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 Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits and 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

News

39 Verrill Attorneys Named 2019 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Verrill Attorney Karen Frink Wolf Again Named One of New England’s Top 100 Attorneys and Top 50 Women Attorneys (December 11, 2019) – The 2019 edition of New England Super Lawyers and Rising Stars...

Blog

December 2019 Client Advisory

This Client Advisory, originally distributed in December 2019, highlights important developments in the law governing employee benefit plans and executive compensation over the past year. It offers insight into what these developments mean for...

Blog

403(b) Plans Must Comply with the “Once In, Always In” Rule This Year

Tax-exempt employers whose 403(b) plans have failed to comply with the "once in, always in" eligibility rule in the past should be well on their way to compliance by now. IRS Notice 2018-95 granted...

Blog

DOL Proposes New Electronic Disclosure Rules for Retirement Plans

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Blog

What You Need to Know About the SECURE Act

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 a decade. Due to its importance, we...

Blog

Final Regulations on 401(k) Hardship Withdrawals

In September, the Treasury Department issued final regulations governing hardship withdrawals from 401(k) plans. The final regulations update the existing 2004 regulations to reflect recent statutory changes made to the hardship withdrawal rules under...

Publication/Podcast

2019 Annual Employment Law Update Materials

On Thursday, January 31, members from Verrill Dana's Labor and Employment group, as well as some from the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation group, conducted a full-day seminar full of employment law related topics...

Blog

Plan Sponsors: You Should Have a Model QDRO

ERISA Section 206(d)(3)(G)(ii) requires sponsors of qualified retirement plans to maintain written procedures for the administration of qualified domestic relations orders ("QDROs"), and the plan administrator has an obligation to ensure that a domestic...

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...

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...