Employee Benefits

Allen Buckley previously was a partner in two large law firms in Atlanta, Georgia, where he did almost exclusively employee benefits work.  (The firms were Troutman Sanders LLP and Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP.)  Much of the work performed dealt with pension and deferred compensation matters.  Thus, Mr. Buckley has done  a lot of work with various types of retirement plans, including traditional defined benefit pension plans, 401(k) plans, ESOPs and cash balance plans.   Some of the work performed involves fixing operational defects.

Mr. Buckley has dealt with virtually all types of deferred compensation plans and arrangements, including the tax-qualified plans described above and nonqualified plans.  Accordingly, he has done a lot of work with Internal Revenue Code section 409A.   He works with and drafts/designs split-dollar life insurance arrangements.  The interaction between the split-dollar regulations, section 409A and section 457(f) is somewhat complex, to say the least.

Allen Buckley also advises clients with respect to welfare benefit plan matters, including cafeteria plan matters and COBRA matters.

Sometimes, the work performed has involved litigation.   Consequently, Mr. Buckley has served as class counsel with respect to three class action lawsuits with respect to employee benefits matters.  Two of the cases involved overfunded defined benefit plans.   In one case, Mr. Buckley represented the employer.  In the other case, he represented the participants.   The third class action was an interpleader action, where Mr. Buckley served as co-counsel to the employer plan sponsor.  The plan was an ESOP.  The issue involved vesting upon plan termination.  All three cases eventually settled.  One settled within a month of filing.  The other two cases took years to resolve.  Mr. Buckley has also brought legal actions on behalf of individual participants and plan trustees.  A sub-issue in the ESOP case related to continued investment of the assets in issue in company stock while the matter was pending.  An article written by Allen Buckley, discussing fiduciary duties with respect to eligible individual account plans, follows.  Dudenhoeffer article JPB final