"Jorge M. Leon is a partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Chicago. He leads the employee benefits practice in Chicago, helping plan sponsors, administrators, fiduciaries and third-party record keepers design, establish and maintain qualified retirement plans. He is well-versed in negotiating record keeping agreements, Employee Retirement Income Security Act 3(21) and 3(38) investment adviser/manager agreements, and the benefit aspects of corporate transactions.
Leon regularly handles administrative, reporting, fiduciary and compliance issues with the IRS, U.S. Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. He has defended clients during plan audits and advised on ERISA disputes, from initial claims to litigation and settlement. Leon has been involved in groundbreaking matters that have helped establish federal and state benefit policy.
Before joining Michael Best, Leon practiced for over 15 years and was a partner in the ERISA practice of a premiere Chicago-based Am Law 100 firm, serving as the lead partner for qualified plan matters. Clients have described Leon as “responsive,” “meticulous,” an “expert,” and a “problem-solver.” In 2016, Chambers USA acknowledged Leon as a "Recognized Practitioner" for employee benefits.
Q: What skill was most important for you in becoming a rainmaker?
A: Practicing law is all about people. The most important skills for me are my interpersonal skills. In dealing with clients and prospects, unless I know differently ahead of time, I always assume that the attorneys I’m competing with are all operating at the same minimum level of expertise. Taking the expertise factor out of the equation allows me to focus on relating to and connecting with a person, which is what makes the difference.
It allows me to be genuine, interact on a deeper level and prove how I stand out from the pack. Everything begins by establishing common ground and developing trust with a person. Once I can relate to a person professionally or personally, I have a better insight into what really matters and what is driving the issue at hand. I can then build trust, inspire confidence in my counsel and tailor my expertise to satisfy the client’s most important concerns."
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