Cozen & O'Connor issued the following announcement on July 10.
Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce attorney Robert S. Kaplan has joined its fast-growing Labor and Employment Group. Kaplan joins Cozen O’Connor’s Philadelphia office as a member and will be part of the group’s Employee Benefits practice. Kaplan has experience as a former investment and retirement services professional and now advises employers, benefit plan sponsors, and other service providers on employee benefits (ERISA) and executive compensation-related legal and tax issues.
Kaplan counsels on benefits plan design, amendment, termination, administration and governance; and advises clients on ERISA fiduciary matters affecting tax-qualified and non-qualified retirement, deferred compensation, severance, and welfare plans. Kaplan will also work closely with Cozen O’Connor mergers and acquisition (M&A) and securities attorneys to review and (when necessary) help revise employee and executive benefits and compensation agreements critical to corporate mergers—including employment contracts, transaction awards, severance agreements and equity incentive grants. He will also advise on other contractual matters involving tax-qualified and non-qualified retirement plans and employee health and welfare plans. A former associate with Ballard Spahr LLP, he is the third attorney from that firm to join Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department in the past six months.
“Rob’s prior investment/retirement services background makes him a valuable asset to both clients and our internal practice groups,” says Thomas S. Giotto, co-chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department. “With a track record that also includes representing clients before the IRS, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the federal Department of Labor, he’ll play a key role in growing the Employee Benefits practice within the Labor & Employment Group. The entire department looks forward to working with Rob and welcoming him to the firm.”
An ASPPA Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA) and Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA), Kaplan is president of the ASPPA Benefits Council of Greater Philadelphia, which provides educational and networking events for retirement plan professionals. He earned his J.D. and Graduate Tax Program Employee Benefits Certificate from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law and his B.S. in Labor and Industrial Relations from Pennsylvania State University.
The two other Ballard Spahr attorneys who have joined Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department in Philadelphia this year. Kelly T. Kindig, a litigator who represents public and private employers in a broad range of employment-related disputes, joined in the firm in February; while veteran employment attorney Daniel V. Johns signed on in January. In addition, Gary Kelly, former general counsel at health products giant General Nutrition Corp. (GNC), joined the Labor & Employment Department in March and resides in the firm’s Pittsburgh office.
“Cozen O’Connor is an exciting and growing firm and my clients will certainly gain from the breadth of its legal services,” Kaplan says. “Coming here also feels like a homecoming of sorts, as I’ll be reuniting with colleagues from my prior firm.”
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