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

Blog

High-deductible health plans can cover coronavirus costs

Recognizing the need to eliminate potential administrative and financial barriers to testing for and treatment of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), in Notice 2020-15 , posted today on IRS.gov, the IRS advised that high-deductible...

Blog

Supreme Court – Updates for 2020

We are barely two months into the new year and already there are significant updates to the 2020 Supreme Court Preview included in our December 2019 Client Advisory (available here ). Below are updates...

Blog

Leave Sharing Programs: A Critical Bridge for Employees Affected by COVID-19

The federal government may soon be providing paid leave assistance to employees affected by COVID-19. In the meantime, however, employers that maintain leave sharing programs can leverage those programs to help soften the financial...

Blog

Congress Passes Emergency Paid Leave Laws in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

On March 18, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act , a temporary measure designed to increase the availability of paid leave during a time when many...

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

With CARES Act, Congress provides retirement plan relief and group health plan changes

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, includes a number of provisions that affect retirement plan sponsors and participants. These provisions are designed to provide...

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...

Blog

Paying Health Insurance Premiums for Furloughed or Laid Off Employees

Employers of all sizes in nearly every industry have had to lay off or furlough employees in an attempt to deal with the massive business disruptions caused by the spread of COVID-19. Facing this...

Blog

CARES Act Imposes Limits on Executive Pay over $425,000 for Businesses Seeking Financial Assistance

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the $2 trillion assistance package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was signed into law. The CARES Act provides a variety of...

Blog

Supreme Court: written disclosures not enough to show actual knowledge in ERISA suits

The United States Supreme Court unanimously decided last week that a plan participant who received written disclosures about the plan’s investments, but does not remember reading them, does not necessarily have “actual knowledge” of...