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 serves as Chair of the firm's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group and 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

Supreme Court Holds Pension Plan Participants Lack Standing to Sue Fiduciaries for Breach of Duties

In Thole v. U.S. Bank , a 5-4 Supreme Court decision issued on June 1, the Court held that retired participants in a defined benefit pension plan lack constitutional standing to sue the plan...

Blog

IRS Relaxes Rules for Cafeteria Plans and Clarifies Relief for High Deductible Health Plans

In response to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), earlier this week the IRS issued two notices allowing certain changes to cafeteria plans. Notice 2020-33 increases the limit on unused amounts remaining at the...

Blog

IRS Issues New Guidance on CARES Act Retirement Plan Distributions and Loans

The IRS recently issued Notice 2020-50 , which expands relief provided for retirement plan distributions and loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Distributions Under the CARES Act, a...

News

38 Verrill Attorneys, Across Four Offices, Recognized in 2020 Chambers & Partners Guide

(April 27, 2020) – Verrill has been rated as a Leading Firm in a total of ten categories and subcategories as evaluated by London-based Chambers & Partners , one of the world's most respected...

Blog

IRS and DOL Extend Certain Health & Welfare Benefit Plan-Related Deadlines

This post summarizes the health and welfare benefit plan-related deadline extensions described in IRS Notice 2020-23 issued April 9, 2020 and the DOL and Treasury Joint Notice issued April 28, 2020 (the “Joint Notice&rdquo...

Blog

IRS Allows Tax-Advantaged Leave Donation to COVID-19 Relief Organizations

Under new guidance, the IRS will give favorable tax treatment to employees who donate leave to COVID-19 relief organizations. In IRS Notice 2020-46 , the agency announced that employees who donate paid leave for...

Publication/Podcast

December 2019 Client Advisory

Click here to view as a PDF. This Client Advisory highlights important developments in the law governing employee benefit plans and executive compensation over the past year. It offers insight into what these developments...

Publication/Podcast

The SECURE Act

Click here to view as a PDF. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”) is the most far reaching new law affecting retirement benefits in more than...

Blog

Employee Layoffs May Vest Retirement Plan Benefits

Increasing numbers of employers are being forced to shutter places of business and lay off workers as the coronavirus pandemic continues. When laid off workers are participants in their employer’s qualified retirement plan, one...

Blog

DOL E-Disclosure Rule Recognizes Our New (Digital) Reality

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to find new ways to work through digital technology. Now, more than ever, an enormous percentage of our communications occur over the phone and online. The Department of...