s Top Lawyers for 2019 by Coastal Virginia Magazine and CoVa Biz Magazine. “We are proud of our attorneys for receiving this distinction as it is a solely peer-rated nomination given to those ...
    Read More

  • Articles

    The Trademark Modernization Act – Greater Protections for Trademark Owners
    / Intellectual Property
    The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (“TMA”), signed into law on December 27, 2020, provides trademark owners with additional tools to challenge registered marks that are no longer in use or have never been used on the goods or services claimed in the registration.  It also establishes a rebuttable presumption ...
    Read More
    Ownership and Use of Architectural Plans and Drawings
    / Intellectual Property
    Who has the right to use architectural plans and drawings prepared by an architect for a specific project?  What happens if the project on which the architect was working and the architect both leave one firm and move to another firm?  What happens if one architect is retained to prepare ...
    Read More
    Expedited Trademark Registration For COVID-19 Products and Services
    In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the need to quickly develop medical products and services to fight the virus, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is allowing the trademark examination process for marks used to identify qualifying COVID-19 medical products and services to be expedited.  This program ...
    Read More

Robert N. Saffelle

Office Location: Richmond, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • LLM., Boston University School of Law
    • J.D., New England School of Law
    • B.A., English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
    • North Carolina
  • Courts & Administrative Bodies

    • U.S. Tax Court
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • Richmond Bar Association
    • Virginia Bar Association
    • Central Virginia Employee Benefits Council
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • AV® Distinguished™ by Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory
    • Listed among The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2013–present

Mr. Saffelle focuses his practice on ERISA and employee compensation and benefits including pension and profit sharing plans and welfare benefit plans, fiduciary law and IRAs. He helps design, establish and maintain employee benefit programs, including qualified retirement, welfare and cafeteria plans. He also works with executive compensation plans, including nonqualified deferred compensation, equity-based compensation and incentive plans.

Mr. Saffelle handles the employee benefits aspects of mergers and acquisitions. He also counsels clients regarding IRAs as well as IRA and qualified plan distribution and beneficiary designation issues. He handles voluntary correction programs with the Internal Revenue Service and prohibited transaction exemption applications with the Department of Labor. Mr. Saffelle designs severance programs and handles COBRA questions, including FMLA and HIPAA issues.

  • Representative Matters:

  • News

    28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® list
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 attorneys have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black Richmond Office Welcomes Saffelle to the Team
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Robert N. Saffelle to the firm’s Richmond office as Of Counsel. “We are excited to have Rob join our legal team. He is a highly accomplished attorney with extensive experience in the ERISA & Employee Benefits, Labor & Employment, and ...
    Read More
  • Articles

    SECURE Act 2.0 – Look Out for New Retirement Plan Incentives
    On the heels of 2019’s SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act), there currently is broad bipartisan congressional support for additional retirement plan legislation providing incentives to increase employees’ retirement savings.  The House and Senate have drafted substantially similar bills which are working their way through the ...
    Read More
    New ERISA Guidance on Retirement Plan Cybersecurity
    The Department of Labor (DOL) has just issued first-time retirement plan guidance to address cybersecurity risks for employers, plan fiduciaries, recordkeepers and plan participants.  The guidance is in the form of recommended best practices to protect retirement benefits by providing strong cybersecurity practices for employers and plan service providers and ...
    Read More
    New Guidance Clarifies COVID-19 Employee Benefit Deadline Extensions
    Last year the IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) extended various ERISA and COBRA deadlines for employee benefit plan participants affected by COVID-19.  The extended deadlines included: The timeframe to elect COBRA continued health coverage; The deadline for making COBRA premium payments; Requests for special enrollment in a group health ...
    Read More

Patrick W. Herman

Office Location: Norfolk, VA., Kitty Hawk, NC.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.A. Political Science, Virginia Tech
    • M.S.A. Master of Science in Administration, George Washington University
    • J.D.,  Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary
    • M.L.&T., College of William & Mary
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
    • North Carolina
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • The Living River Restoration Trust, Director
    • General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, Director and General Counsel
    • Outer Banks Community Foundation, Tax Counsel
    • American Bar Association – Section on Taxation
    • North Carolina Bar Association – Section on Trust and Estate
    • Hampton Roads Estate Planning Council
    • Hampton Roads Tax Forum
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating
    • Virginia Business, “Virginia Legal Elite” (2000-present)
    • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®: Tax Law (2007-present); Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law (2015-present)
    • Thomson Reuters, “Virginia Super Lawyers” (2011-present); “Virginia Rising Stars” (2008-09)
    • Virginia Lawyers Weekly, Virginia’s Leaders in the Law (Class of 2013)
    • Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyers” – Tax Law and Wills, Trusts & Estates (2017-present)

Pat Herman is senior tax attorney at Vandeventer Black, having a tax degree and 35 years of experience. Pat’s practice is focused on estate planning, employee benefits and ERISA matters, general tax planning, and exempt organizations. He is licensed to practice in Virginia and North Carolina, sharing time in our Norfolk and Kitty Hawk offices, with regular visits to our Richmond Office to assist clients with sophisticated tax planning.

Tax, trust and estate planning, and administration are a major part of Pat’s tax practice. He enjoys assisting families with successful wealth transfer planning and techniques, including the use of family limited liability companies, succession planning, “dynasty” and special needs trusts. Protecting family members while preserving family harmony and saving taxes is the goal.

