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Carrie Elizabeth Byrnes

Partner

, Bryan Cave
Chicago

Tel

1 312 602 5063

Fax

1 312 698 7463
carrie.byrnes@bryancave.com
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Carrie Elizabeth Byrnes

Partner


Chicago



161 North Clark Street, Suite 4300
Chicago, Illinois 60601-3315

Phone:

1 312 602 5063

Fax:

1 312 698 7463

email:

carrie.byrnes@bryancave.com
Connect with me:

Carrie Byrnes concentrates her practice in employee benefits and executive compensation law, with a particular focus on matters involving qualified retirement plans and the management and investment of employee benefit plan assets and health care reform.

Ms. Byrnes assists employers and executives with all aspects of their compensation and benefits packages. In her practice, she counsels on the design, drafting, implementation and administration of retirement plans (tax-qualified and nonqualified), health and welfare benefit plans, fringe benefit plans, SEP-IRAs, deferred compensation plans and equity and equity-based compensation arrangements.

  • As part of her qualified retirement plan practice, she performs fiduciary “audits”, assists clients with compliance matters surrounding ERISA Title I and frequently advises and counsels clients on the investment of employee benefit plan assets, including the application of ERISA’s fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions to such investments.
  • In her health and welfare practice, Ms. Byrnes assists clients in complying with ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, the ACA, FMLA, ADA, GINA, Mental Health Parity, CHIP, HEART, as well as other statutory and regulatory matters impacting their plans. In the past five years, she has developed a niche in health care reform compliance.
  • Her executive compensation practice involves designing and drafting employment contracts, severance agreements and a variety of executive compensation arrangements designed to comply with, or be exempt from, Code Sections 409A, 280G, 162(m) and other tax laws.

While the bulk of her practice spans regulatory counseling, Ms. Byrnes spends a substantial portion of her practice defending lawsuits, particularly class actions brought against employers and third-party administrators alleging violations of ERISA and/or other related benefits laws. 

During law school, Ms. Byrnes worked for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration where she focused on fiduciary correction matters.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association – YLS, JCEB
  • Chicago Bar Association

Civic Involvement and Honors

  • Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" 2015
  • Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" 2014

Carrie Byrnes concentrates her practice in employee benefits and executive compensation law, with a particular focus on matters involving qualified retirement plans and the management and investment of employee benefit plan assets and health care reform.

Ms. Byrnes assists employers and executives with all aspects of their compensation and benefits packages. In her practice, she counsels on the design, drafting, implementation and administration of retirement plans (tax-qualified and nonqualified), health and welfare benefit plans, fringe benefit plans, SEP-IRAs, deferred compensation plans and equity and equity-based compensation arrangements.

  • As part of her qualified retirement plan practice, she performs fiduciary “audits”, assists clients with compliance matters surrounding ERISA Title I and frequently advises and counsels clients on the investment of employee benefit plan assets, including the application of ERISA’s fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions to such investments.
  • In her health and welfare practice, Ms. Byrnes assists clients in complying with ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, the ACA, FMLA, ADA, GINA, Mental Health Parity, CHIP, HEART, as well as other statutory and regulatory matters impacting their plans. In the past five years, she has developed a niche in health care reform compliance.
  • Her executive compensation practice involves designing and drafting employment contracts, severance agreements and a variety of executive compensation arrangements designed to comply with, or be exempt from, Code Sections 409A, 280G, 162(m) and other tax laws.

While the bulk of her practice spans regulatory counseling, Ms. Byrnes spends a substantial portion of her practice defending lawsuits, particularly class actions brought against employers and third-party administrators alleging violations of ERISA and/or other related benefits laws. 

During law school, Ms. Byrnes worked for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration where she focused on fiduciary correction matters.

Select Representations

  • Counseling clients on the proper administration of their employee benefit and compensation programs
  • Representing clients in connection with Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor audits of employee benefit plans
  • Assisting clients in obtaining favorable determination letters and compliance statements from the Internal Revenue Service
  • Defending clients in benefits litigation matters dealing with claims for benefits, ERISA preemption and breaches of fiduciary duties
  • Conducting due diligence, assisting in preparation of documentation with respect to, and helping design strategies for the integration of, employee benefit plans in corporate transactions
  • Advising clients on compliance with health care reform
  • Training clients on duties imposed under ERISA and mechanisms to limit fiduciary liability
  • Assisting clients in controlling and reducing the cost of their employee benefits schemes, including seeking termination of an underfunded pension plan in one instance

Bar and Court Admissions

Illinois, 2007

Missouri, 2006

Education

The John Marshall Law School, LL.M., with honors, 2006

The John Marshall Law School, J.D., summa cum laude, 2006

University of Illinois, B.S., highest honors, 2003

Publications

  • “Will Your Organization Be Subject to Health Care Reform’s ‘Play or Pay’ Rules?” Resource Center for Religious Institute’s Bulletin, Spring 2013
  • “Identifying the Proper Party Defendant in ERISA Benefits Claims: A Circuit Survey,” BNA Pension & Benefits Daily, Bloomberg Law, 2013
  • “Tips for Drafting Executive Employment Agreements,” Employment Law Strategist, March 2013

Speeches and Seminars

  • “Healthcare Reform Experts Panel”, The 22nd Annual National Nonprofit Conference Orlando, Florida, October 31, 2014
  • “Obamacare Webinar: Everything Employers Need to Know” Bryan Cave in partnership with Phaidon International, July 24, 2014
  • “An Employee Benefits Update for Non-Benefits Lawyers: Health Care Reform and the Overturn of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act”, Bryan Cave CLE, Chicago, Illinois, June 24, 2014
  • “Top 10 Retirement Plan Governance Questions Every Higher Ed institution Needs to Be Asking” Co-sponsored by Capital Strategies Investment Group LLC and Bryan Cave LLP, Chicago, Illinois, June 19, 2014
  • “Post-DOMA Benefits World” Sponsored by Bryan Cave LLP, St. Louis, Missouri, April 29, 2014; Chicago, Illinois, May 8, 2014; Denver, Colorado, May 14, 2014
  • “How Much is Too Much? Notice and Notification Requirements under the ACA” at The John Marshall Law School 12th Annual Employee Benefits Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, April 4, 2014
  • “Fiduciary Update: Top ERISA Cases Impacting Employer-Sponsored Plans” Sponsored by the Fiduciary Responsibility, Administration and Litigation Committee of the Employee Benefit Plans and Other Compensation Arrangements Group of the ABA Section Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Webinar/Teleconference, January 16, 2014
  • “An Update: A Look Back at the Top ERISA Cases Impacting Employer-Sponsored Plans,” Sponsored by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, November 14, 2013
  • “Fiduciary Responsibility Rules,” Sponsored by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Employee Benefits Law program, Gleacher Center, Chicago, Illinois, December 4, 2012
  • “ERISA Fiduciary Update,” Sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association Employee Benefits Committee, March 13, 2012
  • "ERISA Litigation Update," Sponsored by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, September 22, 2011
  • "Educating ERISA Fiduciaries: What You Should Know They Need to Know," Sponsored by the John Marshall Law School Center for Tax Law and Employee Benefits, Chicago, Illinois, September 21, 2011
  • “Supreme Court Roundup: ERISA & the Court in 2008,” Sponsored by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, December 4, 2008

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association – YLS, JCEB
  • Chicago Bar Association

Civic Involvement and Honors

  • Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" 2015
  • Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" 2014