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Employee Benefits for Small Employers

Saturday, August 10, 2019 @10am

Download the Show Audio Here

Host:

Tawny Alvarez
Partner
Verrill Dana

Tawny is a partner in Verrill Dana’s labor and employment practice group.  She believes that a company’s culture defines its business and prides herself on assisting clients comply with the law, while simultaneously creating an amazing place to work.

Tawny centers her practice on the understanding that the employment landscape is ever-changing and that many organizations do not have the time or resources to keep abreast of all of these changes—from medical (and recreational) marijuana’s effect on drug testing, to the effect of social networking in the workplace and mobile devices’ effect on wage and hour issues. In this evolving landscape, she recognizes that for companies to remain profitable and successful they must be proactive, as opposed to reactive, to these employment issues.

Guest:

Christopher S. Lockman
Employee Benefits Attorney
Verrill Dana

Chris pursued a career in the law because he enjoys solving problems.  Chris is an employee benefits and executive compensation “generalist” capable of advising clients on a range of legal issues affecting both the pension plans and welfare benefit plans.  Chris has significant experience correcting retirement plan administrative errors, defending IRS audits and DOL investigations, and maintaining and terminating pension plans administered by bankrupt entities.  As a member of the Firm’s ERISA Litigation practice group, Chris also defends fiduciary breach claims and claims for benefits under both pension and welfare benefit plans.

Problems and solutions come in many forms, and Chris assists plan fiduciaries, sponsors, and service providers with general ERISA compliance, fiduciary advice, and plan design.  Specific to welfare benefit plans, Chris regularly assists clients with health care reform compliance, wellness programs, and consumer-driven health care arrangements such as health savings accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), a Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).

Chris understands the importance of developing and implementing efficient solutions to business problems. While his practice is focused exclusively on employee benefits and executive compensation, Chris’s clients benefit from his background in bankruptcy law and business. Prior to joining Verrill Dana, Chris served as a law clerk in United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and, while in law school, worked at a multinational securities brokerage firm.  These experiences helped to shape the business perspective Chris brings to his practice and to his clients.

A Maine native, Chris enjoys nature and the outdoors.  He is co-chair of the Firm’s Sustainability Committee and during his time away from the office can be found exploring the wilds of Maine, hiking, canoeing, and paddle-boarding with his family.

Public Service

Board of Directors, Healthcare Purchaser Alliance of Maine (formerly the Maine Health Management Coalition)

Memberships

New England Employee Benefits Council
Maine Employee Benefits Council

Education

  • Duquesne University Law School (J.D., 2009), cum laude
  • Allegheny College (B.A., 2004), cum laude

Clerkships

  • Honorable Jeffery A. Deller, U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Western District of Pennsylvania

Bar Admissions

  • Maine, 2011
  • Pennsylvania, 2009

Court and Other Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, 2009
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, 2012

Honors

Gerald K. Gibson Memorial Award
Susan H. Wilkie Professional Responsibility and Ethics Award
Received Katahdin Counsel Recognition for Pro Bono efforts (2016)
Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers© under
Employee Benefits