Eric Paley is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits team and practice group co-leader of the Labor & Employment practice group. He advises clients on how to comply with the laws governing their employee benefits programs.
What do you focus on?
Three hallmarks distinguish my practice.
Representing nonprofit organizations
I work primarily (though not exclusively) with a wide range of nonprofit organizations—hospitals/health systems, colleges/universities, iconic arts/cultural institutions, trade associations and social service agencies. Nonprofits are much different animals than for-profit companies. My appreciation for those differences coupled with my vast experience in the sector give me a unique perspective on the issues my clients are facing and allow me to be a more effective advisor.
Focusing on ERISA fiduciary compliance
Of late, I spend a significant amount of time working with clients on ERISA fiduciary compliance—helping them establish or reconstitute their retirement plan committees; advising them on whether to engage a third-party investment consultant or conduct an RFP for a new recordkeeper; and educating boards, officers and committee members on the rapidly changing legal landscape in which they operate.
Staying one step ahead
One of the things I enjoy most about working in this field is that the law is never static and the issues I face on a daily basis vary greatly. Fee disclosure. Health care reform. Same-sex marriage. The growing mountain of compliance burdens can quickly overwhelm employers. I try to keep my clients on task by focusing on practicalities and, whenever possible, bringing my sense of humor to bear on what can often be inane and unnecessarily complex rules.