Greg Ash – Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP

Practice/Organization Description

Greg is a member of Spencer Fane's Executive Committee and a partner in the Overland Park, Kansas office. He practices in the firm’s Employee Benefits Group and is Chair of its ERISA Litigation Group. For nearly 20 years Greg’s practice has focused exclusively on ERISA and other laws governing employee benefits, including matters affecting pension, profit sharing, ESOP, 401(k), executive compensation, and welfare plans. He regularly counsels clients of all sizes – including multiemployer “Taft-Hartley” funds, Fortune 100 corporations, small privately-held employers, and boards of directors – on benefits issues such as executive deferred compensation, plan design and administration, and fiduciary compliance.

Experience:

Greg developed a sophisticated plan governance structure for the qualified plans of a Fortune 100 publicly-traded company so as to reduce the risk of ERISA fiduciary liability for its board of directors and officers.

Coordinating the efforts of other Benefits Group attorneys, Greg conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of the fiduciary processes and procedures used by three multiemployer benefit funds with over $7 billion in assets.

Shortly after regulatory changes allowed it, Greg helped a publicly-traded company add an ESOP component to its traditional 401(k) plan, allowing the company to claim additional corporate income tax deductions, at the same time that plan participants were given the option of receiving cash distributions of dividends paid on company stock held in the plan.

Greg recently served as lead defense counsel in the successful defense of a lawsuit challenging the denial of COBRA coverage, establishing new, employer-friendly precedent in the process. Maloney v. Ameristar Casinos, No. 4:09-cv-00673 (W.D. Mo. 3/9/2010).

During the spring of 2010 Greg guided two clients to early, advantageous settlements of disputes involving 401(k) plan fees and subrogation matters.

Greg currently advises a number of 401(k) plan service providers and plan sponsors in connection with 401(k) "excessive fee" issues.

As Chair of Spencer Fane’s ERISA Litigation Group, Greg successfully defeated a class action breach of fiduciary duty claim that was brought against a Fortune 20 client arising out of the Enron bankruptcy, convincing the Federal Court to dismiss the matter before discovery was authorized. Geiler v. Jones, 37 EBC 1018, 2006 Westlaw 407683 (D. Neb. Feb. 2, 2006).

Greg has advised clients with 401(k) plans that hold company stock about their fiduciary risks and obligations in light of recent stock-drop litigation.

Representing a large 401(k) plan sponsor and its administrative committee in a dispute with service providers following a plan conversion, Greg briefed, argued, and successfully defeated motions to dismiss his clients’ claims filed by the defendants on ERISA preemption grounds, ultimately resulting in a favorable settlement of the claims. Weyerhaeuser v. MFS Retirement Services, No. C03-2968P (W.D. Wash. 2004).

Bar Admissions

Bar Admissions

Kansas

Missouri

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court - District of Kansas

U.S. District Court - Western District of Missouri

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Education

University of Kansas

University of Kansas School of Law

Professional Associations & Memberships

American Bar Association

Honors and Awards

Greg is included in the list of The Best Lawyers in America and Kansas and Missouri SuperLawyers for employee benefits.

Greg is a member of the 2010-2011 class of the Kansas City Civic Council's "Kansas City Tomorrow" Program.

Greg Chairs the firm's ERISA Litigation Group, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for ERISA litigation.

Contact

9401 Indian Creek Parkway
40 Corporate Woods, Suite 700
Overland Park, Kansas 66210-2005, United States

  • (913) 327-5115
  • (913) 345-0736

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