A persuasive advocate, Charlie vigorously defends employers and benefit plans in courts and other forums. He excels at assessing and fixing problems that arise with employee benefit programs and providing a strategically driven approach to benefits compliance and risk management planning.
As exclusive employee benefits counsel to many nationwide employers, Charlie’s practice focus extends to:
- Advising and defending employers regarding multiemployer pension plan claims, including withdrawal liability and contribution claims
- Providing consultation and advice to employers pertaining to benefits issues associated with collective bargaining, insurance practices, employer policies, and applicable laws
- Advising employers and health plans sponsors of options for mitigating risk concerning high health claims
- Advising clients with respect to multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs)
- Litigating and favorably resolving large retiree health class actions, including arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals
- Representing numerous employers in state and federal courts, courts of appeals, and other forums
- Assisting employers with legal issues associated with establishing on-site clinics and wellness programs
- Counseling on Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance and strategic planning, particularly with respect to contingent workers
- Providing analysis and advice to employers concerning new employee benefit legislation and regulations
- Advising and defending employers on Americans with Disabilities Act and Family and Medical Leave Act matters.
Charlie has written and spoken extensively on benefits-related topics including ERISA litigation, the ACA, the legal environment of wellness programs and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Charlie is an active member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and has worked with Chamber staff in providing comments to federal agencies on current and proposed employee benefits law.
Charlie’s work is regularly honored by regional and national ranking organizations, such as Chambers USA, which named him a “Leader in the Field,” and The Best Lawyers in America.
Notable examples of Charlie’s work include:
- Providing a health plan redraft and strategic planning advice to a manufacturing client who sought an affordable solution that did not require payment of ACA penalties.
- Representing a large dairy cooperative client in challenging a large assessment of multiemployer withdrawal liability through arbitration. Charlie obtained a very favorable settlement for his client.
- Identifying and recommending strategies to address multiemployer withdrawal liability risks. Through Charlie’s advice, a client was able to modify certain employment structures to avoid a substantial liability assessment.
- Successfully advising a private equity client whose purchase of an electrical contracting firm was threatened by obligations associated with union pension liabilities that would have transferred to the buyer.
- Assisting a consortium of six Wisconsin technical colleges in creating a self-funded multiple employer health plan. As a result, Wisconsin statues were changed to permit joint self-funding of health coverage for technical colleges.
Honors & Recognitions
- Leading Employee Benefits & Compensation Lawyer, Chambers USA, 2005–present
- The Best Lawyers in America©, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2005–present
- The Midwest’s Best Lawyers©, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2021
- Member, Milwaukee Bar Association and Past Chairman of its Employee Benefits Section (provides its annual ERISA Litigation Update)
- Member, American Bar Association, and the Employee Benefits Committee of its Labor and Employment Section
- Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
- Yellow Belt Certified, Legal Lean Sigma
- Member, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Health Care Committee
- Member, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Employee Benefits Committee
- Past President, Greater Milwaukee Employee Benefits Council
- Former member of Board of Directors, Wellness Council of Wisconsin