Biography

General counsel and human resources professionals at corporations and non-profit 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 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 serves as one of the editors of the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group's 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 Portland, Maine Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law Lawyer of the Year 
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© under Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
  • 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

Publication/Podcast

December 2018 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...

Blog

Who is a Highly Compensated Employee?

Identifying an employer’s highly compensated employees is crucial to the administration of qualified retirement plans, as well as 403(b) plans that provide employer contributions.  This post provides an overview of the rules for determining...

News

61 Verrill Attorneys Honored as Best Lawyers, 12 as Lawyers of the Year

(September 3, 2019) – More than 60 Verrill attorneys were once again recognized as “Best Lawyers” by Best Lawyers® 2020 . In addition, 12 attorneys from the firm were named “Lawyer of the Year,&rdquo...

Blog

Handling Missing Participants under Code Section 409A

Deferred compensation payments are due to one of your former executives, but the former executive is nowhere to be found. You know that the IRS has strict timing rules for payments subject to Code...

Blog

Revenue Procedure 2019-19: Enhancements to EPCRS are Great News for Plan Sponsors

Newly published  Revenue Procedure 2019-19  modifies and supersedes prior IRS guidance regarding the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) to allow plan sponsors to self-correct an expanded number of problems that may affect retirement...

Blog

UPDATED: Summer Break - Massachusetts Employers Get Extension on Paid Family and Medical Leave Implementation

UPDATE:  The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave announced that along with the start of contributions being delayed from July 1, 2019 to October 1, 2019, the following aspects of the program are...

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

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...

Blog

Recap of Change to Retirement Plan Rollover Rules for Plan Loan Offsets

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“2017 Tax Act”) includes a provision that changed the rollover rules for certain plan loan offset distributions and that may not be well known to retirement...

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...