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Steve Witmer Rejoins Ivins


Steve Witmer Returns to Ivins’ Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice


WASHINGTON, DC – Ivins, Phillips & Barker, Chartered, a national leader in tax and employee benefits law, is pleased to announce that Steve Witmer has rejoined the firm as a partner.  Mr. Witmer returns to the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group, leading its West Coast presence from Los Angeles.

       “Steve is an extremely strong benefits attorney, with extensive knowledge, expertise, and connections, and we are happy to welcome him back,” commented Kevin O’Brien, Ivins’ Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group leader. Jodi Epstein, also part of the Ivins’ EBEC team noted, “Steve’s experience in the HR contracting arena is especially appreciated by clients across the country.  He often knows the benefits vendor’s template contract better than counsel for the benefits vendor.”

       Mr. Witmer graduated with honors from Harvard Law School in 1990, after earning his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Lebanon Valley College in 1987.   He began his legal career at Ivins in 1990.  Initially specializing in qualified retirement plans, he soon added a health and welfare focus.  Mr. Witmer has counseled clients on the employee benefits aspects of mergers, acquisitions and other corporate combinations or reorganizations of all sizes, including numerous multi-billion dollar transactions.  He has negotiated approximately 1,000 agreements with benefits, payroll and other human resources vendors, including everything from comprehensive global contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to basic confidentiality, HIPAA business associate and other agreements. 

       Mr. Witmer regularly represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.  He successfully obtained an early IRS determination letter on a particularly complicated cash balance design.  He helped secure DOL waiver of multi-million dollar penalties by arranging for a foreign government to establish a U.S. based VEBA.  Last year, he led an effort to obtain PBGC waiver of required ERISA 4063 funding liability – estimated by the actuaries to be as much as $240M.

       Mr. Witmer explains his choice to return to Ivins in simple terms, “The attorneys at Ivins, Phillips & Barker are truly exceptional and the platform allows me to zealously represent employer-side clients with minimal risk of actual or perceived conflict.  I am very excited about Ivins’ competitive strengths and long-term future.”

       The return of Mr. Witmer is part of Ivins’ commitment to expand its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team. 

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