Biography

General counsel and human resources professionals at corporations and nonprofit organizations turn to Suzanne with their most challenging questions on benefits and compensation plans; they know Suzanne takes the time to understand each client's particular benefits culture in order to provide the best solutions within the framework of legal compliance.

Suzanne focuses on the operation of employee and executive post-employment benefits, such as retirement and deferred compensation plans, and the fiduciary governance of ERISA plans. For global and national business organizations, as well as tax-exempt educational, health care, and other institutions in the New England region and beyond, Suzanne guides employers in legal compliance and best practices for the operation and oversight of these plans and their assets.

Building relationships of confidence and trust with each client by combining her knowledge and experience with personal contact and timely responses is one of Suzanne's principal values. Her advice on designing, structuring, and implementing benefit and compensation plans has helped support her clients as they have grown over the years from regional companies to national and international players.

Suzanne previously worked in public interest and private practices in Washington, D.C. Suzanne has experience in all aspects of ERISA and employee benefits law, including:

  • Qualified and nonqualified retirement plans
  • Health and welfare plans
  • Benefit plans in mergers and acquisitions
  • Fringe benefits
  • Equity, incentive, and other executive compensation arrangements

Suzanne is a regular contributor to the firm's employee benefits and executive compensation blog, Benefits Law Update.

Services/Industries

Education

  • Yale Law School  (J.D.)
  • Duke University  (A.B., summa cum laude)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Maine

Honors

  • AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business under Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers® as the 2013 Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Portland, Maine
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law in Portland, Maine
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers© under Employee Benefits

To learn more about third-party ratings and rankings, and the selection processes used for inclusion, click here.

Firm Highlights

Blog

How many participants is too many for a top hat plan?

A client recently reviewed a census of participants in its deferred compensation plan and found that the covered group amounted to nearly 15% of its total workforce. Mindful of the need to limit the...

Blog

Correcting 401(k) Plan Excess Elective Deferrals

With the April 15 deadline for distributing excess elective deferrals fast approaching, this post summarizes the rules for correcting excess elective deferrals made to a 401(k) plan. In brief, excess elective deferrals not distributed...

Blog

Surprise Medical Bills: Texas District Court Vacates Portion of Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Process in Agency Rule

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas recently vacated a portion of the Requirements Related to Surprise Billing, Part II, Interim Final Rule (the “Rule”) regarding the independent dispute resolution (IDR...

Blog

DOL Signals Heightened Enforcement of Non-Quantitative Treatment Limitation Requirements

Introduction . When the U.S. Department of Labor issued its biennial 2022 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (“MHPAEA”) Report to Congress earlier this year, it outlined significant noncompliance by health plans. (Full...

Blog

Deciphering First Circuit’s Thirty-page Primer on NQTL Analysis and ERISA Information Requests

The widely publicized 2022 Report to Congress regarding the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (“Parity Act”) forewarned greater enforcement efforts by the Department of Labor and highlighted suspected deficiencies in health plans&rsquo...

Blog

How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot with Your SPD

Benefit plan sponsors sometimes send out Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) having given too little thought to the legal consequences. Two recent cases illustrate how an organization can end up in serious and costly litigation...

Blog

Department of Labor Guidance and Federal Initiatives Counsel a Wait-and-See Approach for 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Interested in Cryptocurrency Options

On March 10, 2022, the Department of Labor published Compliance Assistance Release 2022-01, 401(k) Plan Investments in “Cryptocurrencies” . The Release strongly discourages the addition of cryptocurrency (and other digital asset) options to the...

Publication/Podcast

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation 2021 Summer Client Advisory

Click here to view as a PDF. This Client Advisory summarizes developments in the law governing employee benefit plans prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We explain what these developments mean for plan sponsors and...

Publication/Podcast

2021 Year End Employee Benefit Plan Amendments

Health and Welfare Plans Employers that made available COVID-19 relief and benefit enhancements in 2020 – such as the increased carry over limit and extended grace period for health flexible spending accounts – need...

Blog

Proposed IRS Regulations Clarify SECURE Act Changes to RMD Rules for Beneficiaries

When the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Security Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) took effect on January 1, 2020, it changed the rules for retirement plan required minimum distributions (RMDs) to participants and...

Contact Verrill at (855) 307 0700