Pat also assists clients with state and local tax issues, as well as the Virginia Watercraft Tax. For his ERISA practice, he represents individual Employer sponsored plans, Taft-Hartly Multi-Employer Plans, and local (governmental) plans.

Pat enjoys contributing to the community through his participation on the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation Board, where he serves as General Counsel.

Pat has also enjoyed being able to serve on the boards, provide counsel to numerous tax-exempt organizations, including the Living River Restoration Trust, Virginia International Terminals, Inc.; Virginia Maritime Association; Pea Island Preservation Society; Corolla Wild Horse Fund; Angel Kiss Foundation; Fisher House of Richmond; Eastern Seaboard Trust; Agena Foundation; Cape Hatteras Electric Membership Corporation; Center for Hope & Healing; John R. Lilliard Scholarship Foundation; Norfolk Medical Society; Virginia Airport Authority; First Flight Scholarship Fund and the Outer Banks Community Foundation.

  • Representative Matters

    • General Co-Counsel, Hampton Roads Shipping Association; International Longshoremen’s Association of Pension & Welfare Benefit Funds.
  • News

    Attorneys Recognized as 2021 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
    / Firm News
    Attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia for 2021. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. The recognized attorneys are: Admiralty, Maritime & Transportation Edward J. Powers Arbitration ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black Attorneys Selected as 2020 Legal Elite
    / Firm News
    Thirty Vandeventer Black attorneys have been recognized as ‘Legal Elite’ for 2020 by Virginia Business Magazine. Every year, the magazine partners with the Virginia Bar Association to grant this award to attorneys nominated by their peers for this recognition. The selected attorneys are: Christopher Ambrosio, Business Law Anne G. Bibeau, ...
    Read More
    28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® list
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 attorneys have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect ...
    Read More
  • Articles

    Estate Planning for Married Couples and Parents
    In this two-part series, the articles focus on the importance of proper estate planning.  The previous article focused on Estate Planning for Young Adults. This article will highlight important documents and considerations for married couples and parents. Getting married is often a fun and exciting time for a couple. As ...
    Read More
    Estate Planning for Young Adults
    Estate planning is the tool that allows individuals to control how their assets and lives will be managed in case of their incapacitation or death. One common misconception is that estate planning is solely for the wealthy. On the contrary, estate planning is for everyone! No matter what stage of ...
    Read More
    CARES ACT – Should you take your Coronavirus Related Distribution from your Retirement Plan?
    / COVID-19 Task Force, Tax
    As you may have heard, the new “CARES” Act signed on March 27, 2020 creates a new “Coronavirus Related Distribution” option for participants in retirement plans who meet one of the following qualifications: Are diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19; Have a spouse or dependent with one of these viruses; Are ...
    Read More

Geoffrey G. Hemphill

Office Location: Norfolk, VA., Kitty Hawk, NC.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.S. Finance, Lehigh University
    • J.D., Regent University
    • LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
    • North Carolina
  • Judicial Clerkship

    • Law Clerk, U.S. Court of Federal Claims (1995-97)
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • American Bar Association, Section on Taxation
    • Virginia Bar Association, Section on Taxation
    • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
    • Hampton Roads Tax Forum
    • Regent University School of Law, Adjunct Professor (Corporate Taxation, Individual Taxation)
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite” (2014-present)
    • Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyers” – Tax Law (2016-present)
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®- Tax Law (2019-present)

Geoff Hemphill has practiced in the firm’s Norfolk office since 1997 and in the Kitty Hawk office since 2019.  He concentrates his law practice in taxation, ERISA, employee benefits, business transactions, real estate, and international business matters.

His taxation practice focuses on corporate taxation, limited liability company issues, and international tax as well as state and local tax.

Geoff’s employee benefits practice concentrates on qualified retirement plans, executive compensation, and welfare benefits including multiemployer plans and governmental plans.

His business transactions practice is geared toward closely held business issues and international transactions.  Geoff heads the firm’s real estate practice in the Kitty Hawk office.

Geoff served as a Law Clerk for Special Master Richard B. Abell of the United States Court of Federal Claims from 1995-97.  He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the United States Tax Court.

  • News

    Attorneys Recognized as 2021 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
    / Firm News
    Attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia for 2021. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. The recognized attorneys are: Admiralty, Maritime & Transportation Edward J. Powers Arbitration ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black Attorneys Selected as 2020 Legal Elite
    / Firm News
    Thirty Vandeventer Black attorneys have been recognized as ‘Legal Elite’ for 2020 by Virginia Business Magazine. Every year, the magazine partners with the Virginia Bar Association to grant this award to attorneys nominated by their peers for this recognition. The selected attorneys are: Christopher Ambrosio, Business Law Anne G. Bibeau, ...
    Read More
    28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® list
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 attorneys have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect ...
    Read More
  • Articles

    Attorneys Recognized as 2021 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
    / Firm News
    Attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia for 2021. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. The recognized attorneys are: Admiralty, Maritime & Transportation Edward J. Powers Arbitration ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black Attorneys Selected as 2020 Legal Elite
    / Firm News
    Thirty Vandeventer Black attorneys have been recognized as ‘Legal Elite’ for 2020 by Virginia Business Magazine. Every year, the magazine partners with the Virginia Bar Association to grant this award to attorneys nominated by their peers for this recognition. The selected attorneys are: Christopher Ambrosio, Business Law Anne G. Bibeau, ...
    Read More
    28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® list
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 attorneys have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect ...
    Read More

Upcoming Events
Stay Connected
0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty