Kirk’s practice focuses on legal issues related to all aspects of the employment cycle, from hiring through termination and severance. Substantially experienced in both benefits and employment law, Kirk is well positioned to help clients respond to the opportunities, vulnerabilities and benefit ramifications of particular employment decisions.
Kirk’s focus includes:
- Developing and maintaining effective compliance strategies related to defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, executive compensation and welfare benefit plans
- Counseling clients on Affordable Care Act (ACA), COBRA, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance
- Advising clients on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and disability compliance
- Helping clients maintain tax-qualified plan status
- Representing clients in workplace issues involving workplace discrimination, return to work and accommodation
- Advising clients on ERISA withdrawal liability
Notable matters include the following:
- Assisted with the creation of a non-qualified deferred compensation arrangement for an industrial client’s executive group spanning multiple countries. The project was complicated because it involved ensuring compliance with laws in a number of different countries. Kirk’s team was able to complete the project, ensuring the executives received their anticipated benefits.
- In coordination with the merger of two financial service clients, Kirk helped to mitigate the tax effect of the merger on the principals based on the application of non-qualified deferred compensation rules that would be triggered as a result of the deal.
- Successfully and efficiently worked through an IRS audit of a healthcare client that was related to the termination of a defined benefit pension plan
- Successfully and efficiently worked through an IRS audit of an educational client related to Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) liability associated with the creation of a non-qualified deferred compensation arrangement that triggered unintended tax consequences for the recipients of the benefit
- Frequently guide clients through accommodation and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) obligations associated with an employee’s attempted use of laws as a shield to prevent termination. Kirk also has successfully defended such terminations when the former employee sued
- Helped a client successfully and efficiently work through an audit by the Department of Labor (DOL) related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance of a health plan
- Successfully defended multiple DOL audits regarding FMLA compliance
- Successfully defended multiple DOL audits regarding Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance
Honors & Recognitions
- “Wisconsin Rising Stars” list, Employee Benefits/ERISA, Super Lawyers, 2013-2014
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals
- Member, Wisconsin Bar Association
- Member, Milwaukee County Bar Association
- Member, Association of General Contractors