About J. Quitman Stephens

Quitman Stephens focuses his practice on ERISA, employee benefits, executive compensation and health care.

Employee benefits that benefit the employer too

Quitman counsels clients on employee benefits and executive compensation plans including qualified retirement and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. He also assists with group health plans and matters arising under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. And he helps with the formation, operation, compliance and litigation of these plans.

Quitman also advises clients on health care compliance including matters arising under the Stark Law and the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). In addition, he offers advice on cases dealing with the Civil Monetary Penalties Law (CMPL), the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Texas Patient Solicitation Act.

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Practice Focus

  • Employee benefits and executive compensation
  • Transitional tax planning
  • Health care

Representative Experience

  • Advise clients on employee benefits and executive compensation issues in multimillion- and multibillion-dollar M&A transactions. While at a prior firm, served as ERISA/employee benefits counsel to (i) a regional health care system in its sale of a network of nine hospitals and 39 clinics, (ii) a worldwide publishing enterprise in its $2.4 billion sale to a private equity firm and (iii) a worldwide haircare business in the $400 million sale of its haircare products business.
  • Oversee employee benefit plan corrections for clients through programs at the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor for operational failures, plan-document failures, reporting and disclosure issues, breaches of fiduciary duty, and prohibited transactions (EPCRS, VFCP and DFVC).
  • Counsel on the drafting and operation of deferred compensation plans and arrangements for executives, including compliance with the requirements of Code Section 409A and, where applicable, 280G.
  • Advise on the formation and operation of private equity funds in compliance with ERISA and the Department of Labor’s “plan assets regulations.” While at a prior firm, advised on the formation and operation of 40 such funds. Much of that work involved significant, international investment projects and required coordination with lawyers and other professionals in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macao and China.
  • Advocate for clients in litigation involving employee benefit plans and arrangements. While at a prior firm, advised clients on complex, multimillion-dollar controversies involving 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, defined benefit plans, multiemployer plans, group health plans, retiree-medical plans and nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
  • Counsel clients on group health plans, including strategy and compliance issues relating to the Affordable Care Act, as well as multiple employer welfare arrangements.
  • Advise clients on the specialized requirements for ESOPs—including the use of an ESOP as a tax-favored planning vehicle to acquire the equity of departing owners of successful closely held companies through a leveraged buyout, while ensuring the continuity of the enterprise through employee ownership—as well as for corporate acquisitions involving ESOP-owned entities.
  • Advise hospitals, physicians, physician practices and other enterprises in the health care industry on operational and transactional compliance issues. Concerns include contractual arrangements involving physicians, hospitals and other service providers; investments in ambulatory surgery centers and other health-care enterprises; and formation of joint ventures.
  • Advised health care system on compliance matters involved in the sale of substantially all of its assets. Included a network of 9 hospitals, 39 clinics, two inpatient facilities, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, physician clinics, two emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, a comprehensive seven-trauma center care network, and an EMS fleet of more than 45 ambulances and 4 helicopters. *
* Experience prior to Katten